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With Euroleague at an end, the wait on Teodosic begins

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Euroleague

With time running down, CSKA Moscow needed a big shot to get to the Euroleague Final Friday and Milos Teodosic took it, but the shot went off the rim and CSKA’s dream of back-to-back continental championships failed. Olympiakos defeated CSKA 82-78.

Once again, the Nets front office was on hand flying in from Brooklyn, as Jonathan Givony of Draft Express tweeted....

It was at least the fourth time Brooklyn has scouted Teodosic this season and the third time a Nets executive crossed the Atlantic to watch, once each in March, April and now May.

In Friday’s game, Teodosic scored 23 points, going 4-of-8 from deep, but handed out only one assist. His backcourt mate, Nando De Colo, handled a lot of playmaking as the 6’5” Serbia did the scoring. The Greek team was led by former Rocket Vassilis Spanoulis, who led Olympiakos back from a 13-point deficit, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Post-game, Teodosic said he had been bothered by an injury.

CSKA did win the Euroleague consolation game over Real Madrid ahead of Sunday’s championship. Now, Teodosic will return to Moscow for the Russian league championships before he hangs up his sneakers until the FIBA Eurobasket begins in September. But Eurobasket will come after his next contract. So, speculation has begun about Teodosic’s future in the NBA.

TASS, the Russian news agency, spoke with Teodosic after Sunday’s game.

In a blog post in March, Teodosic wrote about his plan...

“First of all, until the season is over I don’t want to think about anything else other than winning all the titles for the second season in a row with CSKA Moscow...

“It’s true that I’m seriously thinking about the possibility of the NBA, but nothing has transpired yet, and nothing will until the summer. I’ve said before that, in order for me to go to the USA, a team has to meet both my competitive ambitions – which is the most important thing – and everything that has to do with the financial aspect as well as the aspect of the length of my contract.”

He didn’t list any NBA teams back then, but did thank his Serbian national team teammate “and my friend,” Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets, for offering his confidence that Teodosic is an NBA player.

So what now? European hoops writer David Pick interviewed Andrei Vatutin, president of CSKA Moscow earlier in the week. Vatutin said that “if an NBA team makes him an offer - it will be impossible to compete with," not just for CSKA but for any European team. In fact, CSKA’s player payroll, the biggest in Europe, is only about $25 million.

Pick predicted, based on talking with “people close to Teodosic” that the 30-year-old will want somewhere between $25 and $30 million over three years.

So now the wait. The Nets are surely interested. The competition, other than presumably Denver, is the Jazz, whose coach is Quin Snyder, a former CSKA assistant. Utah might need a playmaker if George Hill bolts.

For the Nets, the advantages are clear. They can afford him. They have a number of people, starting with Trajan Langdon, the assistant GM, who have personal connections to him. And Teodosic likes bright lights, big cities.

The problem is can Brooklyn meet “my competitive ambitions” when the team is still deep in its rebuild? And what does “my competitive ambitions” mean exactly? Is it about winning as a team or a guarantee that he’ll play a certain number of minutes. (He didn’t start in Friday’s game, which is typical. Teodosic and DeColo have learned to play together or as back-ups to each other).

Don’t expect much news in the next couple of weeks. But once the Russian VTB league ends, presumably in another championship (with VTB president and Nets director Sergey Kushchenko presenting the trophy!), speculation will increase again, this time dramatically.