<
>

Sources: Grizzlies tried to sign Serbian star Milos Teodosic in 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Memphis Grizzlies tried to sign star European point guard Milos Teodosic in the summer of 2013, but the architect of Serbia's near-upset of Team USA at the Rio Games rebuffed that chance to come to the NBA, according to league sources.

Sources confirmed to ESPN that the Grizzlies offered Teodosic a two-year deal in the $5 million range in an attempt to lure him to the NBA.

But Teodosic elected to sign a contract instead with CSKA Moscow that has one more season remaining. His current deal has no NBA outs, so the summer of 2017 is the earliest that Teodosic would be a free agent.

Yet there figures to be strong NBA interest in the 29-year-old when he does become available again after Teodosic has shown yet again in these Olympics that he is as good as any player not currently playing in the NBA.

"As good a player, as good a guard, as there is in Europe," Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

International basketball expert David Pick of Israel first reported Memphis' attempts to sign Teodosic earlier Monday.

Asked last week by ESPN if he still has NBA aspirations, Teodosic was non-committal, saying "that's not up to me" and, when pressed, adding that it was his goal "a long time ago."

But there is a belief in league circles that Teodosic will indeed explore his NBA options next summer.

After leading Serbia to the final of the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, Teodosic emerged as a favorite of Krzyzewski, who has mentioned the crafty guard's name numerous times since the Americans arrived in Rio.

"I love him," Krzyzewski said after Serbia gave Team USA an almighty scare Friday night before ultimately succumbing to a 94-91 defeat.