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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Clemente Almanza

Thunder GM Sam Presti reveals team almost signed Vasilije Micic, leaves door open for future

The Vasilije Micic storyline has been an interesting one that’s been hovering around the Oklahoma City Thunder since the team first acquired him in the 2020 Al Horford trade from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers originally drafted Micic with the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NBA draft. Since then, Micic has slowly developed into one of the best international players in the world — highlighted by winning the 2021 EuroLeague MVP and two EuroLeague championships.

Over the last two offseasons, there has been a constant stream of rumors and reports that Micic might finally make the jump to the NBA just to end up staying overseas.

When asked about the Micic dilemma, Thunder general manager Sam Presti said during his preseason media availability that the team acquired the 28-year-old with the hopes of eventually adding him to the roster and hasn’t closed the door on that still happening in the future.

“We have his rights. We traded for his rights during the Horford trade with Philadelphia. We wanted the rights to him because we think he’s a really good player. He’s really taken off since the time in which we acquired his rights,” said Presti. “All I can tell you is I thought we were pretty close at one time. Then, you know, he is a contract, and he’s committed over there. But I wouldn’t rule anything out. I wouldn’t rule anything out. It’s probably a year-to-year thing.”

Considering Micic’s age, it appears unlikely he would join the Thunder if he were ever to truly join the NBA. The most likely outcomes are either he stays overseas and never plays in the NBA or his rights are traded to a contender that would guarantee him rotation minutes.

Regardless of the outcome, the Micic situation is just a small speck in the grand scheme of things for the Thunder. If the Thunder were to ever trade him, his trade value is likely a heavily-protected future first-round pick at best.

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