Kemba Walker, who joined Monaco in the summer, has not been consistently good so far, but he is definitely a valuable player. Source: Alfonso Cannavacciuolo/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Kemba Walker, who joined Monaco in the summer, has not been consistently good so far, but he is definitely a valuable player. Source: Alfonso Cannavacciuolo/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

From the NBA to the EuroLeague – how are they doing?

Basketball OlyBet 29.12.2023

Last summer, several players from the world’s strongest basketball league – NBA – moved to the EuroLeague. If some of them have established themselves well in the Old World, there are also those whose performances have not met expectations.

Kemba Walker

Participating in the NBA All-Star meeting for four consecutive seasons, once among the best offensive players in the league and a man who played himself to legend status of the Charlotte Hornets, Walker is one of the NBA stars with the brightest resume who has ever come to earn his keep in Europe.

It was immediately clear, though, that in the EuroLeague, not much should be expected from Walker, who had lost his brilliance due to various injuries: the state of his knees was and still is under question. At least the American is happy and enjoys playing basketball in the Old World.

Walker, who earns his keep in Monaco, has not been on the field in every game, and at best he has served just over 17 minutes in one match. But from time to time the point guard has shown what abilities are bubbling inside him.

To be fair, Walker has only had one very good game – the round 15 match against Panathinaikos Athens. There, Walker scored 13 points, three rebounds and two assists in a little less than 15 minutes and had a Performance Index Rating (PIR) of 21.

Walker vs Panathinaikos:

2023/24 stats: 4.2 points, 1.2 rebounds and assists.

Serge Ibaka

The NBA champion and former two-time block king joined Bayern Munich because he was invited there by an old acquaintance, the head coach Pablo Laso, whom Ibaka trusts and respects. The 34-year-old center is probably the best player to jump straight from the NBA into the EuroLeague this season, as the Spanish national has emerged to be a dominant figure.

Ibaka may not be as quick on his feet as he used to be, but his defensive instincts are still top-notch and many centers have little to put up against him regarding defense. At the same time, he is also dangerous from behind the three-point line.

Ibaka has missed some rounds, but his play has impressed. Now that Bayern is finally at full strength, I guess we’ll finally get to see what this team is capable of.

Examples of Ibaka’s style:

2023/24 stats: 12.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 59% from two-pointers, 44% from three-pointers.

Willy Hernangomez

The most valuable player of last year’s European Championship is from Madrid, the capital of Spain, and was brought up by Real Madrid, but in the summer he joined hands with their arch-rival Barcelona, where he shares center minutes with Jan Vesely, who is in excellent form.

Hernangomez has certainly been good in the EuroLeague, although at times one would like to see a smarter game from him. He has (a little bit of) problems with turnovers, and he’s basically just an offensive player, because there’s not much to do with him in defense. Fortunately, Barcelona has Vesely for that.

However, Hernangomez is top-notch in his role, and he has made several very good performances in the EuroLeague. At the same time, he also has room for improvement.

Hernangomez shines against Fenerbahce in Istanbul:

2023/24 stats: 16 minutes and 54 seconds, 11.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 turnovers.

P.J. Dozier

The 27-year-old American was brought to the NBA as a direct replacement for the departed quarterback Dante Exum of the Dallas Mavericks, and he might be familiar to Estonian basketball fans as well, because Dozier played at the University of South Carolina with Maik-Kalev Kotsar.

Similarly, to Partizan Belgrade, Dozier started the season slowly and erratically. However, something clicked in the tenth round, and the 198 cm tall versatile defender has become one of the leaders of the Serbian giant.

Due to its good dimensions, Dozier is a weapon both in defense and in taking rebounds. He can score, and while he’s not a particularly good long-range shooter, Partizan’s coaches include a guy like Aleksandar Matović, who, for example, took Exum’s three-point shooting to a new level as the season progressed.

Dozier, who often acts as a point guard, has no problem finding teammates, and watching the games, it seems that successful performances in the EuroLeague have come from slowing down the game for him. For example, Dozier does not rush under the basket or take a long-range shot when the defender breaks out from the screen, but the American tries to execute pick-and-roll play again. The smart play has been good for both his stats and Partizan, as, after four wins from the first 10 games, the Belgrade club have picked up five wins in a row.

Dozier shining against Žalgiris Kaunas:

2023/24 stats: 10 points, 3.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 turnovers, 63.8% from two-pointers.

Frank Kaminsky

He also belongs to the group of guys whose season has been marred by injury, but overall, Kaminsky has not been as good as hoped. He is purely an offensive player because he is poor in defense.

However, he can be effective when threatening the opponents’ basket, although there haven’t been many of those games this season. Certainly, the highlight is 24 points against Istanbul’s Anadolu Efes, but against that club, basically, all the forces under the basket at any level manage a good performance.

Kaminsky has given no reason to believe that he is a baller who could become one of the top centers of the EuroLeague anytime soon. However, he is suitable as a backup!

Kaminsky shining against Fenerbahce:

2023/24 stats: 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 mistakes, 1.8 assists, 64.9% from two-pointers.

Juancho Hernangomez

Ugh… He is, without a doubt, one of those whose paycheck and performances on the pitch bear no comparison. Hernangomez pockets a little more than two million euros per season, but if you exclude the opening game of the season against Olympiacos – 13 points and 10 rebounds from the Spaniard – Willy’s younger brother has been poor overall. No, terrible even!

Yes, he too has had to miss several weeks due to injury, but before that, he remained at zero in two of the four games. In the two of the rest, he scored one and three points …

Hernangomez’s life has been made much more difficult by Konstantinos Mitoglu’s powerful return to the top basketball. The Greek is taking minutes from the European champion, and largely because of him, the former NBA man has been reduced to a bench boy.

It is also true that Hernangomez is not a player who should be a stats-king. But how can you forgive the fact that a man of more than two million has hit 28.6% of two-pointers? You can’t!

2023/24 stats: 4 points and rebounds, 1.5 turnovers.

Jabari Parker

The second pick of the 2014 NBA young player selection i.e. draft, did not kick open the door of the dream league, but always made a step up in the first three seasons. His NBA career culminated in the 2016/17 season when he averaged 20.1 points for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Although he scored double-digit points in the NBA in a few subsequent seasons, he is one of those men whose great careers have been marred by knee injuries. But like Walker, Parker isn’t complaining at all about being in Europe.

He joined hands with the top club Barcelona and has been doing rather well when looking at the season as a whole. Nothing special, but he certainly hasn’t gone under the bar either. His biggest problem seems to be a lack of stability, but in a club with a deep squad, that is not the easiest task. Especially if you are playing your first season in Europe.

Parker shining against Crvena Zvezda Belgrade:

2023/24 stats: 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Sterling Brown

The American, who joined Berlin ALBA, one of the weakest teams in the EuroLeague, needed time to adapt. After the first two rounds, his PIR was in the red, but then the 28-year-old American had five good games in a row, scoring at least 15 points in each.

Yes, Brown’s momentum has waned, but injury has also put its stamp on it. However, the defender, who returned to the field in the 14th round, is certainly good enough to jump above ALBA even in the next season.

It is certainly important for Brown that head coach Israel Gonzalez trusts him, and the Yankee has only one match in the EuroLeague where he got less than 20 minutes of playing time.

Brown shining against Milan:

2023/24 stats: 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals.

Marko Simonović

While Walker has 782 NBA games under his belt, the Montenegrin and former Henri Drell teammate only has 16. He had a promising start to the season with 14 points in 18 minutes in the opener against ASVEL Villeurbanne, but has since either seen very few minutes or been plagued by health issues. So, we haven’t gotten a full picture of Simonović yet.

Perhaps he made the wrong decision in joining Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. It’s not that the Serbian giant is a bad club to be in to get acquainted with the EuroLeague, but there are simply so many men of a similar type in Zvezda’s under-the-basket department that Simonović’s small number of minutes is somewhat unavoidable. Especially in a situation where Luka Mitrović is having the best season of his life.

In hindsight, Simonović could have joined, for example, a team like ALBA, where there is no obligation to win, but to develop. It would have been the perfect first stop for him in the EuroLeague.

2023/24 stats: 3.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 58.8% from two-pointers.


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