When Filip Petrušev signed a deal with Anadolu Efes in Turkey last year, he was intentional about making it a one-year commitment only: staying true to his desire to continue his professional career in the NBA.
“I signed a one-year deal so I can be available,” Petrušev told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Then if not, I’ll just sign one more year in Europe. So I will try to be available after every year.”
Petrušev had a dominant sophomore campaign at Gonzaga in 19-20, averaging 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 56.2% from the field, earning WCC Player of the Year honors.
Instead of returning for more seasoning at Gonzaga (which would have been tough because of Drew Timme’s emergence) Petrušev opted to play overseas for a year before testing the NBA draft waters.
The decision paid off spectacularly for both the Zags and Petrušev, as he played one year with Mega Bemax in his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia, and won MVP honors while averaging 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists while shooting 57.9% from the field and an excellent 41.9% from downtown.
That led to Petrušev getting selected No. 50 overall by the 76ers in the 2021 NBA draft. Philadelphia elected to keep Petrušev overseas, and he played last year in Turkey with the goal of returning to the NBA in 2022.
The 76ers don’t have any roster spots or two-way contracts readily available at the moment, meaning Petrušev will have to really shine in summer league if he wants to get his chance.
The early results are just subpar, with Petrušev scoring two points and grabbing four boards in about eight minutes of action in his first contest. He played 15 minutes in game two, and while his three assists and two steals were a nice bonus, he only totaled two points on 1-5 shooting.
Petrušev’s NBA future likely depends on his ability to stretch the floor, something he has only really displayed in that one season in Serbia. If he can become more consistent as a knockdown outside shooter, and can at least hold his own on the defensive end of the floor, a job in the NBA should be on the horizon.
Host – Locked on Zags Podcast
Writer – Ducks Wire