By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
Eurohoops presents the Top 100 EuroLeague Players ahead of the 2019-2020 season. A list of players compiled with some specific criteria with the purpose of tracing and ranking those hoopers that are expected to define the upcoming EuroLeague season.
While there are some objective and factual elements/data that were taken into consideration when choosing the 100 players and then ranking them, the final result is, inevitably, subjective.
As always, there was a calculated risk with EuroLeague newcomers, especially those who are completely unfamiliar with European basketball. Hence why some players who will now take their first steps in EuroLeague have been omitted from the list or where placed in lower positions in comparison with “rookies” that already have considerable experience at a competitive level of European basketball. Experience in this level and type of game matters since we’ve seen no few quality players, even established NBAers, immensely struggle in their new surroundings simply because of their unfamiliarity with everything that European basketball encompasses.
What should be noted is that a player of a team that is a title or Final Four contender automatically got a relative priority over another with possibly similar or equal, maybe even superior individual strengths. This is why you will find that there is an increased number of players from well-known powerhouses. Of course, there’s also the fact that these teams usually sign a lot of top talent.
It goes without saying that injuries also played a part in picking and ranking the players.
This year there is a slight change in the usual Eurohoops Top 100 Players ranking criteria. Past achievements (individual awards/team titles) are no longer considered or taken into account with the same gravity they used to carry in previous Top 100 features.
It should also be noted that the place an “x player” gets in the list doesn’t necessarily mean that he is overall “better” than another player since there’s a multitude of factors that determine the ranking.
The most important ones are the following:
1) The individual quality of each player in combination with the prospect he carries for 2019-2020, plus the role and playing time we anticipate he will get with his team.
2) The strength of the club the player belongs to. The players of the teams that are usually playoff staples and are considered among the title contenders always have the edge because they combine individual quality with the club’s high aspirations.
3) Prior experience in EuroLeague/European basketball.
4) How the player performed in 2018-2019 and his contribution to his team reaching its goals.
70. Quincy Acy (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Year of birth: 1990
Height: 2.01 m.
2018-2019 stats: 1.7 points, 2.5 rebounds in 12.3 minutes over 10 NBA games with the Phoenix Suns.,
A veteran of seven NBA seasons and 337 games in the league, Quincy Acy arrived at Europe for the first time in his career to compete in EuroLeague with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Acy was acquired by Maccabi to provide the experience he accumulated from playing from six different NBA teams plus his notable toughness, rebounding and fighting spirit. He should be able to help Maccabi in two positions, both as a forward and a center and thus allow Giannis Sfairopoulos plenty of lineup options.
Some 3-pointers might be in order as well. Acy shot 43.4% on 83 attempts in 2017-2018 with the Brooklyn Nets, plus 34.9% on 292 attempts the next season.
69. Sergey Karasev (Khimki Moscow)
Year of birth: 1993
Height: 2.01 m.
2018-2019 stats: 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists in 27:30 minutes over nine EuroCup games with Zenit St. Petersburg. 9.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 20:45 minutes over 18 VTB League games.
Add Sergey Karasev to the list of EuroCup stars of the last couple of years that you were wondering when you’ll get to see them playing in EuroLeague. Well, for the Russian swingman, it’ll happen this season.
Back in 2016, Karasev had said that he looks to EuroLeague as a possible “gateway” that can lead to an NBA return. While Karasev is packing some considerable amounts of scoring heat which he can unleash to opposing defenses in large amounts, it remains to be seen how he will be assimilated on a Khimki squad with a couple of other players around who love to have the ball on their hands and often take control of the game.
It will be a change for Karasev given the leader’s role he had on Zenit, but if the chemistry happens with both his old Zenit teammate Janis Timma and Russian national team teammate Alexey Shved, expect some great things from Khimki.
68. Vladimir Lucic (Bayern Munich)
Year of birth: 1989
Height: 2.04 m.
2018-2019 stats: 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals in 26;10 minutes over 29 EuroLeague games with Bayern Munich.
Vladimir Lucic was one of the top contributors of Bayern Munich in the team’s return to EuroLeague, providing to the team getting extremely close to punching a playoffs spot.
The Serbian forward had one of its best (if not the best) seasons of his career, given the level of competition he faced and the increased difficulty of EuroLeague in comparison to, let’s say, his days in Partizan. He served the offense as a cutter to the rim a weak-side shooter or by draining mid-range jumpers. Oh, and he was often the first player to run in transition.
Expect Lucic to get an even more prominent role in the next season.
67. Greg Monroe (Bayern Munich)
Year of birth: 1990
Height: 2.11 m.
2018-2019 stats: 5.3 points, 4.0 rebounds in 11:20 minutes over 43 regular-season games, 4.0 points, 3.1 rebounds in 9:00 minutes over 10 playoff games in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Last year Bayern Munich made a “bang” by signing former No. 2 Draft pick Derrick Williams and the German club now hopes to have the same results with another NBA veteran: Greg Monroe.
Monroe will play outside of the NBA for the first time in his career and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to European basketball. He has the offensive skillset at the low-post to absolutely dominate inside the paint and collect points, plus rebounds and PIR (expect him to be a Fantasy favorite) with near-silly ease. Especially if you add a couple of dimes in the mix.
The enigma (and a reason he’s not ranked higher) in cases like Monroe is always the same of course: Adjustment to EuroLeague.
66. James Gist (Crvena Zvezda)
Year of birth: 1986
Height: 2.04 m.
2018-2019 stats: 7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists in 20:50 minutes over 33 games with Panathinaikos in EuroLeague.
2018-2019 was one of the least productive seasons of James Gist in EuroLeague. It was thus a small surprise that after six years with him on board, Panathinaikos choose to proceed without “Gistopoulos” as he was affectionately called.
Crvena Zvezda brought Gist over to make use of his vast EuroLeague experience and his strengths. The American forward can do damage at the low-post or via catching lobes from his teammates for some powerful slams. On the other end, he can be a defensive “beast” and one of the top options to contain a guard after a switch.
Gist may be used as either a “4” or a “5” and coach Milan Tomic may choose to go with the latter mostly.
65. Mindaugas Kuzminskas (Olympiacos)
Year of birth: 1989
Height: 2.05 m.
2018-2019 stats: 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds in 17:03 minutes over 30 EuroLeague games.
There’s one of the first major drops in comparison to last year’s Top 100 edition since Mindaugas Kuzminskas was then ranked 24th.
The 2018-2019 season was disappointing for the playoffs-less Olimpia Milano and a bit underwhelming for Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Although he sometimes made the most out of the playing time he got on the floor and shot the ball with a more than solid 46.4% (on 64 attempts) overall he was kinda inconsistent.
On Olympiacos, Kuzminskas is expected to get a bigger role and be used both as a “3” and a “4” in David Blatt’s plans and the “positionless” basketball the coach wants to implement next season.
64. Jayson Granger (Baskonia)
Year of birth: 1989
Height: 1.89 m.
2018-2019 stats: 7.2 points, 2.4 assists, 1.6 rebounds in 19:16 minutes over 12 games in EuroLeague with Baskonia.
We mentioned in the prologue how injuries affect the ranking of certain players. Jayson Granger, who underwent surgery in January and missed the rest of the EuroLeague season, is one of those cases.
Baskonia’s backcourt is pretty much packed for 2019-2020 and with Luca Vildoza most likely taking over at the point and Pierria Henry’s arrival, Granger may see his playing time getting decreased. However, whenever it’s required from him, he’ll provide some inspired playmaking action and scoring when needed. Like he’s always used to do.