http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/mirza-teletovic-shooting-for-even-bigger-role-with-bucks-b99759271z1-386386971.htmlLas Vegas — Mirza Teletovic made 179 three-pointers off the bench for the Phoenix Suns last season, an NBA record.
So you think that was impressive?
The 30-year-old Teletovic, signed by the Milwaukee Bucks to a three-year, $30 million contract, said the record will not last long because he is going to break it next season.
"I think that record is going to be broken very easily," Teletovic said in a phone interview Monday. "Easy. I'll do my best. Especially with J-Kidd (Jason Kidd); he's going to put me in the right positions. It shouldn't be a problem."
Teletovic said his playing time was limited in the first 2½ months of last season while the Suns were sorting out what to do with starting power forward Markieff Morris, who eventually was traded to Washington.
When Earl Watson took over as interim coach, Teletovic's minutes went up.
"After all-star (break) I started playing," Teletovic said. "We actually won a lot of games in that period."
Teletovic's strong connection with Bucks coach Kidd made it an easy decision for the Bosnian to sign with Milwaukee. Kidd was in his first season as an NBA coach in 2013-'14 in Brooklyn and relied on Teletovic as a primary bench player, backing up veteran forward Paul Pierce.
And the Bucks desperately needed a shooter after finishing last in the NBA in three-point attempts and makes last season.
"J-Kidd sees the game with a different eye than we do," Teletovic said. "He was a point guard. He basically was a coach the last four or five years in his NBA career.
"I was really eager to stay with Jason Kidd, but it didn't happen in Brooklyn. Now he's had more years as a coach and he knows what he wants."
Teletovic played in 72 games under Kidd, making seven starts and averaging 19.4 minutes as the Nets advanced to the playoffs in 2014. He sank 136 three-pointers that year and shot 39% from three-point range; last season in Phoenix he hit 181 threes overall (two as a starter) and shot 39.3%.
"When J-Kidd came in he was trying to find character guys," Teletovic said. "My role was great when he got to the team. He gave me a load of confidence and a lot of trust, and I never forgot that."
Teletovic said he started playing basketball in Bosnia when he was 9 years old and signed his first professional contract by age 15.
"I fell in love with it right away," he said. "I've never stopped. I really enjoy playing basketball.
"Every basketball play for me is a release. It's where I feel most comfortable. I had a lot of luck because through my (youth) career because I always had great coaches."
Teletovic said he is willing to be a mentor for the young Bucks players and is excited to team up with rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton.
"I'm going to give my best to help them out, space the floor for them so they can drive and attack the basket," he said. "This team is a bright future. This year we'll try to go as far as we can.
"Every day I'll be there if they need help, explaining something. I've been around for a long time. I started playing professionally when I was 15 years old. I've played in a lot of leagues and understand a lot of basketball."
Before coming to the NBA he played six seasons in the ACB League in Spain and also in Euroleague games with the Basque club Saski Baskonia.
Teletovic was part of the 2007 Tau Ceramica team that reached the Euroleague semifinals, a team that also included Luis Scola, Pablo Prigioni and Tiago Splitter.
The talent on the Bucks team can put it back in contention in the Eastern Conference, Teletovic said.
"From Greg Monroe to everybody else; there are very few centers who can play like Greg in the low post," Teletovic said. "Giannis can play from 1, 2, 3, 4; he can play any position he wants.
"Jabari needs to be more aggressive and he will be. This team is definitely a contender. What people forget about the Bucks is they share the ball and the ball moves every time.
"That's important for everybody's confidence and I think this team has a bright future."
Teletovic said he was returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina later Monday. The climate at home reminds him of Milwaukee, so he said he should easily adapt to the Midwest.
Free agency was relatively simple for him thanks to the Bucks' interest.
"When Milwaukee became an option, it was my favorite team to go to," he said. "There was not a lot to think about. I will go play for J-Kidd any day."
Vasquez signs with Nets: Former Bucks guard Greivis Vasquez signed a one-year deal with Brooklyn, according to media reports.
"Great opportunity for me to show that I'm healthy and I can help a team win," Vasquez told ESPN.
Vasquez was acquired by the Bucks before last season but had surgery on his right ankle and was limited to 23 games. He averaged 5.7 points and 4.0 assists while shooting career lows of 32.6% overall and 24.7% from three-point range.
The Bucks gave up a protected 2017 first-round draft pick — acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers — and the 46th overall pick in 2015 (Norman Powell) to Toronto in the trade for Vasquez.