EuroLeague Top 100 Players of 2019-2020 (1-10)

02/Oct/19 13:27 October 3, 2019

Antonis Stroggylakis

02/Oct/19 13:27

The time has come for the Top 10 of our annual ranking.

By Eurohoops Team/

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. 

Here are the picks from 100 to 9190 to 8180 to 7170 to 6160 to 5150 to 41, 40 to 31, 30 to 21 and 20-11.


10. Nick Calathes (Panathinaikos)

Year of birth: 1989

Position: Guard

Height: 1.96 m.

2018-2019 stats: 12.2 points, 8.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals in 30:58 minutes over 33 EuroLeague games with Panathinaikos.

The 2018-2019 Top 100 feature predicted two things about Nick Calathes when he was placed at the No. 1 spot in the list: A) That he might improve his shooting, and, B) That he will register that elusive triple-double in EuroLeague.

Calathes indeed became the second player this century in EuroLeague after Nikola Vujcic to finish a game with a triple-double. It was a testament to his superb all-around game, the incredible rate with which he dishes out assists and how he pays attention to pursue the loose ball and get the rebound.

The shooting issues, however, remained for Calathes and became quite problematic in the playoffs where Panathinaikos was swept by Real Madrid. Before the postseason, the Greek combo guard had some spectacular performance to help his team make a turnaround and reach the Top 8. The main reason why he was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team for second year in a row.

9. Kostas Sloukas (Fenerbahce Beko)

Year of birth: 1990

Position: Guard

Height: 1.90 m.

2018-2019 stats: 11.8 points, 4.8 assists, 2.2 rebounds in 26:38 minutes over 33 EuroLeague games with Fenerbahce Beko.

Kostas Sloukas‘ 2018-2019 run was so good that he could even make a case for MVP candidacy. In the end, it was Jan Vesely, Sloukas’ main pick n’ roll partner in crime, that got the honor.

Still, Sloukas earned a spot in the All-EuroLeague First Team after more than handling his role as the master conductor in the “machine” that was Fenerbahce’s offense. The Greek guard fully displayed his skills as a masterful pick n’ roll virtuoso, a guard who can exceptionally read the opposing defense and choose where to attack the basket or just deliver passes with both flair and surgical precision.

What Sloukas and Fenerbahce lacked was the chance to win the EuroLeague since they were eliminated by fellow Turkish side Anadolu Efes in the semifinal. For Sloukas, now among the leaders on Fenerbahce, the challenge is ahead of the new season is perhaps greater than ever.

8. Vasilije Micic (Anadolu Efes)

Year of birth: 1994

Position: Guard

Height: 1.96 m.

2018-2019 stats: 12.4 points, 5.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists in 28:12 minutes over 37 EuroLeague games with Anadolu Efes.

This is the absolute biggest climb in our Top 100 from the previous year. Vasilije Micic was then ranked 77th in the overall list but has now made the Top 10. And, very well-deservedly so.

After all, Micic was the floor general of the 2019 EuroLeague finalist. The Serbian guard’s creative and cerebral playmaking and the way he operated as the conductor of the offense was a key factor (the other appears a bit below) behind Efes‘ run towards the Final.

It wasn’t just his passing brilliance. Micic took his scoring game to another level, being dangerous as a slasher, as a shooter from mid-range or even from deep, by posting up his opponents or moving off the ball to combine beautifully with one of his backcourt mates. Efes and Ergin Ataman can only be delighted to have such a starting point guard.

7. Cory Higgins (Barcelona)

Year of birth: 1989

Position: Guard

Height: 1.95 m.

2018-2019 stats: 14.9 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists in 25:25 minutes over 32 EuroLeague games with CSKA Moscow.

Three days before lifting the second EuroLeague title in his career, Cory Higgins had expressed his disappointment with the fact that he was included in neither the All-First nor the All-Second of 2019.

You can understand why he felt that way. The American guard was the leading scorer of CSKA Moscow and throughout the season he sometimes outshined even the team’s major stars with his exploits. It wasn’t just the fact that he “slain” defenses with outstanding efficacy (50.3% 2-pointers, 53.3% on 3-pointers in regular season) and precision, striking with that venomous jumper of his, running in transition or slashing his way through enemy ranks but that he “spoke” louder than everyone in clutch time. He showed that again, and again.

Higgins, also a highly dedicated defender who can apply intense pressure on the ball handler and “torture” his personal opponent, put the icing during the EuroLeague Final, which he finished with 20 points and a team-high 23 PIR. Barcelona signed him to bring that instant offense of his plus the proven game-winning effect.

6. Jan Vesely (Fenerbahce Beko)

Year of birth: 1990

Position: Forward/Center

Height: 2.13 m.

2018-2019 stats: 12.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals in 25:05 minutes over 31 EuroLeague games with Fenerbahce Beko.

High-flying, screaming-dunking Jan Vesely became the first big man to win EuroLeague MVP since the organization established the award. His slams are spectacular yes, but he earned the silverware for a couple of more reasons.

Vesely has been evolving his game substantially this last couple of years and in the previous season, he presented perhaps the most mature and all-around version of it. Sure there were jams in abundance but also tough finishers near the basket, delicate hook shoots, mid-range jumpers (yes), assists and, of course, defense in the mix. It was the most complete output we’ve seen of him, well, ever.

And let’s not forget the free throws, an area in which the Czech big guy has shown tremendous improvement. Vesely will once again be a protagonist for Fenerbahce as the team will look to return to the EuroLeague throne.

5. Facu Campazzo (Real Madrid)

Year of birth: 1991

Position: Guard

Height: 1.81 m.

2018-2019 stats: 8.7 points, 5.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals in 23:36 minutes over 34 EuroLeague games with Real Madrid.

“How?” was a common reaction to plays made by Facu Campazzo throughout the 2018-2019 season. A run which wasn’t just the best for the Argentinian guard when it comes to production rates but also the first in which he was completely entrusted by Pablo Laso to guide the offense of Real Madrid.

Campazzo’s playmaking sometimes looks to be not of this world. He makes wondrous things happen by sending the ball directly to the hands of his teammates with passes that defy logic or any rules of science. Assists that look impossible yet are completely doable by him.

He reached the highest peak of his performances in the playoffs vs. Panathinaikos, when he averaged 12.3 points, 8.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 steals as his team won 3-0.

Campazzo uses his wits and skill not only in playmaking but also to score even in front of much taller opponents. He’s also an extremely tough defensive player. His complete, two-way game makes him a candidate for 2019 MVP, if he keeps filling the stats sheet and, well, Real makes the Final Four again.

4. Nando De Colo (Fenerbahce Beko)

Year of birth: 1987

Position: Guard

Height: 1.96 m.

2018-2019 stats: 14.7 points, 3.4 assists, 2.5 rebounds in 24:14 minutes over 34 EuroLeague games with CSKA Moscow.

Nando De Colo left CSKA Moscow after pretty much writing his name in some golden pages in the history of the club. He was, after all, one of the main protagonists in the 2016 and 2019 EuroLeague titles that the Russian club won.

He made sure to bid farewell in the most ideal manner imaginable. In the 2019 Final Four, De Colo had a set of fantastic performances, averaging 19.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists to push CSKA towards its eighth EuroLeague trophy. The French guard had turned the switch on even before, when he scored 28 and 27 respectively in the victories over Baskonia in Game 3 and 4 of playoffs.

De Colo is a player who has simply set the bar incredibly high this last couple of years, a player who registers some of the prolific production around almost effortlessly, and, at the same time, one of the top decision-makers in the continent. Zeljko Obradovic may work great things with such a player at his disposal.

3. Will Clyburn (CSKA Moscow)

Year of birth: 1990

Position: Forward

Height: 2.01 m.

2018-2019 stats: 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals in 26:59 minutes over 35 EuroLeague games with CSKA Moscow.

The evolution of Will Clyburn these last two years has been remarkable and culminated in the player earning Final Four MVP honors while winning the first EuroLeague title of his career.

Clyburn originally joined CSKA to provide a boost of athleticism and energy as a player who could bring that extra spark and stir the pot of its offense bit. He began the previous season as an integral part of the machine that the “Army Men” are and ended as the ultimate all-around contributor: the team’s third-best scorer, top rebounder and also the top performer according to evaluation (17.6 PIR).

Clyburn has been utilizing his physical tools to hack through opposing defense, create situations that lead to scoring plays for him and his teammates and attack the rim via slicing cuts to the basket. He’s been possibly the most dangerous slashing forward in the continent and an unstoppable locomotive in transition. His shooting got better in the postseason and he finished the Final Four with 7/10 triples. Big players play big in big games, right?

CSKA’s and Clyburn’s next challenge? The repeat.

2. Shane Larkin (Anadolu Efes)

Year of birth: 1992

Position: Guard

Height: 1.82 m.

2018-2019 stats: 12.5 points, 3.1 assists, 2.2 rebounds in 21:58 minutes over 35 EuroLeague games with Anadolu Efes.

“We made Larkin look like Michael Jordan,” Barcelona forward/center Pierre Oriola said prior to the playoffs series between his team and Efes, in reference to the 37-point performance Shane Larkin had put on against the “Blaugrana” in Istanbul.

Well, Shane Larkin looked like Michael Jordan against Barcelona once again in the playoffs (19.6 points, including 30 in a key road win in Game 3) and in the Final Four where he made the tournament’s history books with his 30 points in the semifinal and a record-breaking 29 in the Final.

This kind of outputs, and of course his 37-point game, are near-legendary material in modern-day European basketball. And Larkin produced these numbers by shooting with brilliant efficiency and without hogging the ball or wasting possessions.

In fact, a huge credit to Larkin’s scoring action was that he didn’t need the ball in his hands a lot in order to deliver this kind of fiery action. He rained buckets either as a ball-dominant option in the offense of Efes or by coexisting harmoniously with Vasilije Micic when the later was the main ball handler.

A great teammate apart from a fantastic scorer, Larkin has simply been the “hottest”, most unstoppable, most impressive player in Europe in 2019 and he would’ve been the No. 1 in the list if not for a certain transfer development that definitely stunned a lot of people. Check below.