From the Final Four to the NBA: Who are they?

16/May/17 18:46 May 18, 2017

Antonis Stroggylakis

16/May/17 18:46

While the European basketball crowd is going to be fixed on Istanbul during the upcoming weekend (May 19-21) when the EuroLeague Final Four is held, the ever vigilant eyes from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean will also be “spying” on the NBA talent that will gather on the floor of “Sinan Erdem”.

By Antonis Stroggylakis/ AStroggylakis

To EuroLeague fans reading this: You better get used to the idea….

Among the players who will be gathering in Istanbul for the Final Four this weekend, there are some special few who will play their last games in the competition, at least for a fair number of upcoming seasons.

It’s somewhat of a nature’s law when it comes to basketball. Ever voracious NBA is waiting to throw its nets in the large pool of European hoops and catch the fish swimming closer to the surface. The ambitious, the risk-takers and, basically, those who have the will, mettle and quality to stand in the best league in the planet.

Of course, no organization, especially the ones with a grand history and prestige, wants to serve as a “farm team” for the NBA. Particularly the Spanish clubs that have been bled out of prospects or valuable assets (let’s drop the names of Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio, Mario Hezonja, Tomas Satoransky to make a start) numerous times before. Hence the almost… mythical buyout of Sergio Llull that you’ll read in the article.

Llull should stay in Europe, unless for some reason the Houston Rockets upper echelons decide to spend an unprecedented amount of money to get him. But it will take less to seduce others that won’t resist the temptation. Those who won’t deny the dream of playing among the best of the best. Who are they?