By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been almost a week of countdown and we are now at the Top50 of the best Euroleague players. Those athletes are in many cases the cornerstones of their teams and their game can make or break a season. In order to see our previous picks you can click here: 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51.
You can read once more the – subjective – criteria which lead our choice and explain the thinking behind our ranking.
1. Player’s value: The overall appraisal of each player on the court. His playing skills, his leadership ability, his quality as a unit not depending on the team he is currently playing.
2. Playing role: The importance of each player for his team, not only in the past but also in projection for the upcoming season. It’s an important aspect of our rankings, because that’s how players who are leaders in lesser teams are entering the top100 and quality players in loaded roster are being left out.
3. Team value: It’s the third most important criterion. Specially in Europe the team matters, because of the financial and quality differences, you can predict very accurately in most cases how far they can go in the season and their potential in the league.
4. Individual potential: That has to do only with the possible ceiling of each player. How much they can evolve and get near the top, depending their current state, their talent and their age.
5. The numbers: Each player’s stats, not only from past seasons, but also his possible performance in the upcoming season. As you can understand, it’s a part speculative criterion and that’s why it’s our last priority, because the way the game is played in Europe, this is something very related to the quality of each team and the role each player has .
He is a Real Madrid icon, the oldest and more experienced player of the team. And despite being a member of a crowded front line, Reyes always finds the way to be decisive in crucial games. He can defend, be rough and above everything else get the offensive rebound.
#49 Thomes Heurtel 1989 1m.89 G Laboral Kutxa
His performance in the national team and in Euroleague was quite the opposite. In the recent FIBA World Cup he had some big games, but in Laboral Kutxa a mediocre season, specially when the team needed him the most. Still he is a quality player, a really skilled guard with a great shot off the dribble. What he needs now is consistency.
He returns as a 29 years old player for his season season in Euroleague, after a great year in Valencia. He is a great scorer, really unstoppable if he gets his rhythm. He is part of the European basketball elite, but now he will have a different role in Barcelona. That’s why we expect some ups and downs at least at the start of the season.
Compared to last season he has much more confidence and also a bigger role in the rotation under coach Itoudis. Playing alongside Teodosic and De Colo, he will be the key to the balance of CSKA. Of course his calling card once again will be his quickness and his on the ball pressure in a team that needs chemistry and attention to details in order to finally win the Euroleague.
#46 Tomas Satoransky 1991 2m.01 G Barcelona
This is quite an interesting case. A really long guard, who can do everything good and can still develop his game into a much higher level. He is a player to watch this season and the question is how his presence will affect one of the most demanding teams in the league, as he can even be the starting point guard.
#45 Νikos Zisis 1983 1m.94 G Unics Kazan
He returns to Euroleague after two seasons, having played 200 Euroleague games in his career so far. He is a guard who always plays for the team. He has experience, quality, a great knowledge of the fundamentals and he can be the distributor in a talented roster with many scorers. His numbers will not be flashy, but his presence on the court will be the key, like it was in every team he played so far with the exception of his seasons in CSKA Moscow.
Ηaving been a part of three championship teams, he is one of the most quality forwards in the league. He is a very good shooter, a reliable scorer and he can also be a threat in the post. Last season he proved that he can be effective in offense even as a power forward.
#43 Bostjan Nachbar 1980 2m.06 F Barcelona
He finished last season averaging 9.5 points and 3 rebounds, he didn’t make a difference in the final four, but he was great in Liga Endesa’s finals. This year he will share the power forward position with Doellman. He is more than experienced and the question is if he kept some big shots for this season’s Euroleague.
#42 Curtis Jerrells 1987 1m.85 G Unics Kazan
Ηe had a solid season in EA7 Milano, proving that he can be an important asset in top level teams. We will see him again playing alongside Keith Langford, he has the vote of confidence of his coach and he can make one more big step in his career.
During his rookie season in the league he was impressive, averaging 11.1 points, 4 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He will have an even bigger role this season and his confidence is sky high after being a target this summer of both Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow.
For our picks in spots 40-31 you can click here.