What getting traded to Clippers means for Filip Petrusev’s first NBA season

After three professional minutes in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, former Gonzaga forward Filip Petrusev was included in a massive blockbuster trade, getting sent alongside James Harden and P.J Tucker to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a haul of players and draft picks.

Harden is the obvious headliner here, moving to his fifth NBA team after a tumultuous 79 game stint in the City of Brotherly Love, where he averaged 21 points and 10.6 assists.

Petrusev’s inclusion in the deal was necessary to make the trade work financially, and it ends his tenure with the 76ers before it ever really got started. The Serbian was initially selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft after he starred in his home country following a two-year stint in Spokane with Gonzaga.

He spent a few more years overseas before signing his first guaranteed NBA contract this summer, a two-year deal with a first year partial guarantee of roughly $560,000.

Petrusev didn’t play in Philadelphia’s first two games but logged a little under three minutes in the team’s blowout win over Portland, recording a rebound.

So now what? Well, according to multiple sources, the Clippers are not 100% committed to keeping Petrusev on the roster. The 6’11 big man slots in behind Kawhi Leonard, Ivica Zubac, Tucker, and Mason Plumlee on the team’s depth chart, and his contract makes him an easy cut should LA’s front office decide to move on.

It’s a tough part of the business, as Petrusev made close connections with the front office in Philadelphia and now may have to start over in his quest to find an NBA team willing to sign him to a guaranteed deal, or at least a two-way contract with the season already underway.

(This story is continuing to develop, check back with more updates on Petrusev’s basketball future)

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