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Overseas Rumors: Vasilije Micic closer to his NBA arrival

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Could he be the final piece in Sam Hinkie’s grand design?

Anadolu Efes Istanbul v Olympiacos Piraeus - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Photo by Tolga Adanali/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Remember in the peak-Process days, when the Philadelphia 76ers had a treasure trove of draft assets and young talent? The organization was short on wins, but long on hope, and far down on the list of things on Sixers fans’ minds was the 52nd overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Vasilije Micic.

At the time, Micic wasn’t considered much of an NBA prospect, and most fans rationalized the pick as at least representing a potential trade piece down the road, rather than doing something obscene like selling the pick to upgrade the interior on Josh Harris’ helicopter to a more breathable leather. However, the 6-foot-6 point guard has continually improved across the intervening years, eventually signing with Turkish club Anadolu Efes in June 2018 and receiving a two-year extension last May.

Before the global pandemic suspended the 2019-20 EuroLeague season, Anadolu Efes was sitting atop the standings with a 24-4 record, with Micic ranking second on the team in scoring (14.5 points per game) and first in assists (5.8 assists per game). He has shot 40.0 percent from 3 on 5.4 attempts per game, and 96.4 percent from the foul line.

Now, it looks looks like Micic might be closer to bringing that juicy efficiency from the guard position stateside.

Granted, my EuroLeague contacts amount to what gets retweeted into my timeline, so I’m in no position to evaluate the veracity of these rumors, but it certainly seems like Micic has the NBA firmly on his radar, and vice versa. His contract runs through 2021, but these overseas deals usually include reasonable buyouts.

Anyone with a Spotrac link recognizes the Sixers are in a precarious place, salary cap-wise. One of the team’s offseason priorities could (some might argue, should) be to trade Al Horford’s contract and free up tens of millions of dollars in cap space over the next few seasons. If a team is particularly enamored with what Micic has shown overseas, he could be the sweetener for Horford’s deal to be more palatable. Or, if someone like Shake Milton is brings back much greater value, Micic could potentially slide into a reserve guard role with the Sixers.

Regardless, it’s encouraging that Philadelphia potentially has another option on the board. Maybe Sam Hinkie knew Vasilije was Serbian for “optionality”.