Nets Land Rights to EuroLeague Star as Last Piece in Spencer Dinwiddie Trade: Report

Nikola Milutinov

Getty Serbia's Nikola Milutinov dunks during the 2019 FIBA World Cup match between Serbia and Czech Rep at Beijing Wukesong Sport Arena on September 14, 2019 in Beijing, China.

It took days for the Nets’ trade of Spencer Dinwiddie to become official — and it’s taking even longer for the full breadth of the deal to surface.

The gist of the mega deal, from Brooklyn’s perspective: five teams, tons of players including stars and role players alike, heaps of draft picks, and Spencer Dinwiddie in a Washington Wizards uniform as part of a sign-and-trade. And as for the Nets’ compensation, they’re taking back a 2024 second-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick, and a $11.5 million trade exception.

Here’s the brunt of the deal spelled out, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks:

Late Wednesday night, though, the last domino finally fell for the Nets. As part of the five-team trade, the Spurs are trading the rights to international prospect and former first-round pick Nikola Milutinov to Brooklyn, according to Fred Katz, Wizards beat writer for The Athletic.

Milutinov, 26, is an interesting piece for a multitude of reasons.

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Spurs drafted Milutinov in 2015 but he’s yet to play in NBA

As the ultimate ​​draft-and-stash pick, Milutinov was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. The 7-foot Serbian has still not made it to the U.S. to play in the NBA.

In fact, in an interview with Eurohoops, Milutinov recently said that San Antonio has had no interest in adding him.

“To go there, I need to be invited to go there,” Milutinov told Eurohoops, per News 4 San Antonio. “I never had something official from them. It was only just talking. They were never serious about taking me, and I cannot go there by myself.

They need to show me their will to take me and they didn’t in the previous years. I don’t regret it.”

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Could Milutinov Join Nets in Brooklyn Soon?

Milutinov is heralded as one of the top big men playing overseas. He averaged 10.3 points on 65 percent shooting and 8.2 rebounds over 24 games in 2019-20 while playing for Greece’s Olympiacos in the EuroLeague.

Currently, he’s playing for CSKA Moscow, where he overlapped with Mike James this past season. James played for CSKA Moscow earlier this year before joining the Nets for their stretch run. He wound up being a valuable piece as one of the last few players off the bench for Brooklyn.

As for whether Milutinov is close to following in James’ footsteps anytime soon, it’s unclear. Milutinov recently signed a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow, and as Alex Schiffer of The Athletic noted on Twitter, that could complicate things.

Still, Milutinov himself has not entirely ruled out the NBA.

“I don’t think about the NBA because I know where I will be next season,” Milutinov told Eurohoops, via NBC 4 San Antonio. “Maybe in the future I will think about it again about going there.”

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