Turkey’s Basketbol Süper Ligi is, without a doubt, one of the best basketball leagues in Europe. In fact, some believe Basketbol Süper Ligi shares the crown with Spain’s Liga ACB among the top Euro hoops leagues.
The Turkish League has lots of notable players from the NBA world. Let’s take a look at these guys together.
Derrick Brown – Anadolu Efes
After an ordinary NBA career, Derrick Brown has been superb for the EuroLeague team Anadolu Efes as a bench player. Last season, in the forward position, Brown did an excellent job in EuroLeague and Basketbol Süper Ligi but, Efes added some solid names to its roster. As a result, Brown’s minutes and per game stats has decreased. But he is still vital for the EuroLeague side.
Zoran Dragic – Anadolu Efes
Zoran only played 16 games in the NBA, but most people know him because of his All-Star guard brother Goran. Zoran hasn’t been in Efes for a long time, but the younger dragon has done some quality things for Efes. In Turkish Cup, Zoran put on a compelling performance for Efes, who eventually won the Turkish Cup.
Toney Douglas – Anadolu Efes
Does anyone not know Toney Douglas? In my opinion, most of America does! Eight-year NBA veteran, former teammates with Curry and LeBron (and many other superstars). If you don’t know him, you should take a look at his stats and his former teams on Basketball Reference.
Efes added Douglas to their roster in past months. But in a very short period, Douglas has made some AMAZING things in the EuroLeague. He almost threw every shot right into the basket against reigning EuroLeague champs Fenerbahçe Dogus. Efes’ coach Ergin Ataman did not give him a chance, but after Zoran’s season-ending knee injury, I guess we can say we’ll start seeing Douglas on the court more.
Adonis Thomas – Banvit
Adonis only played six games in the NBA with tanking teams Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers in the 2013-2014 season. But I can say, this “10-day contract” guy has changed. Nowadays, Adonis contributes to Banvit in Basketball CL and Basketbol Süper Ligi. He maybe sneaks into one of EuroLeague teams next year.
— #BasketballCL (@BasketballCL) March 7, 2018
Andy Rautins – Banvit
Rautins is familiar to Toronto Raptors fans. Last summer, Rautins signed a camp contract with Raptors.
He is a solid shooter. Sometimes, he can have some bad moments, but most of the time he is the real deal for Banvit. He doesn’t have a future in the NBA, but who knows, maybe a couple of EuroLeague teams want a veteran shooter?
Earl Clark – Besiktas Sompo Japan
Earl Clark is a five-year NBA veteran and currently is Besiktas Sompo Japan’s leader. These three sentences sum it up for him.
After the injury process, Clark continued what he does best. Leader, scorer, rebounder, shortly, Clark has everything in him a European team wants. NBA is not so far for him, but I think, Clark’s EuroLeague career will start in next seasons.
DJ Strawberry – Besiktas Sompo Japan
Strawberry knows Turkish League. The former champ hasn’t had a good NBA career with Phoenix Suns in the 2007-2008 season, but he is a good fit for European teams. I can easily say, Strawberry is a good scorer for last Süper Lig finalists.
Semih Erden – Besiktas Sompo Japan
Veteran center Semih Erden is the first Turkish player on my list. Maybe American people know him for his Celtics days. Erden didn’t have a good NBA career, but he is too valuable for Süper Lig recent years. Anadolu Efes career, EuroLeague final four with Fenerbahçe, national team’s first option at center. He is injured now, but, again, he is a valuable player for Süper League and the national team.
Furkan Aldemir – Darüssafaka
Aldemir is a Hinkie era Sixers player. Not so far away, he played in the 2014-2015 season in the NBA. A good rebounder, but his scoring ability is not enough for NBA. He is 26, captain for David Blatt’s Darüssafaka. Sixers fans, don’t be so curious about Furkan. He still gets the boards.
JaJuan Johnson – Darüssafaka
Johnson only played 36 games in the NBA, but he got buckets in Europe. So far this season in Süper Lig, Johnson had 12 double-digit games out of 15. Former Gator Scottie Wilbekin is good for Daçka, but Johnson is a sly old fox.
Jeff Ayres – Eskisehir Basket
Jeff Ayres is the first NBA champion on my list. (2014, San Antonio Spurs)
He couldn’t get many minutes per game in the NBA, but in Eskisehir, Ayres (formerly known as Jeff Pendergraph) is doing some big things. He maybe gets a EuroCup or EuroLeague contract next season.
Viacheslav Kravtsov – Eskisehir Basket
Maybe Nuggets or Suns fans will remember this big guy. He couldn’t do good things in the NBA but in an Eskisehir jersey, Kravtsov is doing some old school center moves on defense.
Jan Vesely – Fenerbahçe Dogus
The Czech Helicopter is a potential EuroLeague MVP. If you want to know my opinion about this, Vesely is the second best player in the EuroLeague this season after the teenage sensation Luka Doncic.
After his NBA career, Vesely works with Europe’s best coach Zeljko Obradovic. He added some shooting and post moves to his game. If you couldn’t watch EuroLeague in this season, or past seasons, I can just say, Vesely’s changed everything about himself. He had some NBA offers last season, but he preferred to stay in Fenerbahçe. Next season, he can leave his home and go to the NBA.
— ?eský basketbal (@ceskybasketbal) March 9, 2018
James Nunnally – Fenerbahçe Dogus
After a scary hand injury, Nunnally is back in action for the last EuroLeague game. He didn’t have a good NBA career, but this season his game jumped to a whole different level despite a pretty serious injury. Good scorer, good defender. He is far from the NBA level, but EuroLeague level is suitable for him.
Jason Thompson – Fenerbahçe Dogus
Jason Thompson is one of the best rebounders in the NBA in last few years. But when he decided to leave the NBA, everything changed for him.
You know, in European basketball, the defense is a very crucial part of the game. But, Thompson is not a good defender for Europe’s best defensive team. But he is too good for the offense. This summer, I believe him to upgrade his defense.
Luigi Datome – Fenerbahçe Dogus
Luigi Datome is a pure scorer and a pure leader for Fenerbahce. His NBA career wasn’t that good, and his potential NBA future may be over, but he is too valuable for Europe. Last season, he didn’t play so well. But this season, with Ekpe Udoh and Bogdan Bogdanovic’s Fener career coming to an end, he’s done good things for Fener.
By the way, Fenerbahce fans really love him, because he has a special connection with fans.
DaJuan Summers – Galatasaray Odeabank
DaJuan Summers came to Turkey last season for Pinar Karsiyaka. After one good season with the Aegean club, Gala signed him.
I can say, Gala isn’t having a good season. But Summers has shown his scoring abilities in his playing time. Maybe, he will play in EuroLeague or one of the best EuroCup/Basketball CL teams soon.
Jordan Hamilton – Muratbey Usak
5-year NBA veteran Jordan Hamilton is the leader of Muratbey Usak. Scoring is an important part of his game but, he sometimes gets double-doubles with rebounds. You know double-double and triple-double stats are so hard to see in Europe. He can sneak into a EuroLeague or EuroCup side; next summer is crucial for him.