LAS VEGAS — If you were waiting to the see the Warriors’ “Serbian sensation” in the NBA Summer League, well, don’t hold your breath.
Nemanja Nedovic, obtained via clever draft day dealings with the 30th overall pick, sprained his right ankle Thursday night in a scrimmage against the NBA D-League Select team.
Warriors sources said Nedovic is questionable for the team’s Summer League debut Saturday against the Wizards, the only game Nedovic was slated to play in before he returns to fulfill his contractual obligations with the Serbian national team.
A disappointed Nedovic said he was looking forward to showcasing his talents:
“I was ready, I prepared a lot for this, but I think we won’t risk it. I had the same injury one month ago. I really want to play tomorrow, really bad, but it is what it is.”
Head coach Mark Jackson said that before Nedovic was injured, he was impressed by the 22-year-old in practice:
“I saw some very good things. He knows how to play, has a very good understanding of the game and it was good to see that.”
Nedovic said some camaraderie has already formed between him, the team and Jackson. He hopes to finish out his Euroleague obligations and be back in the states training with the Warriors by the end of September:
“Coach is a great guy, I didn’t know he was so relaxed and so cool. I’m really really happy that they picked me, and I hope I will help the team right away.”
Last year, the Warriors had a lot to prove and the Summer League was crucial for looking at the potential of their rookies. This year the Dubs are a playoff basketball team, looking to improve and grow, so the pressure is off the Golden State front office.
The pressure is now on the players to stand and prove they’re ready.
A much leaner and more toned Draymond Green showed his strength both physically and mentally at Warriors practice Friday. At one point, Green took control of the rookies on the floor, calling out coaching orders and directing the defense.
Jackson told SFBay that Green has been working hard all summer and that his leader-type attitude isn’t anything new:
“As soon as the season stopped he got in the gym and you can tell by looking at his body. … He’s taken a leadership role from the day we met him. … He’s a guy that if he retired today, I’d hire him as a coach.”
The Warriors play their first Summer League game Saturday against the Wizards at 1:00 p.m. on NBA TV.