Dec 26, 2012 11:49 PM EST
RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the Euroleague's best players. In this fifth edition, RealGM ranked the elite centers from one to ten.
1. Nenad Krstic (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 14.2 points, 5.5 rebounds.
Nenad Krstic's return to Russia made CSKA Moscow a dominant power in the Euroleague last season. Krstic was barely stoppable on the offensive end, averaging an impressive 14.2 points per game. As the centerpiece of CSKA, Andrei Kirilenko gone, Krstic role is even more important as he's been very consistent so far this season. Two very successful seasons with CSKA will make Krstic the number one center in Europe on the open market in the summer.
2. Erazem Lorbek (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 13 points, 4.6 rebounds.
Erazem Lorbek's past couple of career years serves a reminder of his inconsistencies. After a rusty 2010-11 season, Lorbek demonstrated an MVP worth game during his contract year and played his way into a new three-year deal with FC Barcelona Regal. However, as Lorbek secured his future until 2015, his numbers went down along with his impact on team results.
3. Ioannis Bourousis (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Italy)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9 points, 6.4 rebounds.
You can call it bad karma or simply being unlucky, but there is something special with Ioannis Bourousis. After spending five seasons in Piraeus, Bourousis left Olympiakos right before the reds won the title. Olympiakos remains among the elite, while Bourousis continues to struggle with EA7 Emporio Armani, which stayed out of Top 16 stage. The 29-year-old center had his best season in his career and averaged 14 points and 8.3 rebounds. Still, impressive play by Bourousis wasn't enough to extend EA7 Emporio Armani's season in the Euroleague.
4. Nikola Mirotic (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds.
Despite his young age, Nikola Mirotic has been starting as Real Madrid's center for a second consecutive year. Mirotic is already able to take big shots and makes a huge contribution to Real's offense, which is the second best in the Euroleague. However, the fact that Mirotic will likely stay in Spain until 2016-17 should leave the Bulls wishing he would come to the NBA. On the other hand, the NBA fans will miss Mirotic development process, but might see him playing at his peak, at the age of 26.
5. Darjus Lavrinovic (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 4.7 points, 2.7 rebounds.
Coming back to a place where you were unstoppable is always a good idea. A dominant performance with Zalgiris Kaunas in the 2005-06 season led Darjus Lavrinovic to massive paydays in Spain, Turkey and Russia, but now Lavrinovic is back in Kaunas, where he is as productive as before. Rejoining forces with his twin brother Ksystof helped to transform Zalgiris into a winning team, capable of going all the way to the Final Four.
6. Sofoklis Schorstanitis (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.7 points, 3 rebounds.
Due to his size, Panathinaikos newcomer Sofoklis Schorstanitis has always been a very productive player, who was able to play limited minutes. No surprise, Schorstanitis leads the Euroleague in points per 28 minutes with 21 and usually gets double teamed every time he has the ball in the paint. However, fatigue and quick fouls limit Schorstanitis' playing time as he has never played more than 20 minutes per game in his seven-year Euroleague career. His playing time in the 2012-13 season is even more limited as he never started a single game and plays only 13 minutes per game.
7. David Andersen (Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Turkey)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds.
After a first successful season in Italy since coming back from the NBA, together with Simone Pianigiani, David Andersen decided to go to Istanbul. As things didn't go as well as expected, Andersen had to face bench player role in first few games, in which he finished with negative player index rating. Later, things got back to normal as Andersen received more playing time and again became a productive starting center. Nevertheless, a big rotation will prevent Andersen from posting MVP worthy numbers in every Euroleague game, but he will surely remain among the elite centers in the Euroleague.
8. Ante Tomic (FC Barcelona Regal, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds.
Moving from Real Madrid to its biggest rival definitely helped Ante Tomic get out of Nikola Mirotic's shadow and also receive more playing time. Tomic is the starting center for arguably the best Euroleague team right now, but still struggles to become a player who could put big numbers every night. Inconsistency is what keeps Tomic from being higher in this ranking.
9. Aron Baynes (Union Olimpija Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Greek league): 13.6 points, 9 rebounds.
Aron Baynes is easily the biggest success story in this Euroleague season. Seven double doubles and helping a team with one million euro budget get three wins is more than impressive and more than enough to attract attention of European biggest teams. Baynes, who led the league in rebounding (9.8 per game) this season, established himself in the Euroleague and might stay here for a long time.
10. Shelden Williams (Elan Chalon, France)
Statistics in 2011-12 (NBA): 4.6 points, 6 rebounds.
Signing Shelden Williams was a risky move for Elan Chalon, but it paid off in a big way. In his debut season, Williams averaged 11.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in 23 minutes of action and was more reminiscent of a Euroleague veteran than a former NBA player, who needed time to adjust to European game. It didn't take long for Williams to get noticed by elite Euroleague teams as the latest reports link him to Fenerbahce Ulker. The former Duke star's French adventure might end soon and we'll see what Williams is capable to do on a winning team.
Dec 06, 2012 7:17 PM EST
As the Euroleague 2012-13 regular season slowly comes to an end, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In this fourth edition, RealGM ranked the elite power forwards from one to ten.
1. Viktor Khryapa (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.2 points, 4 rebounds, 3.3 assists.
In eight season with CSKA Moscow, Viktor Khryapa has established himself as a true symbol of the club on and off the court. Being 6-foot-8, Khryapa is a very versatile big men who can play the wing and do a bit of everything. The 30-year-old Russian is also a great facilitator; making his teammates better on offense, while at the same time, can create his own offense as well. However, the defensive end of the floor is what makes Khryapa a special player and the Euroleague best defender prize he won in 2009-2010 only proves how productive Khryapa can be on both ends.
2. Georgios Printezis (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 10.6 points (60.2% 2FG), 4.1 rebounds.
Georgios Printezis' game-wining shot in the Euroelague title game sparked talks about his chances to join the NBA, but most forgot how great Pritezis had been all season long. His aggressiveness, energy and hustle were the strengths of Olympiakos, which ended up winning a championship in May. Printezis also had his career-best Euroleague game (31 performance index ranking) last season, as he scored 21 points (7/7 FG), grabbed seven rebounds and helped his team beat Fenerbahce Ulker.
3. Felipe Reyes (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.4 points, 6.3 rebounds.
Euroleague veteran Felipe Reyes, who is currently playing his eight Euroleague season with Real, is still an important piece of the team and is among the elite power forwards in the league. Reyes ranked second in the Euroleague in rebounds per 100 possessions (18.4) last season and averaged 6.3 rebounds per game in only 18 minutes. Reyes' role changed dramatically in 11-12, from a starter to bench player, but he remained a face of Real.
4. Paulius Jankunas (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 7.8 points, 5.6 rebounds.
At the age of 28, Paulius Jankunas could be already called a true Euroleague veteran as he's currently playing in his 10th season in the strongest European competition. He had many ups and downs last season - from having career-best game to two consecutive scoreless games - but this year Jankunas reminds himself. Once again, Jankunas is a captain his teammates can trust and one of the reasons of Zalgiris success this season.
5. Marcus Slaughter (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 11.8 points, 7.2 rebounds.
It didn't take much time for RealGM's 11-12 Euroleague All-Rookie 1st Team selection Marcus Slaughter to get signed by a European powerhouse such as Real Madrid. You cannot expect anything less after a superb debut season Slaughter had with Brose Baskets, where he averaged 11.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.7 steals in 26 minutes. One of the most athletically gifted Euroleague players, Slaughter has quickly adapted to Real's style of play and became a big threat coming off the bench to any opponent.
6. Mike Batiste (Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Turkey)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9.7 points, 4.6 rebounds.
Mike Batiste, three-time Euroleague champion, has been a huge part of the success of Panathinaikos Athens. In eight seasons with Panathinaikos, Batiste established himself as a dominant power in the paint, who created a strong connection with head coach Zeljko Obradovic. Things are different for Batiste in Turkey, where he represents Fenerbahce Ulker and is no more than a role player so far this season.
7. Stephane Lasme (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Liga Endesa): 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds.
Stephen Lasme is one of those players who have been migrating between Europe and the United State, but since he played for Partizan Belgrade in 08-09, it was obvious his place was in the Euroleague. Lasme joined Panathinaikos this season, where once again demonstrates how efficient he can be. Despite Lasme comes off the bench, he leads the league in block shots per 100 possessions (6.4) and is fifth in rebounds per 100 possessions (17.3). Lasme is clearly back where he belongs.
8. Kyle Hines (Olympiakos Piraeus, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 9.9 points, 4.5 rebounds.
The European version of Charles Barkley, Kyle Hines has been proving Mark Twain's quote "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" throughout his career as he established himself as a 6-foot-5 Euroleague level big men. Same as Slaughter, Hines had an amazing debut season in Brose Baskets, and then got signed by future Euroleague champions Olympiakos straightaway. In only his third Euroleague season, Hines is looking forward to repeat as a champion with still-looking-strong Olympiacos.
9. Milko Bjelica (Caja Laboral Vitoria, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds.
Caja Laboral's Milko Bjelica is one of very few players, who averaged more than 10 points and 3.5 rebounds in last three Euroleague seasons. Bjelica, who had a breakout season with Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, is also a great at the free throws as he made 84.2% shots from the line. However, same as his team Caja Laboral, the 28-year-old forward is having a rough season and all his statistical numbers went down dramatically.
10. Lior Eliyahu (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 8.5 points, 3 rebounds.
Over the past few years, Lior Eliyahu's career has slowed down. At the age of 27, Eliyahu didn't become a dominant Euroleague as expected, but he still should be named among the best power forwards in the league. Inconsistency has been a problem for Eliyahu as he can be terrific in a game or two, and then simply disappears in the next one. Nevertheless, he's still an important part of Maccabi and the hope of Israel basketball.
Oct 09, 2012 1:25 PM EDT
With the 12-13 Euroloeague season ready to go, RealGM presents the ultimate positional rankings of the league's best players. In this first edition, RealGM ranked the elite points guards from one to ten.
1. Bo McCalebb (Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Turkey)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Euroleague): 16.9 points (53% 3FG) and 2.7 assists.
After spending only three seasons in the Euroleague, Bo McCalebb, at the age of 27, became a true phenomena and the most wanted point guard in the whole league. Lucky for Fenerbahce Ulker this offseason, Simone Pianigiani and the Turkish club managed to sign the Euroleague's top scorer, who joined his former coach and teammates from Montepaschi Siena. McCalebb's offensive skills might finally bring victories to Turkey, who haven't reached the Euroleague Final four since 2001.
2. Dimitris Diamantidis (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Euroleague): 11.5 points (43% 3FG), 3.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists.
Dimitris Diamantidis, 32, who went from defensive standout to offensive weapon over the past few seasons, is a player you would like to build a Euroleague team around. A very consistent and true leader, Diamantidis has everything it takes to be a top guard in the league and his versatility makes him among the very best at any position.
3. Milos Teodosic (CSKA Moscow, Russia)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Euroleague): 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Milos Teodosic's debut in Moscow wasn't as sweet as it could had been, as CSKA dropped a last second loss against his former team of four seasons, Olympiakos, in the Euroleague final. Teodosic would be a Euroleague champion by now if he stayed in Olympiakos, but it won't the one and only opportunity for the 25-year-old playmaker. Clearly, Teodosic will have better chances than any other point guard on this list to grab the title this season with his current team CSKA.
4. Jordan Farmar (Anadolu Efes, Istanbul)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (NBA): 10.4 points and 3.3 assists.
After playing only seven games with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Farmar was back to the NBA, where he averaged career-best 10.4 points per game. Under coach David Blatt, the 25-year-old Farmar was playing like a star and MVP candidate and there are no reasons why he couldn't do that with his new team, Anadolu Efes.
5. Marcelinho Huertas (FC Regal Barcelona, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Euroleague): 8.5 points and 4.4 assists.
The 29-year-old Marcelinho Huertas is definitely at his prime right now and his stock raised even further after a successful performance in London Olympic games. Huertas draw basketball fans' attention with his playmaking skills and court vision as he finished the Olympics second in assists category (averaged six assists per game). As the Brazilian's contract with FC Regal Barcelona ends in 2015, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see Huertas going to the States and joining an NBA team.
6. Sergio Rodriguez (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Euroleague): 7.4 points (47 3FG%) and 5.4 assists.
Having a player like Sergio Rodriguez makes things a lot easier for the entire Real Madrid team. Rodriguez has never been the most athletically gifted player on court, but his quickness and passing skills - he was the second in assists category last season, 5.4 per game - makes him one of the best point guards in Europe. Moreover, the 26-year-old Rodriguez has been playing for the Spanish national team since he was 19 and that grew him as a player and made him an important weapon in clutch situations.
7. Dontaye Draper (Real Madrid, Spain)
Statistics in 2011-2012 (Eurocup): 13.8 points and 2.6 assists.
Rodriguez's teammate and Real Madrid newcomer Donatya Draper might be the best-kept secret that will make his debut in Euroleague this season. Draper, a 28-year old well-built, athletic playmaker, last season proved again with Cedevita that he can be the main offensive weapon, averaging 13.8 points per game in Eurocup. His performance in EuroBasket 2011 (Draper plays for the Croatian national team despite being from the United States) also proved his versatility, as he was a pass-first type point guard and averaged seven assists per game.
8. Omar Cook (EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Italy)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 7.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists.
Omar Cook, another American point guard on this list, is entering his fifth straight Euroleague season and most likely with the highest ambitions he ever had. The 30-year-old Cook led the league in assists last season, with 5.7 per game, and it seems he will remain among leaders in that category as Olimpia Milano added such offensive weapons like Keith Langford and Gianluca Basile to their squad.
9. Roko Ukic (Panathinaikos Athens, Greece)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Euroleague): 11.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
After Roko Ukic came back from the NBA in 2010 and joined Fenerbahce Ulker, it was believed that the Croatian could become a dominant point guard in the Euroleague and help the Turkish club to reach more than just Top 16. While Ukic has proved he's among the best, he hasn't demonstrated he has what it takes to be a game changer. A new team, new circumstances and another chance is waiting for Ukic with Panathinaikos, who will desperately need the best of him this season.
10. Zoran Planinic (Khimki Moscow region, Russia)
Statistics in 2011-12 (Eurocup): 11.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
Last season's Eurocup Finals MVP, Zoran Planinic was one of the main reasons why Khimki made a comeback to the Euroleague. As Khimki didn't bring any dominant players, Planinic's role is going to be even bigger this season as he is expected to lead Khimki in this year's competition and make his teammates better than they ever been.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Jackson, CSKA.
Sep 06, 2012
The 2012-13 Euroleague regular season will begin on October 19th and here are RealGM's preseason power rankings with CSKA, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Fenerbahce Ulker and Olympiacos comprising the top-five.
Jan 18, 2012
With 16 teams left, RealGM presents the Top Five storylines of Euroleague to keep an eye with teams like CSKA, Zalgiris, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Panathinaikos look to advance.
Dec 28, 2011
Barcelona, CSKA, Real Madrid, Panathinaikos and Montepaschi Siena headline our objective Euroleague Power Rankings.
Dec 16, 2011
A big win for Montepaschi Siena over Barcelona, Sonny Weems and Zalgiris defeat Brose Baskets, Maccabi blows out Anadolu Efes and more from Euroleague RS Week 9.
Oct 25, 2011
Even though Besikitas signed Deron Williams, the favorite remains the perennially excellent Fenerbache Ulker.
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