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Former USC Trojan Nikola Vucevic eyes return home during NBA lockout

With the NBA lockout in full swing, Former USC Trojans big man Nikola Vucevic is close to becoming the first first-round pick from the 2011 NBA Draft to head overseas.

Former USC Trojans forward-center Nikola Vucevuc is close to terms on a deal that would have him playing in his homeland of Montenegro during the NBA lockout.
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The 7-foot, 260-pound USC standout is currently negotiating a deal that would have him return to his homeland and play for a team in Montenegro. Vucevic's deal would include an opt-out clause that would allow him to return to the NBA for the 2011-12 season once the lockout has been resolved.

Vucevic blossomed into one of the Pac-10 and college basketball's premier forward-centers before being taken 16th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

After earning the conference award for Most Improved player for the 2009-10 season, Vucevic returned for his junior year and led the way for the Trojans with averages of 17.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg for the 2010-11 season.

Up until now, only five members, all second-round picks, of the 2011 draft class have opted to take the overseas plunge in search of gainful employment.

Former Temple forward and fellow 76ers draft pick Lavoy Allen was the first to make such a move, followed by former Purdue guard E'Twaun Moore, former Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer, former Richmond forward Justin Harper and former Oakland Golden Grizzlies center Keith Benson.

© 2011 Neal J. Leitereg -- All Rights Reserved


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