By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikola Milutinov’s agent Marko Jelic said that the Serbian center received “phenomenal” offers by Barcelona and CSKA Moscow during offseason. Milutinov eventually stayed with Olympiacos Piraeus since the Greek club turned down the teams that wanted to buy the player.
Here’s what Jelic said in an interview with Serbian website Mozzart Sport:
“Nikola has a contract with Olympiacos. This is the last year. There’s always interest. Nikola has matured as a man and as a player. He has “exploded” since last season. As one of the most dominant, right now perhaps the most dominant, center in Europe, interest is a normal thing. He had an official offer by Barcelona this summer and later by CSKA. It was Olympiacos that decided they wanted to keep him. Nikola didn’t mind since he has identified himself with the club and Athens, the city and the way of life there. He’s the biggest pillar of the game of Olympiacos. Let’s understand that nothing bad happened that he didn’t leave. He had phenomenal offers. Olympiacos didn’t accept them and Nikola is where he is. We’ll see what happens next summer.”
Jelic also talked about the San Antonio Spurs and whether they plan to acquire Milutinov. The five-time NBA champions have owned Milutinov’s rights since the 2015 Draft and have visited Olympiacos’ arena numerous times to scout their stashed player.
“It’s by far the largest and best organization in the NBA, as can be seen by what they have produced over the past 10-15 years. We are connected with them, informed and know every detail. It’s up to them to say when they need Nikola,” Jelic said.
Milutinov had the top season of his professional career in 2018-2019, averaging 11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in EuroLeague. The Spurs could’ve exercised the buyout clause the player has in his contract with Olympiacos, but opted to not sign him in summer.
“What he wants is to go to the USA fully prepared and with a clear role. That no adaptation comes into play. I’m sure that this moment will happen, it’s only a matter of time,” Jelic said.
Milutinov is currently averaging 10.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26:31 minutes in EuroLeague. He has registered a double-double in five out of 11 games so far in the regular season of the competition.