The Olympics naturally drew plenty of attention this summer, but there's another international competition going on that includes NBA players, as well as pros from overseas whose draft rights are held by NBA teams. AJ Mitnick of SheridanHoops.com looks at the Eurobasket qualification tournament and ranks the top 25 players at the event. Marcin Gortat of the Suns is No. 1, but Mitnick shares some notable observations about others on the list. Here are a few:
- Cavs small forward Omri Casspi, entering the final year of his rookie deal, is the No. 3 player on the list, and Mitnick writes that he appears more comfortable with his body after struggling to adjust to the weight he added after his rookie year.
- The buyout for Bojan Bogdanovic, who checks in at No. 7, becomes more palatable next summer, meaning the Nets, who hold his rights, could bring him aboard then. If they do, they'll be getting a gifted perimeter scorer who could be equivalent to a lottery pick, opines Mitnick.
- Like Bogdanovic, Lior Eliyahu's buyout will be easier for the Wolves to handle next summer, too, but while he's No. 10 on the list, Mitnick says he has some defensive flaws, and sees him only as an effective bench player in the NBA.
- Milan Macvan, the 54th pick in 2011, could make the Cavs' roster right now, says Mitnick, who adds that he's been one of Europe's most improved big men over the past year. Ranked No. 12 on the list, he nonetheless lacks the mobility to play power forward and the length to play center.
- Mitnick thinks Tornike Shengelia, picked No. 54 this June and No. 14 on this list, could be a steal for the Nets, especially considering the NBA game suits his style more than European play.
- Vyacheslav Kravtsov, at No. 20, is raw, lacks a feel for the game and severely limited shooting range, but his length and timing as a shot blocker could help him contribute down the road for the Pistons, Mitnick says.