For Fenerbahce this season, Bogdanovic was good for 15.9 points in 28.25 minutes per game in Euroleague cumulatively – and 20.5 in just over 32½ in the Top 16 round. Back in Turkey, Bogdanovic averaged 13.0 in 25.3 minutes.
Any buyout of Bogdanovic’s contract would become official on July 1.
Episode #19 of the BallinEurope/ heinnews co-hosted “Taking the Charge” podcast is now online. Bearing a nice Hungarian accent, our centerpiece interview this week will be of great interest to Spanish basketball fans, San Antonio Spurs nation and NBA prospect-watchers, as Team Hungary’s Adam Hanga joins David Hein and yours truly for a solid 20 minutes or so of chat on all manner of subjects.
After wowing international scouts attending the 2009 Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso and announcing his jump from Hungary’s domestic league to the Liga Endesa with Manresa for 2011-12, Hanga became the first-ever Hungarian national to be drafted in the NBA when the Spurs chose him at no. 59 in 2011.
Glimpses into the possible Euro-flavoured future of several NBA teams will begin on Friday with the welcome return of the NBA Europe Live Tour and the Euroleague American Tour. What could inspire a Chicago Bulls fan to catch a Memphis Grizzlies preseason game against Real Madrid? The prospect of checking out Nikola Mirotic, of course!
A handful of rights-owned players will be suiting up to play on both sides of the Atlantic over the next eight days, but today BallinEurope takes a slightly wider view beyond these exciting-but-mostly-irrelevant dozen games. Below a look at five players – a bit of a future dream team, perhaps, though desperately seeking a monstrous big man – taken in recent NBA drafts and currently developing in Europe’s higher levels. And yes, there will be highlights.
Your five for the European present and NBA future, then…
Could David Blatt be panicking? Armed with a retooled roster after last season’s Euroleague disappointment, Maccabi Tel Aviv 2012-13 edition hasn’t overwhelmed in preseason play with little team cohesiveness or incorporation of the Team Russia coach’s patented defensive game plans in evidence. The Israel side washed out in a the four Euroleague-team Domreiter Cup in September before redeeming themselves slightly in Paris, winning the pre-season tourney there last weekend (albeit against lesser competition).
But Blatt offered a solution on Saturday which appears to be a matter of fact now, in light of Pops Mensah-Bonsu’s recent release from the club: “Malcolm [Thomas] is exactly the kind of player you need to play a team like Paris Levallois. He is very athletic, fast and plays above the rim. It brings a lot of energy, but also creates a lot of easy baskets … Thomas is very good at offensive rebounding and he will bring what’s missing [on the team].”
From the folks at FIBA comes a dispatch on the guy who may already be Lithuania’s most popular player in North America, Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas arrived in Toronto this week as he begins preparations for the 2012-13 NBA season…
This one’s exactly what the title says; this morning, BallinEurope takes a brief look at five key players competing in the ongoing EuroBasket 2013 qualifying round with NBA contracts signed or rights owned. Let’s get right to it, then, beginning with a couple of reasons Brooklyn Nets fans should be a heckuva lot more optimistic than they were post-D12 rejection.
• Mirza Teletovic, PF – Team Bosnia & Herzegovina, rights owned by the Brooklyn Nets. If Teletovic’s signing by the Nets this offseason could be classified as “under the radar,” the longtime Caja Laboral stud is a massive attention-grabbing phenomenon on the screen right now. The excellently-named From Russia With Dunk proclaimed Teletovic to be “dominating” in EuroBasket 2013 qualifying games; NBC Sports described his play as “tearing it up”; at Ridiculous Upside, he’s “lighting it up” – all statements made with justifiable reason.
BiE doesn’t believe FIBA names a EuroBasket qualifying round MVP, but Teletovic could make quite an impressive case for the theoretical award. The prospective Net boasts a stat line of 25.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game for his 4-2 side. Team Bosnia & Herzegovina has been content to dump the ball inside to Teletovic continuously to the tune of 20.7 shots per game, tops in the qualifiers. Teletovic’s best showings have come against the woefully outmuscled Netherlands, who he’s punished for lines of 33/6 and 36/7.
At 6’9”, Teletovic will not solve all of Brooklyn’s problems underneath, but right now he’s looking like a reasonable upgrade from Kris Humphries. Nice signing.
Today, Sam Chadwick takes a look at Vucevic in the form of a “draft review” column and, crunching a few numbers, echoes BiE’s contention. Chadwick deduces that the sky’s the limit for this rookie who could in fact become a top-level NBA big. How good is Nikola Vucevic? How about Dwight Howard-level good?
Name: Nikola Vucevic Country of birth: Switzerland Nationality: Montenegro College: University of Southern California Position: PF/C Height: 7’0” (2.13 meters) Age: 21 (born October 1990)
Vucevic quietly made a name for himself at the University of Southern California, where he had career averages of 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists across three years while shooting 51% from the field and 30% from three-point range. He made the All-Pac 10 second team in his second season and All-Pac first team after averaging 35.0 minutes, 17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his junior year. His junior year also saw him make the Fox Sports All-American third team and become the first player to lead the Pac 10 in rebounds in consecutive years.
With an league-best 13-3 record, all signs pointing to a deep run in the NBA playoffs and a pleased-as-punch fan base that has long forgotten about the non-acquisition of Dwight Howard, it’s not like the Chicago Bulls need more positivity. Regardless, BallinEurope’s gonna give it to them; as it turns out, their brightest European prospect can play in the clutch as well.
Prospective Bull/Euroleague “Rising Star” Nikola Mirotic again came to the fore last night to prevent an upset of his Real Madrid at Unicaja Malaga. In Los Blancos’ 81-80 victory, Mirotic played 25 minutes to help matters with six rebounds, two blocks and 6-of-9 shooting for 12 points, none as important as his clutch shot in the final second.
Below the break, watch how Mirotic burns Jorge Garbarosa and Luka Zoric on the way to the hole to throw in a buzzer-beating runner off the glass with 0:00.5 or so remaining in the game – dagger!
While basketball lovers are getting something of a Christmas gift this season in the December 25 NBA opening day – BiE says “something of” there because this belated debut is kinda like your parents saying, “Well, we’ll just give you your birthday gift at Christmas.” When your birthday’s in October – BallinEurope would like to add to the virtual bounty under the tree with our annual Eurocentric NBA preview.
Here’s BallinEurope’s predominant working theory for at least the first two months of this season: The teams with more critical players who did a stint in Europe (or South America, for that matter) during the lockout will jump out to the best starts. And with a shortened season increasing the importance of every individual game, imagine what a, say, 17-5 could mean in the long-term – for a European equivalent of this model, how ‘bout that CSKA Moscow turbo boost?
BiE would even argue that latecomers such as Tiago Splitter and late-peakers like Serge Ibaka are surely few steps ahead of the many American ballers who did not take Continental clubs up on even the most outrageous of offers. It is with this dictum in mind that this preview and Official Fearless Predictions™ were written. Today, the Eastern Conference.
Only in Lithuania would an NBA first-round draft pick take on the spirit of Christmas himself on the basketball court – and get more fan support.
Jonas Valanciunas recently appeared in Vilnius alongside a slightly more infrequent visitor to the Lithuanian city, i.e. Santa Claus. Valanciunas and Claus appeared as part of the festivities closing out the latest term at the Kalėdų Senelio Iššūkį, a.k.a. the Sostines Basketball School.
Naturally the prospective Toronto Raptor was challenged to a game of hoops before the thrilled youngsters, though the Team Lithuania big man was forced to play under similar conditions as ol’ Saint Nick, namely with mittens on. Whatever: Valanciunas still enjoyed home-court advantage, believe BiE.