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Warriors’ First-Round Pick, Serbian PG Nemanja Nedovic, Says He’s Ready for the NBA

Golden State’s newest rookie, Serbian guard Nemanja Nedovic, laughs off the European Derrick Rose nickname.

Sure, he is sizeable (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) and athletic point guard, who (as YouTube will attest) has a knack for dunking on people. And he wears knee pads like Rose. But he opted to temper the expectations.

“Maybe I’m the European Derrick Rose,” he said on Monday’s conference call from Belgrade. “But I’m not the real one.”

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Golden State, which pulled off three trades to select Nedovic 30th overall in Thursday’s draft, wants some of those same attributes.

Plush with shooters on the wing, the Warriors need someone who can easily get into the lane off the dribble. They need a change-of-pace guard who can break down defenses on his own.

Nedovic is still not sure if he will play for Golden State next season. His participation in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is still hinging on a conversation with the Serbian national team.

But the 22-year-old is certain about one thing.

“I’m ready,” he said. “I’m really happy the Warriors picked me in the draft. I think I would fit very, very good on the team.”

Nedovic still needs to be bought out from Lietuvos Rytas, his Euroleague team. But that will largely depend on how he looks during summer league and training camp. A 2013 All-Star of the Lithuanian Basketball League, Nedovic is facing his largest challenge since he began playing basketball at 11 years old.

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It won’t be relocating halfway around the world. Nedovic moved a lot as a youngster as his family followed his father’s professional handball career: two years in France, five years in Austria, a year in Germany, four years in Italy.

He said he’s never been to the Bay Area — his first trip to the States was for pre-draft workouts and he stayed on the East — but he gets the impression it’s perfect for him.

Not just because of the weather, but also because of the Warriors style of play. He said he remembers when Stephen Curry scored 54 points in New York.

“Everybody in Serbia was watching Steph Curry killing the Knicks in Madison Square Garden,” he said.

The Warriors’ shooters figure to open the floor for him, allowing him to do what he does best and attack the lane. Golden State general manager Bob Myers said he likes how he works the pick-and-roll.

It’s fitting he will wear No. 8, formerly worn by Monta Ellis, because the Warriors could use some flair.

Nedovic said he’s working on his entire game to get ready, but especially on his midrange game and his defense.  He claims he can defend quicker guards but acknowledges the NBA has superior athletes.

“I want to earn everything,” he said. “I want to earn my minutes. I want to earn my spot on the roster.”

Marcus Thompson

  • deano

    MT: Now that I’ve seen his highlights, I see your point about why GSW wanted Nedovic. He brings offensive diversity with his ability to get to the rim. There was no such player on the squad last year, or really since Monta was traded. #8, indeed. Plus, the kid has a great attitude: about Rose, about Curry, about needing to get better and prove himself. In Meyers-West we trust, because they deliver.

  • haasthemnan

    afer watching twenty or so minutes of film on the kid, I’d say he’s much more similar to monta than rose. But how many people in Serbia know monta ellis. His playmaking and ball handling skills scream monta, not rose. However, picking up another monta with the last pick in the first round is impressive.

  • http://mercurynews.com antispy3

    The non Montae-Montae. . .the ball doesn’t just stop because it hits his hands; he is more of a natural point guard; seems much more team oriented. Hope he isn’t a liar as well. . .

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Sign and trade Jack, along with Bogut, BRush and Biedrins (3 expiring contracts in June, 2014) for Howard and Nash. This way, Lakers have virtually all money off the books next summer to build whatever kind of team they want (to play alongside Kobe, if her returns).
    Trade Klay and Jefferson to Denver for a signed and traded Andre Igoudala.
    Use the MLE on JJ Hickson.

    PG – Curry/Nash
    SG – Igoudala/Nedovic/Bazemore
    SF – Barnes/Green
    PF – Lee/Hickson
    C – Howard/Ezeli

  • Xraided

    ^ championship

  • Tay

    Never happening Harps but def legit squad… Nedovic looks like he has legit bounce but not sure how good that comp is. Leave the team as is Dwight ain’t coming lets see how curry, Klay and Barnes develop next year alongside a hopefully healthy Bogut with rush coming back Green getting better we should be right where we were last season hopefully get Jack back if not I trust Myers to pick a spare part or two on FA market a la Landry and jack la year.

  • kurcina

    pepole in serbia know a lot about mona ellis and rose,his nickname is a joke not really a comparison :)

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Getting Dwight was a pipe dream, but bringing Igoudala is real. Denver, not wanting to lose AI for nothing, signs and trades him to the Dubs for Klay and RJefferson.
    We re-sign Jack and sign Hickson to the MLE.
    IF Bogut stays healthy, we compete for the championship, as out roster is slighthly upgraded from this year’s team who almost made it. Our locker room is peaceful, our wing defense is even better with Igoudala, we have a legit back-up (Hickson) at the 4/5, get BRush back, and have DLee in the playoffs.