The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of making their first significant addition of the off-season.
According to multiple reports, the Warriors are expected to hire Serbian basketball legend Dejan Milojević to join head coach Steve Kerr’s staff ahead of the 2021-2022 season. The Athletic’s Anthony Slater confirmed the news on Tuesday.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Unless they are followers of the Euroleague, some Dubs fans may not have heard of Milojević, but the 44-year-old racked up some serious accolades over his 15-year playing career that ended in 2009. Among them are three Adriatic League MVP awards (ABA) and two scoring titles.
Since he began coaching in 2012, his achievements have included a Serbian Cup championship in 2016, and most recently, Montenegrin League and Montenegrin Cup titles in 2021. His most notable connection to the NBA today though is what will impress Warriors fans the most.
From 2012 through 2015, during his playing days with Serbian basketball team Mega Basket, current NBA superstar Nikola Jokić played for Milojević. Just one week ago, Jokić was named the 2021 NBA MVP.
Milojević to Help With James Wiseman’s Development?
While Milojević’s hire is not yet official and his exact role on the team has yet to be announced, it’s probably no coincidence that the news comes just over one week following Jarron Collins’ decision not to return to the Warriors’ bench next season.
Additionally, the probable addition to Kerr’s bench could come as a welcome sight to Warriors’ 2020 lottery pick James Wiseman. The number two overall pick from last year’s NBA Draft endured a very up-and-down rookie season, but has gained full confidence from the higher-ups in the Dubs organization.
With Milojević’s experience both as a player – at primarily the power forward position – and as a coach of a young stud like Jokić, it would seem that the soon-to-be new Warriors’ employee could only help Wiseman’s development.
Jokić Had a Wild Finish to His 6th NBA Season
The “Joker” just wrapped up one of the most incredible, historic seasons for an NBA big man, that was capped off by the first NBA MVP for a center in 21 years. Nothing can take away from Jokić’s monster season, but the days following his earning of the prestigious hardware were not the best for the MVP.
In the third quarter of Game Four between Jokić’s Denver Nuggets and Chris Paul’s Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, Jokić picked up a flagrant two foul after a brutal swipe at Cameron Payne. Unfortunately for the Joker, the officials weren’t kidding around that night and served Jokić with an ejection.
Without do-everything stud MVP center, the Nuggets unsurprisingly fell to the Suns and were eliminated from the postseason.