By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The presence of Europeans in the NBA has increased drastically over the years as they’ve been a part of some historic moments and continue to move the line to this day.
With the second decade of the third millennium over, it might be a good time to take a look back and see how the young prospects from the Old Continent faired in the NBA Draft post-2000, how many came to the league through it, how high or low they were rated as well as whether they ended up being a steal, a bust, or just another average piece of the puzzle.
A total of 225 Europeans were picked up over the last twenty NBA Drafts with the highest number coming from the 2003 Draft when 18 players were selected including Darko Milicic who ranked second behind just LeBron James.
On the contrary, 2010 and 2019 were the years with a low number of Europeans getting through, stopping at five and six players respectively.
Additionally, Euros have regularly had a presence among the highest picks with only five Drafts featuring no player in the top ten.
The highest pick has, of course, been Andrea Bargnani who was the No. 1 overall in 2006 when the Toronto Raptors decided to bet on the Italian.
Before going through the list, keep in mind that, while no strict criteria were used (far from it), only the players who could’ve been considered European in some way at the moment they were selected were included. So, for example, Anthony Randolph and Serge Ibaka weren’t included as they got ahold of their Slovenian and Spanish passport respectively later down the road.
An important notice is also that Israel was included as its clubs, as well as the national team, participate in European competitions and are under the FIBA Europe zone. Lastly, for players who played or were eligible for FR Yugoslavia or Serbia and Montenegro national teams, their current nationality has been used.
Without further ado, the list of European players from the past twenty NBA Drafts.
|3||Pau Gasol||Spain||Atlanta Hawks (traded to Vancouver)|
|12||Vladimir Radmanovic||Serbia||Seattle SuperSonics|
|24||Raul Lopez||Spain||Utah Jazz|
|28||Tony Parker||France||San Antonio Spurs|
|38||Mehmet Okur||Turkey||Detroit Pistons|
|48||Antonis Fotsis||Greece||Vancouver Grizzlies|
|56||Robertas Javtokas||Lithuania||San Antonio Spurs|
|57||Alvin Jones||Luxembourg||Philadelphia 76ers|