By Antonis Stroggylakis / AStroggylakis@eurohoops.net
Olimpia Milano and guard Kevin Punter Jr. have begun conversations for a new contract according to Eurohoops sources. The 27-year-old American player is a free agent after the completion of the 2020-21 season in both EuroLeague and the Italian League.
Milano has already extended an offer to Punter and talks between the two sides are ongoing. The Italian powerhouse wants to keep Punter on board, especially considering that he’s coming from a breakthrough run in EuroLeague and has amply shown that he can contribute big for a championship-aspiring team at such a level of competition.
Punter would prefer to stay with the “Red Shoes” and continue improving in the environment of the same squad after multiple team changes in a short span over the last couple of years. There are two more EuroLeague clubs that have expressed an interest in the player but so far haven’t made a contract proposal.
During the 2020-21 EuroLeague, Punter was Milano’s leading scorer in the regular season with 15.0 points (shooting 40.1 percent on 4.9 3-point attempts per game) in 24:20 minutes over 29 games to help the team finish fourth in the standings and clinch a spot in the playoffs for the first time in seven years. He set a career-high 32 points in an away win over CSKA Moscow.
In his maiden EuroLeague Final Four appearance, Punter scored a game-high 23 points in a last-second loss to Barcelona in the semifinal. He is now looking to capitalize on this season with a satisfactory new deal.
Prior to Milano, Punter debuted in EuroLeague with Olympiacos before moving to Crvena Zvezda halfway through the 2019-2020 season. He previously played with Virtus Bologna, leading the team to the Basketball Champions League title in 2019 and earning Final Four MVP. It was his second straight BCL championship after also winning the trophy in 2019 with AEK Athens.