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Bojan Bogdanovic says he's excited about playing Spurs ... in Istanbul next October


There seemed to be no hedging this time.

Bojan Bogdanovic hasn't signed to play next season in Europe, but in comments Thursday, the Nets pick said he's looking forward to playing for his Turkish team against the Spurs in the preseason Global Games next October. San Antonio plays Fenerbahce in Istanbul on October 11. Bogdanovic made the comments as part of the Euroleague announcement that Fener will play the Spurs.

"We are very excited to be playing against such an important team as the San Antonio Spurs," Fenerbahçe's Bogdanovic said in a Euroleague press release. "They are a great team, with a great coach and roster. It's going to be an experience we will never forget, just like all of our games with the NBA teams. There will be a great atmosphere here at Ülker Sports Arena. I am sure our fans are also going to be very excited about this game. We are looking forward to it."

Bogdanovic had made a number of comments recently that indicated he was leaning toward staying in Europe for at least another season.  But this is clearly his most definitive public statement that he's not coming to the NBA next season, but instead will remain overseas. The decision, if he indeed sticks to it, will free up the mini-MLE --a three year $10 million contract-- that could be used to re-sign Shaun Livingston or a free agent.

Drafted in 2011, it appeared that he was headed to Brooklyn last July, but at the last minute he and the Nets couldn't work out a deal that would have provided him both with a significant salary and enough money to pay off a $2 million buyout. After the failure to make a deal, he dumped his agent.  Recently, he said he "hoped" to play with Fener's coach, Zeljko Obradovic, for a long time.

The 6'8" swingman had been seen as a top Nets trade asset, but his value will no doubt diminish with his decision to stay overseas. He will be 25 next season.  He has had a season that's the reverse of the Nets. In 2013, he looked like one of Europe's best players, but after the New Year he went into a deep slump. Earlier Thursday, he scored only five points on 2-of-7 shooting in a Euroleague blowout win. Fener, once pegged as top four Euroleague team, has collapse and is out of the playoffs.