By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the 20 best Euroleague players, there’s only room for very unique athletes who are also member of top teams which are aiming at least to the Final Four. So here are our choices from 20 to 11 and remember the previews picks by clicking here: 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21.
Once more those are our five criteria.
1. Player’s value: The overall appraisal of each player on the court. His playing skills, his leadership ability, his quality as a unit not depending on the team he is currently playing.
2. Playing role: The importance of each player for his team, not only in the past but also in projection for the upcoming season. It’s an important aspect of our rankings, because that’s how players who are leaders in lesser teams are entering the top100 and quality players in loaded roster are being left out.
3. Team value: It’s the third most important criterion. Specially in Europe the team matters, because of the financial and quality differences, you can predict very accurately in most cases how far they can go in the season and their potential in the league.
4. Individual potential: That has to do only with the possible ceiling of each player. How much they can evolve and get near the top, depending their current state, their talent and their age.
5. The numbers: Each player’s stats, not only from past seasons, but also his possible performance in the upcoming season. As you can understand, it’s a part speculative criterion and that’s why it’s our last priority, because the way the game is played in Europe, this is something very related to the quality of each team and the role each player has .
Ηe had an impressive first season in Euroleague. He has energy, rebounding ability and he is maybe the best big man in the league in finishing when getting contact. He needs to work on his free throws and in his defense against smaller and quicker opponents.
He is a scoring machine for European standards, a good rebounder and a big man who knows his fundamentals pretty well. He seems to be capable playing also as a power forward and with a quick adaption in the league, he may be the biggest addition to Real’s roster.
He is more mature than ever. He has quality, experience, he is a good scorer, a good shooter and an efficient rebounder. He is one of the few players of Real who had his usual good numbers in the final against Maccabi Tel Aviv. His weakness is defending the pick and roll, specially after switches In screens.
He is one of the most quality players of the league playing the “4” during the last three seasons. He is a great low post scorer, he can play also facing the basket and his strange kind of a hook shot still is deadly. What he needs is to be a more consistent three points threat and also a more solid rebounder and defender.
#16 Andrew Goudelock 1988 1m.91 G Fenerbhace/ Ulker
Τhe MVP of last season’s Eurocup. He is a great offensive talent and a lighting quick guard. The big bet for Obradovic will be to make him more of a team player and teach him to operate within the system, when he is the focus of the opponents’ defense. He can do it, but he has to work in the mental aspect of his game.
He was our number 1 pick in the summer signings, as the biggest name who returned to Europe from the States, and he is expected to make a difference. After two seasons in the NBA – which were not bad – he is back. He has quality and he can play both guard positions. Of course, the quest for him will be to help CSKA Moscow return to the throne and that will make or break his season.
He is the only player who can be called a point forward in Europe. He has talent, a multidimensional game and potentials. He needs to be mature, consistent and efficient every night. He can do it and he can emerge as a leader, as he shown during the recent World Cup.
#13 Viktor Khryapa 1982 2m.03 F CSKA Moscow
He comes from a bad season according to his standards, but he remains one of the icons of the league, a true all around forward who is the glue of his team in offense and defense. He is solid defender and rebounder, a key offensive threat and an amazing passer for his position.
#12 Sonny Weems 1986 1m.98 F CSKA Moscow
One of the best small forwards in Europe. A great scorer, unstoppable at one on one situations, very athletic, great rebounder and what made his even more interesting as a player last season was his improvement at reading the game and creating. That’s now part of his game. Still, he wasn’t himself during the Final Four.
He is the reigning Euroleague’s rising star. He had 14.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists last year, but those numbers may drop this year. His role will be different and the demands from his also. He is a one of a kind scorer, he knows how to pass, but he needs to work a lot on his defense. That’s his main issue.