The Spurs drafted Nikola Milutinov with the 26th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
That sound you heard at about 9:30 tonight? That’s the sound of thousands of San Antonians all yelling “Who the hell is that?” at that their televisions.
The object of their confusion is Nikola Milutinov, a 20-year-old Serbian center who the Spurs picked in the first round of the NBA draft on Thursday night. There were a number of better-known players on the board, but much like your best hipster friend, the Spurs chose the option that people seem to know least about.
At 7’0”, 225 pounds, Milutinov joins a rich Spurs tradition of enormous foreign people. If the NBA doesn’t work out for him, he could definitely find work as a Cold War-era villain in a Rocky or James Bond movie. His hometown in Serbia is Novi Sad, which sounds a bit like a Swedish death metal band.
There’s not a ton of Milutinov footage out there compared to other draft prospects, but here’s a highlight reel of a game he played against Crvena Zvezda, the finest squad in the Consonant League:
Before you rush out and buy your custom Milutinov jerseys though, be aware that it will likely be a few years before he makes it to the NBA. The Spurs are notorious for stashing foreign draftees overseas for a few years. And with plenty of enticing free agents on the market this summer (looking at you, LaMarcus Aldridge), there’s no reason to think the Spurs’ front office will fritter away precious salary cap room.
So here’s to you, Nikola. Rakia and sarma for everyone!