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…
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.
The previously-linked L’Equipe story also puts forth Johan Petro (Atlanta Hawks) as a possibility, but no confirmation on him yet.
Why no preliminary roster from the French Federation yet? Perhaps because Collet’s LNB season with IG Strasbourg just finished last week or maybe because a couple of key guys named Tony Parker and Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs) are otherwise preoccupied – though Nando de Colo is apparently ready to go in Eurobasket after sadly not appearing on the Spurs’ active roster for the Heat series.
Germany – Nothing official on Tim Ohlbrecht (Houston Rockets) for Eurobasket 2013 yet, but FIBA assumes he’ll be there.
Great Britain – Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls) is “most likely” not playing, stating in February that “I would like to have a summer off, especially the one coming up. Last year I wanted to do the Olympics and I showed how much I wanted to do it.
Joel Freeland (Portland Trail Blazers) told his team’s management in his exit interview that he “expects” to play for Team Britain this summer.
Israel – Omri Casspi (Cleveland Cavaliers), the first Israeli ever to be drafted into the NBA , will make his first appearance with the national team.
Ukraine – No word on Ukraine’s sole NBA player, Slava Kravtsov (Detroit Pistons).
Bosnia & Herzegovina – Mirza Teletovic (Brooklyn Nets) is in.
Latvia – No word on the status of Andris Biedriņš (Golden State Warriors), but he did pass on the opportunity to play for Team Latvia in last year’s Eurobasket 2013 qualifiers.
Lithuania – One of the first sides to turn in an expanded roster, right now BiE’s assuming those named to the squad – Linas Kleiza (Toronto Raptors), Jonas Valaciunas (Toronto Raptors) and Donatas Motiejunas (Houston Rockets) are in.
FYR Macedonia – no NBA players.
Montenegro – Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic) “plans to play.”
As of February, Nikola Pekovic (Minnesota Timberwolves) told Montenegro-based media, “I hope to play at Eurobasket, but it’s going to depend on a lot of factors. First of all, I have to care of my situation in America,” i.e. his current free-agent status.
Serbia – Preliminary roster includes no current NBA players.
Croatia – No current NBA players, but the wave is building. To wit:
While Bojan Bogdanovic isn’t yet a full-on member of the Brooklyn Nets, BiE considers his NBA debut in 2013-14 a foregone conclusion after this report; in any case, Bojan is in for Eurobasket.
And included on the preliminary roster are youngsters Mario Hezonja and Dario Saric, currently penciled in as NBA first-round draftees in 2013 and ’14, respectively…
Czech Republic – After a, how shall we say, disappointing sophomore effort in the NBA, Jan Vesely (Washington Wizards) is “immensely looking forward to playing for the [Czech] national team, it’s a long time since I played [for my country]. It’s going to be a nice change for me.”
Georgia – Zaza Pachulia (Atlanta Hawks) is expected to miss the tournament thanks to an Achilles tendon injury; surgery and rehab will reportedly keep Pachulia out of action until October and thus “he will not be captaining Georgia at their second successive EuroBasket unless he returns ahead of schedule.”
Slovenia – The host nation team’s coach Božidar Maljković received confirmation of participation with Slovenia from Goran Dragic (Phoenix Suns) and Beno Udrih (Milwaukee Bucks) in February.
Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder) has listed himself as “doubtful”, thereby casting much speculation as to whether Nikola Mirotic (rights owned by the Chicago Bulls) might finally get a shot.
Jose Calderon (Detroit Pistons) “hopes to play”.
Finland – No Finns are currently in the NBA, but prospective pro Erik Murphy of the University of Florida Gators is “expected to make his debut appearance with the senior national team of his mother’s native country.”
Greece – Citing the need for more training, Kostas Koufos (Denver Nuggets) will not play.
Italy – A mixed bag for the Italian big three: Andrea Bargnani (Toronto Raptors) is in and he’s “eager”; Marco Belinelli (Chicago Bulls) hasn’t confirmed; and Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets) won’t play due to his ACL injury.
Russia – Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves) is expected to play – and by FIBA, to “lead the new-look Russia.”
Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets) is also in.
Thanks to a Yahoo Sports report, 19-year-old Sergey Karasev is now thought to have received a promise from an unnamed team in which Karasev “is likely to be selected in the Nos. 14 to 24 range of the first round” of the upcoming NBA Draft. Anyway, Karasev is reportedly in for Eurobasket as well.
Turkey – Local media has figured that Omer Asik (Houston Rockets) and Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando Magic) will be named to the team, but no confirmation has come from either player.
We know that Enes Kanter (Utah Jazz) is out, as sources reported he’ll be unable to even properly train until August.