After six years with Zalgiris Mantas Kalnietis is close to signing his first deal abroad. According to various media reports, the player should complete his move to Lokomotiv Kuban in the coming days.
Lithuanian international is expected to leave Kaunas just before the start of Euroleague season. That would leave Zalgiris with only one true point guard in Oliver Lafaytte.
Fan-favourite Kalnietis confirmed the rumours of his departure yesterday saying that he doesn't want to leave the team.
Meanwhile owner Vladimir Romanov told the media that it was Kalnietis who asked to be traded to another team. Romanov also added that he hopes the negotiations between Lokomotiv and his team to be concluded in success.
The fact that the contract of the 26-year-old point guard expires in summer has also played a part in this story. It is reported that Zalgiris is asking 450,000 euros for Kalnietis and Lokomotiv are not willing to pay that amount without trying to lower it.
The Russian side was in need of a point guard since Vlado Ilievski left Krasnodar and the deal of Yogev Ohayon fell apart.
Lokomotiv will compete in VTB United League as well as Eurocup this season. The first game in VTB league for Lokomotiv will be home game against Zalgiris.