Friday June 26th, 2015

The San Antonio Spurs selected Serbian center Nikola Milutinov with the No. 26 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

Milutinov averaged 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in the Adriatic League last season for Partizan Belgrade. 

Strengths: Milutinov is a 7-footer with a 7’3” wingspan, which is a good place to start for an NBA center. He’s incredibly mobile for his size and possesses impressive footwork. He has a smooth release and decent range on his jumper. He also has good vision and the ability to find open teammates. He rebounded well in the Adriatic League, especially on the offensive glass. With his size and athleticism, he has potential on defense. He has been playing professionally since 2011, so he doesn’t lack for experience, and he’s still only 20 years old.

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Weaknesses: Milutinov needs to add weight and muscle to match up with NBA centers. He can be backed down in the post by bulkier big men. He needs to improve in the post offensively to broaden his scoring beyond open dunks and jumpers. Though he has potential as a jump-shooter, that part of his game still needs refining. He could be a better rebounder and shot-blocker. He’s not a very good free-throw shooter, making only 58.7% of his shots in 2014-15. He’s probably a long-term project rather than an immediate contributor.  

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