In a sudden and unexpected move, Serbian center Filip Petrusev has been included in the high-profile James Harden trade, leaving the Philadelphia 76ers after a mere one-game stint. The 23-year-old, standing tall at 2.11 meters, is set to join the ranks of the Los Angeles Clippers, marking a swift transition in his budding NBA career.
Petrusev's brief appearance in the 76ers' colors was notably short-lived; he graced the court for just 2:41 minutes in the team's decisive victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. During his fleeting time on the floor, he managed to secure a single rebound — a small contribution that barely scratched the surface of his potential.
The 76ers, having hardly had the opportunity to evaluate his capabilities, have now parted ways with the young player.
European Roots Unveiled
Before entering the NBA, Petrusev honed his skills in Europe, initially playing for prominent Serbian clubs Red Star and Partizan.
At the age of 14, he made the move to Baskonia in Spain, where he spent two seasons before relocating to the United States. He continued his development through various high schools, eventually finding his way to Gonzaga University.
Over his two-year tenure there, he boasted impressive averages of 17.5 points and 7.9 rebounds. Drafted 50th overall by the 76ers in 2021, Petrusev elected to kickstart his professional career back in Serbia, signing with Mega Basket and subsequently joining Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes, where he played a supporting role in their Euroleague triumph.
Last season, he returned to Red Star, making a noteworthy impact with averages of 10.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and a 12.6 efficiency rating. With aspirations of carving out a niche for himself in the NBA, Petrusev attempted to secure a spot on the 76ers' roster, albeit in the challenging position of backing up reigning MVP Joel Embiid.
His journey with the Philadelphia team has come to an abrupt end, as he now prepares to embark on a new chapter in Los Angeles. Despite his short-lived tenure with the 76ers, Petrusev has quickly learned the unpredictable nature of the NBA, experiencing firsthand the whirlwind of trades and transitions that define the league.