Though Žalgiris Kaunas club director/former interim coach Vitoldas Massalski has categorically stated that no changes to the Greens’ roster will be forthcoming until the end of the Euroleague regular season, this can hardly stop the speculative future-gazing in Lithuania and beyond.
To wit: Yesterday, the Lietuvos Rytas website ran a report stating that Milovan Rakovic could be heading back from loan to his contracted club Montepaschi Siena in January. Siena would naturally like to bolster up in the middle for a deep run into the Euroleague playoffs in lieu of the injured Ksistof Lavrinovic.
Žalgiris’ prospects for advancement aren’t exactly dim, but they’re currently mired at the bottom of Group B, in a three-way tie with Brose Baskets Bamberg and KK Zagreb at 2-5. Losses vs. Panathinaikos tonight and Bamberg next week would certainly doom the Greens to elimination; even a 2-1 finish by the Lithuanian side might not be enough.
In 49 Euroleague and Italian league games with MPS last season, Rakovic was good for a steady 8.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per outing.
Seemingly a logical move for all parties concerned, perhaps, but Massalski also claims that he has yet to be contacted by Montepaschi Siena officials.
Regardless, if Žalgiris does indeed drop the next two games, Vladimir Romanov will surely have canned Aleksandar Trifunovic by Christmas. Come New Year’s Day, BiE believes Massalski’s mind will surely be elsewhere as he’s out coach-poaching again. Or managing the team himself…
(By the way, did you know that Rakovic has a tattoo of a St. Petersburg scene?