Eurobasket 2013: Which NBA players are in, which are out?

Because it’s never too early to start looking ahead to Eurobasket 2013 – wait a minute, there’s only 11 weeks left until tipoff? Definitely not too early, then, to take a look at the formative rosters for the big Continental tournament.

While only a few national teams (Croatia and Lithuania among them) have released preliminary rosters at this point and a few major leagues still playing (Spain, Greece, Germany, Italy, etc.), we can at least deduce which NBA players will or won’t be playing. After all, the rosters of 93.3% of NBA teams have finished their 2012-13 season – and the Miami Heat have no Europeans!

Below is a rundown of each team and the status of their potential NBA players. A few high-profile draft choices and rights-owned guys expected to jump over soon are also peppered in, along with links to appropriate sources. If you find/hear of anything relevant to the list, please comment below.
And we’ll do this group by group…

Group A
Belgium –
no current NBA players

France – Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards) is out for ’13 but hints he’ll be back in the future.

Ten days ago, based on a L’Equipe report, website Catch-and-Shoot described Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)’ Eurobasket status as *très incertain*, and after another punishing NBA season seems unlikely.

No official word on Nicolas Batum (Portland), though the Trail Blazers reportedly be “watching Batum’s injury” this offseason. Perhaps some discouragement is forthcoming…?

France-based media outlet Figaro reported back in May that Ian Mahinmi (Indiana Pacers) and Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers) would play; this may have been speculation based on prior results, but Turiaf’s presence on Les Blues for this tournament has been on coach Collet’s mind for a while.

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Taking stock of European players in the NBA, 2012-13

Koufos one of four Euronuggets

BallinEurope will be celebrating NBA Opening Day with lots of stuff centered on the big league; firstly, BiE takes stock of Continental ballers in the ‘States.

Taking a look at this year’s roundup, we note that 53 Europeans have been named to NBA clubs’ 15-man roster, just beating the pace of the 52 listed in 2010-11. (BiE didn’t take the tally for last season because, you know, things were kinda confusing during the lockout and all…)

And quite a few teams have seriously European-tinted rosters: Five teams go into the 2012-13 NBA season with four Continental players – and of these 20 players, perhaps only Sasha Pavlovic and Evan Fournier are marginalized at the lower end of the 15-man rosters. If one includes Ty Lawson as an honorary Lithuanian (for at least one more season), the Denver Nuggets could put an all-Euro squad on the floor with Lawson heading up an admittedly odd lineup of Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov.

The team-by-team breakdown goes as follows.

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First half report cards for European players in NBA

At the halfway point of the crazy fast 2011-12 NBA season, BallinEurope flexes the university professor muscles a little bit this morning with midterm assessments of individual performance by the big league’s Continental Players. We’ll be using the European grading system, with 5 being the top score possible and 1 the lowest; the Americans may consider the numbers roughly equivalent to the A-F system of U.S. high schools.

Listed along with the player’s name and team are a few metrics employed in handing out the marks, chief among these current Player Efficiency Ratings as devised by ESPN’s John Hollinger.

Now, class. Ready for the second half…?

5. Head of the class
Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors (22.1 PER, 23.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg)

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (19.23 PER, 15.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 1.0 spg, 38.1 mpg)

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (22.32 PER, 19.4 ppg, 8.1 apg, 1.1 spg)

Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves (22.38 PER, 12.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 0.7 spg, 24.4 mpg; in February, 17.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 0.8 spg, 32.2 mpg)

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The Eurocentric 2011-12 NBA Eastern Conference preview (plus Official Fearless Predictions™)

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?

So Kevin Garnett’s complaining that the preseason is too short … guys like Deron Williams have already been in real-game situations. Manu Ginobili is well rested but not “in basketball shape?” The Danilo Gallinaris, Mehmet Okurs and even the Gasol Brothers of the basketball world are set to go. More back-to-back games than ever before in NBA history? Hey, perhaps those two-a-days European coaches are so notorious for assigning will have readied these NBAers well more than the fortnight many of their colleagues are getting.

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.

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EuroBasket power rankings, post round one edition

The 2011 FIBA EuroBasket tournament gets things started again today, after the 12 advancing teams get in a couple days’ worth of hard-earned rest. With the dust now settled, BallinEurope takes a look at how the dozen sides look going into the second round of play (numbers in parentheses represent each team’s win-loss record brought forth into Groups E and F); and yes, BiE is bracing for the inevitable barrage of criticism forthcoming from fans of Greece, Slovenia and Turkey…

1. France (2-0) – Les Bleus had their sights on nothing less than taking this thing when the tournament began and pretty much brought an all-star game to do so (luckily for them, La Republique could foot the bill for insurance on five locked out NBA players). With Tony Parker going for 23.2 points per game through five – second-high in the first round after Luol Deng, who was forced to do it all for the thin British squad – and Joakim Noah grabbing 7.8 rebounds per, these guys have proven to be the class of EuroBasket thus far, bringing a big one-game advantage into Group E.

2. Russia (2-0) – In nipping Slovenia in the final game, 65-64, Russia capped the first round of play with the fewest points allowed in the tournament so far at 64.2 points per game – albeit against perhaps the tournament’s weakest group. No matter: David Blatt’s outstanding defensive game plans combined with speedier play and some great individual performances on offense (Vitaly Fridzhon leads all players at 12-of-18 three-point shooting to fight for the unofficial tournament deadshot award with France’s Mickael Gelabale and Serbia’s Marko Keselj; Andrei Kirilenko’s putting in 16.4 ppg) make Russia one of the scariest teams remaining – particularly if they can show the clutch play as against Slovenia.

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Eurobasket 2011: A brief roundup

On the eve of Eurobasket 2011 (finally), BallinEurope’s man in the U.K., Sam Chadwick, makes his own version of BiE’s patented Fearless Predictions™ with his own brief take on the tournament contender’s chances. And if you don’t think these prognostications are indeed fearless, just scroll down to the bottom to see who he’s got taking the silver medal – not to mention who he *doesn’t* have emerging from Group B.

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Eurobasket 2011: BallinEurope podcasts, makes Official Fearless Predictions™

As BallinEurope gets ready to hit the road for Lithuania – Panevezys, specifically, where BiE’ll be covering EuroBasket Group A action – there’s just enough time for a shameless plug and Official Fearless Predictions™.

Last week, BiE guested on podcasts with the indomitable Freaknick over at the always fun and insightful Euroleague Adventures. We spent more than enough time going over each of the groups and expounded on various related (and not necessarily so related) topics related to EuroBasket 2011, so links are provided for when you want to kill a little have some time to listen in.

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Must-see EB: Ten Eurobasket round one games to watch

Just the weekend remains before European basketball (and by extension, NBA) fans get to enjoy some tremendous high-level hoops competition in the 2011 Eurobasket competition. Despite the seeming overload of underdogs – full-on 14 of the 24 teams in the tournament are ranked 34th or lower in the official FIBA rankings – the first week still contains a notable number of compelling matchups to spark the interest and make a profound effect on the next round.

BallinEurope will be attending pool play in Panevėžys, but will certainly put in an effort to track the following 10 games; for best results, BiE recommends marking the calendar for the followingsure-to-be compelling matches.

31 August: Serbia vs. Italy. BiE’s got France and Germany taking the top two spots in Group B; this game could therefore shape the race for number three (and advancement to round two) early. Team Italy will have to avoid its traditional slow start in international competition if they seek to compete against a talented-if-uncertain Serbia side; the next day sees Germany coming to the court with a team well suited to beat Italia at its own game.

31 August: Montenegro vs. Macedonia. Group D is not only loaded with regional rivals including Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and these two teams, but the third spot in the group appears totally up for grabs. This opener will surely affect all pool play in the group thereafter. Continue Reading…


Zaza Pachulia, Beşiktaş Cola Turka “couldn’t agree on terms”

Hmmm, it appears that Beşiktaş Cola Turka’s 2011-12 squad won’t quite be so dream-teamy after all; Deron Williams’ new side will apparently not open the season with Zaza Pachulia on the floor.

Pachulia wrote thusly on Twitter last night: “There was lot of talking me going to play for Beşiktaş during lockout. We couldn’t agree on the terms and I’m not going to play for them.”

BiE now wonders about the veracity and feasibility of the ever-increasing rumors regarding Beşiktaş’ offer to Kobe Bryant; some news sources are currently reporting that an August date has been set for Bryant to meet with team officials. We’ll see.

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“It is a fact”: Bits and bites on Deron Williams, Beşiktaş, NBA lockout

With BallinEurope temporarily stationed in the USA, the business-as-usual machinations of top European clubs and preparations of national teams for Eurobasket 2011 threaten to be lost in a squall of speculation about the NBA lockout – of which amazingly little progress is being seen, by the way. And so, BiE has a few bulleted thoughts, quips and links this morning (afternoon CET time) on Deron Williams and his ilk.

• If Williams in fact does suit up for Beşiktaş Cola Turka come September, won’t he be the first Team USA team member to play in Europe since the days of the (totally awesome) Dirty Dozen? Come to think of it, Trajan Langdon and the guys wouldn’t have even been in USA colors in 1998 had it not been for … a player lockout. Hmmm…

• As for Kobe Bryant joining D-Will and Zaza with Beşiktaş, American media is all over this story despite recent (assumed impermanent) sanctions against club. Coach Ergin Ataman’s quote is getting lots of play already before much of the country even awakens this morning: “It is a fact that Kobe Bryant’s managers have contacted us.”

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