BallinEurope is previewing all 18 Euroleague Basketball teams over the next 18 days. Yesterday it was the turn of Alba Berlin. Today it’s Roger Grimau and FC Barcelona
The drama rarely stops off the court at the Palau Blaugrana. Sarunas Jasikevicius has made way for Roger Grimau to take the helm of FC Barcelona.
Euroleague record: 23-11
Regular season position: 2nd
Playoffs: Beat Zalgiris 3-0, lost Final Four semi final (Real Madrid)
ACB record: 29-5
Regular season position: 1st
Playoffs: Won finals 3-0 (Real Madrid)
Other: Lost Copa del Rey quarter final (Unicaja Malaga)
Sarunas Jasikevicius (Coach), Sergi Martinez (Girona), Juani Marcos (Girona), Mike Tobey (Crvena Zvezda), Kyle Kuric (Zenit St Petersburg), Nikola Mirotic (Olimpia Milano), Sertac Sanli (Fenerbahce), Cory Higgins (Free agent)
Who is new?
Roger Grimau (Coach), Jabari Parker (Boston Celtics, NBA), Willy Hernangomez (New Orleans Pelicans, NBA), Dario Brizuela (Unicaja Malaga), Joel Parra (Joventut Badalona).
Nikola Kalinic, Oriol Pauli, Jan Vesely, Rokas Jokubaitis, Oscar da Silva, Nicolas Laprovittola, Tomas Satoransky, Alex Abrines, James Nnaji.
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Need to know
The Czech duo of Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky are going to be important for more than just their talent. The pair bring a level of stability which this FC Barcelona roster badly needs.
This is a roster with relatively small upheaval in terms of the number of bodies by Euroleague Basketball standards. When it comes to the specific changes that have been made however, the impact could be enormous.
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What the bookies think
The sportsbooks are very high on FC Barcelona. They are available at 17/2 in basketball betting, which puts them just outside the Final Four of Euroleague Basketball for this season.
What we think
That the bookies are looking too much at star power. This kind of upheaval hasn’t really been seen with Barca since the end of the Xavi Pascual era. That led to what are famously known as the Barca banter years. There might have been ample talent but a team it was not.
This really screams of the second coming of the banter years. Some big names have come in, no doubt. The outgoing however are enormous. For Roger Grimau, in his first job of note, this is a huge ask. FC Barcelona simply being in the postseason should be considered an achievement if they get there.
The first real shocker from our picks. Willy Hernangomez is an obvious talent to bring in. It just doesn’t seem like enough to prevent Barca going full banter. The spot I have them in keeps them in the playoff hunt (everyone from 6th to 12th on my list is tightly packed) but I have them on the outside.
Pick: 11th place in the regular season