FIBA players to watch in the Future
Konstantinos Panas numbers five players that caught his interest during the U20 European Championship.
The future is about to shine and as the years go by many European talents are making their way to the NBA. But how many players have the abilities not only take a spot in an NBA team but play a crucial role in Euroleague teams?
Martynas Echodas (1997, 2.06, Lithuania)
The center out of Lithuania surely made an impact in the tournament. He has a solid frame with room to grow, and his length is already at the top level. He has amazing footwork that helps him at the low block, and he progressed as a finisher as well. His well built upper body helps him finishing under pressure. He is a bruiser though; he lives for fighting and the contact with his opponent. Players like Miroslav Raduljica and especially Esteban Batista defines the word bruiser very well. He is also a great rebounder and could become a expert rim protector due to his length and explosiveness around the rim.
Vanja Marinkovic(1997, 1.98, Serbia)
The beast out of Serbia has become the leader of his national team in this tournament. His playing time with Partizan helped him grow his game to another level, and already Real Madrid is interested in acquiring him. Marinkovic reminds of Bogdan Bogdanovic less skilled, but a lot athletic. His feel for scoring is incredible. His frame is already solid and with a lot of room to grow. He improved quite a lot as a shooter during this year, and that’s why he raised his numbers. The game against Italy it’s one game to become remember out of him. He needs to become a consistent threat out of the pick-n-roll if he wants to advance his games a lot more.
Vasilis Charalampopoulos(1997, 2.04, Greece)
He has been the leader of the youth national teams of his country. Charalampopoulos redeemed his incredible performances to a multi-year contract with powerhouse Panathinaikos, and their owner believes so much in him. He is a combo forward with an incredible understanding of the game and high IQ who camouflage his lack of athleticism. His length is at its best, and for sure he is a great rebounder overall. Excellent leaping ability. He is a great defender and improved his footwork so he can defend the perimeter exceptionally well due to his length. He is a two way forward on the offensive end since he can both score and create from the low post and hit the threes. Although his ball handling isn’t something to rely on he is still running the pick-n-roll and is one of the best passers for Greece.
Tamir Blatt(1997, 1.85, Israel)
From all the players in this tournament, I haven’t seen such a great passer overall and not only this year. Blatt is an amazing player and definitely will consider him as a future NBA or Euroleague prospect. Even though the size is his biggest problem listed almost at 6’2’’ he managed to become a fantastic shooter. Though he is more of a perimeter threat, he can still go all the way due to his speed. He is very, very skilled through the pick-n-roll situations. He can either drive to the basket or shoot for three or a pull-up. He is gifted, and he knows exactly when to pass or shoot. He is a terrific defender on the ball, but certainly, his size won’t let him bother taller opponents.
Santiago Yusta(1997, 2.00, Spain)
Yusta officially belongs to Real Madrid is a next gen small forward out of Spain. Completely athletic for the measurements of the NBA he kinds of reminds me a young Victor Claver of Rudy Fernandez. Able to hit the threes consistently and also able to run the floor pretty well. His footwork is already at an exceptional level, and the fact he can defend several spots on the floor makes him a unique weapon to my eyes. Has a Substantial frame, very long and able to protect the paint quite well.
Simon Birgander (1997, 2.11, Sweden)
Surely he didn’t have much of a competition for his spot, although he showed he can become a great player in the future. The 7 footer out of Sweden was by far the best rebounder in this league. Solid leaper; exculisive hands and great feel for his blue collar skillset. Though his offensive game is limited that’s normal though we are talking about a 7 footer and these players are progressing their game until the age of 22 where their bodies find the harmony and balance. He doesn’t contain quick feet; but he is able to finish around the rim and also protect it very well due to his descent lateral quickness and size. He can become a solid Euroleague player in my eyes though is only 19!
Ellie Frank Okobo(1997, 1.88, France)
Even though this tournament wasn’t the best for him, every scout knows that the French point guard can play a crucial role in the future for Euroleague or even NBA. Has an ideal size for a point guard; right now working mostly as a facilitator in the French LNB. A southpaw with a nice tough still progressing. Can pass pretty well and has great passing instincts through pick-n-roll or drive and dish situations. His physical tools are already in a great shape. His frame though isn’t quite well and doesn’t have room to grow that much. He might struggle against taller opponents even though he is very athletic and skilled on the defensive end. His terrific wingspan (almost 6’8’’ it’s something to look at.
Omer Yurtseven(1998, 2.13, Turkey)
The seven footer out of Turkey left Fenerbahce last year to follow his path to the College basketball playing for NC State. Before we talked about Birgander who is raw on the offensive end though is a big man. Yurtseven though is already a great lost post threat with amazing footwork; agility; and exceptional moves around the rim. Has great touch and can finish with both hands. He is a solid rebounder and is very hard to match up on the low block. I love the fact he is that agile at that height.