It wasn’t so much the defeat against Real Madrid, but the way it happened. Barça simply and plainly did not compete in Kaunas in either of the two games they played and left again that feeling that, when the important thing arrives, it falls apart as a team. It happened in the Final Four last year, it happened in the last ACB final and it has happened again in this Euroleague. And also in the Cup. Jasikevicius has lost a lot of credit since the end of last season and today his future is up in the air. And not just yours. The squad will undergo a major remodeling.
The first aspect that must be taken into account is sports. This team does not know how to compete at key moments. And that, for a club like Barça that aspires to win all the competitions in which it participates, is unacceptable. But The economics also weigh a lot. The delicate situation of the entity makes it necessary to reduce expenses in all items and sections, basketball being the most important, will not be immune to the cuts. They have been talking about percentages, between a five and ten percent budget reductionbut the bad results augur a bad future: the cut will be around that ten percent, if not more than it.
Template: remodeling… or reconstruction
With these two conditions, Barcelona faces the reconstruction of the squad or, at least, its remodeling. AND the first link is obviously the coach. To this day it is not at all clear that Jasikevicius will continue in charge of the team next season, but it is not ruled out either. Despite the defeat in Kaunas, Navarro’s plan remains unchanged: talk to the coach once the season is over and propose a renewal offer. Of course, clearly downward. The offer will come conditioned by the economic situation, but also by sporting results, which obviously are not good.
Whether or not Jasikevicius accepts a downward renewal is currently unknown. On the one hand, he is comfortable in Barcelona, his family is too, but on the other, it is clear that there is significant wear and tear on the team. The Lithuanian has never shown concern about his future and has always left the door open both to continue and to leave, so both scenarios are possible. Navarro assured that they have not yet spoken with any coach, but Xavi Pascual is the best placed to replace the Lithuanian in case he does not continue. He was the last coach to lift the Euroleague with Barça and he has an excellent relationship with Juan Carlos Navarro. Of course, it will not be cheap. And he has a contract with Zenit.
As for the squad, there will be important changes regardless of who is the coach next season. The three players who are out of contract, Sanli, Kuric and Tobey, except for a major surprise, will not continue. Nnaji is signed up for the NBA Draft and forecasts place him around pick 25. There has been talk of Kalinic’s interest from Red Star in recovering him, but he himself denied it. But where is the crux of the matter, by salary and importance in the team, is in two players: Higgins and Mirotic.
Cory Higgins is the one who has the most numbers to leave Barça this summer. Always by mutual agreement, he has a contract, but It is evident that the performance of the North American is not adequate for his salary. Back problems have weighed him down and if they reach an agreement he will leave. His departure would obviously mean significant savings for the club.
Who will also sit down with the sports management this summer to discuss his situation at the club is Nikola Mirotic. In principle, his departure was not contemplated, but the recent statements after the heavy defeat against Real Madrid were not very encouraging: Mirotic left the door clearly open to the possibility of leaving this summer. The Hispanic Montenegrin, the highest profile player in the squad and with two more years on his contract ahead of him, has already been adapting his contract to the situation of the club in recent times, but Barça will require a new effort from him. His intention is for him to keep lowering his salary, but he remains to be seen if Mirotic accepts it.