The FIBA EuroBasket 2022 is just around the corner and basketball fans from around the globe are already excited for some international action. With teams emerging to win the tournament’s gold medal and become the best in Europe, players are also taking the spotlight. But, this year will be different. EuroBasket 2022 will be the most stacked and most exciting tournament since its foundation and we are all going crazy about it. With NBA European superstars now representing their homelands, this tournament is shaping up to be one of the best international stages featuring NBA players in recent memory.
From MVPs, All-Stars, veterans, and fan favorites, let’s take a look at the top 10 European NBA players that will be featured in this year’s FIBA EuroBasket.
TOP 10 European NBA Stars to play in the FIBA EuroBasket 2022
10. Dennis Schroder (Germany)
Germany may not be one of the biggest teams in Europe today but they sure do have good players on their roster. One of which is the veteran NBA point guard, Dennis Schroder.
Schroder currently leads Germany in points, assists, and efficiency. He may not be the Dirk Nowitzki of today’s German team but Schroder can lead this team to advance to the next round, that is if they get past Lithuania, France, and Slovenia.
9. Evan Fournier (France)
If you remember a French national team run by Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nicolas Batum, well you should feel old right now.
One of the best players in one of the best teams in the EuroBasket right now is no other than the New York Knicks guard, Evan Fournier. As a legit scorer and shooter, Fournier is the second leading scorer for France, just 0.5 points behind Guerschon Yabusele. He, alongside Rudy Gobert, will be tasked to lead France to another gold medal in the EuroBasket and even in the Olympics.
8. Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia)
They have failed a lot on the international stage in recent years but Croatia will try to rewrite history this September through the leadership of Bojan Bogdanovic.
Croatia has a lot of NBA players on its roster. Aside from Bogdanovic, notable names are joining him like Ivica Zubac, Dario Saric, and Mario Hezonja. Add that with veteran names, they still have the chance to rise to the occasion.
7. Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnia)
The 6-foot-11 center from the Portland Trailblazers surely bounced back after suffering a terrible injury back in 2019. Jusuf Nurkic’s numbers were borderline all-star averages before he went down with an injury. Plus, he is a reliable center for Damian Lillard and the Blazers.
As of now, Nurkic leads Bosnia in almost every major category – efficiency, points, and rebounds.
6. Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)
Traditional centers are a thing of the past in the NBA, but in Europe, they are the best players every European team would desire. One name that would come to that conversation is the New Orleans Pelicans big man, Jonas Valanciunas.
A pure rebounder and scorer in the paint, Valanciunas is one of the key players for Lithuania alongside Domantas Sabonis. During the 2nd round of the qualifiers, he was putting up 14 points and 11 boards which is a great factor in the team’s success. Lithuania is grouped with France (#2) and Slovenia (#1) in Group B which will be very fun to watch.
5. Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania)
One of the top teams in Europe, Lithuania, will feature not just Jonas Valanciunas but a former NBA All-Star and son of an NBA legend, Domantas Sabonis.
In the NBA, Sabonis is an agile stretch big man who can give his team a sure 20 points and 12 rebounds a night. However, he dials down a bit in his world cup qualifiers numbers by only averaging 16 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. It may be because this team is relatively stacked and is currently ranked 5th in all of the European teams.
4. Rudy Gobert (France)
The powerhouse team of France has been always been a threat to the EuroBasket crown throughout the years. They won it in 2015, but years before that, they were either taking the silver or bronze medal.
After signing a huge contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, will be the defensive anchor of the French national team. Together with Evan Fournier, Vincent Poirier, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and many others, France could push Slovenia out of contention. However, they are in a tough group (Group B) since they are in the same group as Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Hungary, and Bosnia. Currently, France is ranked number 2 in the tournament.
3. Luka Doncic (Slovenia)
The NBA’s wonder boy, Luka Doncic, has been on the biggest stage of the EuroBasket in the past, and beating the toughest competitions isn’t new to this rising superstar.
For the first time in decades, Slovenia managed to take home the gold medal in the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 tournament after beating Serbia. Back then, the Dallas Mavericks point guard was still a 17-year-old kid but had great potential and was seen as a top draft pick for the NBA in the future. Now, Luka is already a legitimate superstar and a dominant force on the offensive end of the ball. Even though he isn’t the most athletic on the floor, nobody seems to be able to have the ability to guard him.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece)
The Greek freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, joins his brothers on the international stage to raise the flag of Greece.
Since the world cup qualifiers, Giannis has been extremely unstoppable. Scoring 40 points against Nikola Jokic and Serbia and then proceeded to dominate Belgium by putting up 26 points. Though the Greeks aren’t the favorites to win the title, the full force of the Antetokounmpo brothers (Giannis, Kostas, Thanasis) and some other notable players like Tyler Dorsey, sure have a great shot at a EuroBasket 2022 Gold medal.
1. Nikola Jokic (Serbia)
The last time Serbia won Gold in the EuroBasket was already more than 20 years ago (2001). With the reigning NBA MVP, Nikola Jokic, leading the way, Serbia is once against knocking on the door of the championship.
His battle against the former MVP and one of the best players in the NBA today – Giannis Antetokounmpo – during the qualifiers was extremely exciting to watch. However, Serbia proved to be the better team by beating Greece in overtime. In the 2nd round of the European qualifiers, Jokic averaged 27.8 points and 9 rebounds, his usual MVP numbers.
Who amongst these 10 stars will shine the most on the international stage? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.
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