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Report: Filip Petrušev will play in Serbia for 2022-23 season

The 76ers draft pick won’t be playing in the NBA (yet).

NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Filip Petrušev, the 50th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, won’t be playing for the Sixers in the immediate future. KK Crvena Zvezda, a basketball club located in Belgrade, Serbia, announced that they agreed to a one-year contract with Petrušev for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

Petrušev played in Summer League for the Sixers in 2021 and again this year. He averaged 12 minutes, 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, one assist and one steal on 53.3 percent shooting in four games during his most recent stint.

For the 2021-22 season, Petrušev spent time with Anadolu Efes, a Turkish club. This club might sound familar, as Furkan Korkmaz and former Sixer Dario Saric spent time there before playing in the NBA.

It isn’t much of a surprise that Petrušev won’t be running it back with Anadolu Efes S.K.; his season there was a bit of a roller coaster. He averaged 15.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 13 Turkish Super League appearances (which is at the beginning of their two-part season), but those numbers dropped to 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in an average of 9.3 minutes per game in 22 EuroLeague games later on.

Efes coach Ergin Ataman even called out Petrušev after their season concluded. Here are the quotes from the Milliyet newspaper:

“We took a risk with Petrusev. The young player was named MVP in the Adriatic League. The fact that he came to such a high-level team for the first time and that he could not reach that level physically was a bit of a mistake for us.”

Petrušev went on to make a public comment on Ataman’s quote above:

“How it works over there, they brought me in with a lot of expectations,” Petrušev said. “I was doing OK in the beginning, and then benched me. So they got to find an excuse why they benched me and all that. So I really don’t care what he says. And if people watch the games, they can see it.”

Judging by these quotes, it’s probably best that Petrušev will be on a new team and situation for this upcoming season. On a positive note, Dwayne Jones, a Sixers development coach, had praise for Petrušev after his Summer League debut a few weeks ago:

“Overall, he contributed solidly,” Jones said. “He was able to show what he can. Even last year [at summer league], he was able to protect the rim. I think he showed that.

It was always considered a stretch that Petrušev would be a Sixer for this upcoming season. Factoring in Harden’s impending contract and Trevelin Queen’s partially-guaranteed deal, their roster sits at 16 players. Another season overseas in (what will hopefully be) a better situation should do his development some good.

Fortunately, you won’t have to wait much longer if you want to see Petrušev in action. He, along with the Serbian National Team, will play EuroBasket 2022 in September. The upcoming year will be vastly important to Petrušev and his NBA future. For now, we’ll just have to ponder if he’ll ever come over.

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