By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
We are near the top and in the third best ten of players we have a mix of athletes who have been decisive in recent seasons for their teams and also of young starts from which the expectations are sky-high. For our previous picks you can click here: 100-91. 90-81. 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31.
Once more those are our well known by now five criteria (which we admit that in some cases are favoring younger players).
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 returns to Europe after three seasons in the States. A large body for his position, great athletic ability and one of the few players that he can really do everything on the court. His team failed last season because of its bad defense, which deprived them from having a transition game and gaining possessions. That’s where he can be crucial.
Ηe comes from two great seasons. He had a tone of energy and a great influence to the defensive game of his team, not only as a rim protector, but also in cases of switching in screens. That’s probably why Ivkovic got him. His offense may be an issue, without a creator like Diamantidis playing alongside him.
#28 Ricky Hickman 1985 1m.89 G Fenerbahce/ Ulker
His status changed to star during the last two seasons. He proved in Maccabi that he can combined his all around game with good numbers in the top level. He is a guard with quickness, high basketball IQ and well above average in most aspects of the game. Time is all that he needs in order to thrive in Istanbul.
Since he signed with Panathinaikos, he is a totally different player than the one we were used to. He is more than valuable, specially this season with Lasme gone, and he is expected to play also a lot as a center. He is a lock down defender who can guard every position, he is a great athlete and he has shown great improvement in his outside shot.
Shawn James’ injury was a blessing in disguise for him and Maccabi. He got minutes, a role in the rotation and the season ended with him being one of the keys for winning the Euroleague. He is pick and roll player, great at finishing it at offense, master into blocking it as a defender. He can still evolve his game, starting with his free throws.
He is still a big name player, has an important career and the chance to start fresh at Milan. His quality in offense can’t be doubt. The big question for him will be consistency and being there when his team needs him in the big games of the season, as a part of coach Banchi’s system.
He has played just four Euroleague games as a member of KK Zagreb. Still, he is already the favorite to win the rising star award and also the player who is the most likely to finish the season averaging a double double. Despite being just 20 years old, he is a top level player, an all around prospect and a natural basketball genius.
He had his first “full” season last year, a lot of talent and even bigger margin for improvement. The captain of Milan is a gifted offensive player. He needs to be better in teamwork, evolve his creating ability and be consistent in defense.
He still is one of a kind player. He is the one who change the trend in Europe as an undersized center by winning two championship titles and beating along the way every other big man. If CSKA manages to get the title this season, Kyle is expected to play a big part on that, having a role in the team in which he will be comfortable.
#21 Tibor Pleiss 1989 2m.18 C Barcelona
He is one more big time prospect who is expected to end up some time in the future in the NBA. It will be more than interesting to see him playing in the same team with Tomic. He is a very skilled player for his size, a great finisher, a reliable post player and a good free throws shooter. He needs to get even more mature and strong.
Here are our picks for the 20-11 spots.