Detroit Pistons draftee Balsa Koprivica returns home, signs with KK Partizan in Serbia

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Pistons second-round pick Balsa Koprivica returned home to sign a three-year contract with KK Partizan in Belgrade, Serbia, the club announced Monday.

With the Pistons at 16 guaranteed contracts for 15 roster spots, and both two-way spots secured, Koprivica signing overseas was expected. The Pistons maintain his draft rights and the ability to sign him in the future.

The No. 57 overall pick of 60 in the 2021 NBA draft, he played two seasons at Florida State. The 7-foot-1, 240-pound Serbian center averaged 9.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks sophomore last season in 24 games (20 starts). He shot 59.9% from the field.

He played on the Pistons’ Vegas Summer League team in mid-August.

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Koprivica, 21, was born in Belgrade, and his father, Slavisa, played on the 1992 Partizan team, winning the EuroLeague.

He played one year in high school at Montverde Academy (Florida) with Pistons’ No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham. The Pistons also selected Isaiah Livers (No. 42) and Luka Garza (No. 52) in the second round.

Before the draft, the Pistons acquired the 57th pick from Charlotte in exchange for center Mason Plumlee and the No. 37 pick.

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Partizan competes in the Adriatic League (ABA), one of the better leagues outside the NBA, and begins play in September. It also competes in EuroLeague, the basketball version of the Champions League in soccer. Teams play EuroLeague games during the week and in their own countries’ leagues on the weekends.

Formed in 2001, the Adriatic League has squads from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. It has recently produced 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic and Dario Saric.

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