When Chris wrote up Milos Teodosic’s exit interview back in May, it certainly seemed like the former Clippers guard was done with the NBA. Well, that now seems official, as Milo has signed with Virtus Bologna, a squad in the Italian LBA league, the highest level of competition in Italy. Bologna also plays in Eurocup, which is the second-highest tier of continental-wide basketball in Europe, behind only EuroLeague. Milos’ deal is for three years, with no opt-out clauses. Aged 32, and already injury-prone, this could well be Teodosic’s last contract as a professional basketball player.
Milos signed a two year, $12.3 million deal with the Clippers back in July of 2017, just over two years ago. It was a much hyped deal at the time — Milos was widely considered the best basketball player outside the NBA, and certainly one of the most exciting. NBA and EuroLeague fans alike could not wait for Milos to hit the NBA, and the Clippers were considered a sneaky league pass team in large part due to Milos. Unfortunately, the hype mostly failed to deliver.
Milos played in 45 games in the 2017-2018 season, and the Clippers were famously far better when he played (27-18) than when he didn’t (15-22). While his counting stats didn’t pop off the page, Milos was a deadly outside shooter and highly capable passer who made the Clippers’ offense work, even though his defense left much to be desired. He was projected to be the Clippers’ backup point guard entering the 2019 season, but between his injuries and the superlative play of rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Milos barely left the bench. Eventually, Milo faded away, being barely part of the team before getting waived on February 7. In the end, his most memorable plays as a Clipper were in the 2018 preseason — not at all what Clippers fans were expecting in the 2017 offseason.
Towards the end of his time with the Clippers, Milos was clearly frustrated, not only with his lack of playing time, but with the failure of his own body to handle the level of conditioning and athleticism in the NBA. At one point, he lamented coming over to the NBA at age 30 instead of in his prime in his mid-20s, and the NBA being something he kind of missed the boat on. In addition to all that, there was the difficulty of adjusting to a foreign culture, country, and language, and that just made Milos all the more miserable.
While Bologna isn’t one of the absolute top teams in Europe, they’re a famed, historic squad that should have a chance to win the Italian championship if Milo can stay healthy. He will be back in Europe, playing in familiar environs, and getting well paid to do so. This seems like a great choice for Milos’ career, and hopefully he bounces back after a rough couple years in the States. Good luck Milo!