Artem Klimenko plans to play next season in Russia with BC Avtodor Saratov, and the undrafted seven-footer has become comfortable with continuing to cultivate a relationship with his most interested NBA suitor in the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told RealGM.
Ever since Klimenko went unselected in the June NBA draft, the Mavericks have pursued an arrangement to monitor the 20-year-old’s development in Russia over the next season or two.
Klimenko is expected to head to the United States at some point in the summer to visit the Mavericks and their staff, sources said.
Throughout the NBA pre-draft process, Klimenko intrigued teams with his versatility, mobility and outside range. He had been under late consideration by the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers in the second round. Many around the NBA believe Klimenko needed to strengthen physically, strengthen his core work, but his size and potential intrigue everyone.
Klimenko had also played with BC Avtodor in the VTB league before declaring in the draft.