Luka Doncic, arguably the most decorated European prospect of all time, has long left Europe for good. That leaves European fans with a tiny group of talented teenagers on the Euroleague level. However, there are still more than a few experienced and rather young guys who can produce legitimate numbers on any given night.
Vasilije Micic – 24, Anadolu Efes, Turkey
The Serbian guard found himself in a weird spot this past offseason. The Sixers are loaded with talent at guard positions and there wasn’t any clear sign that Micic could jump the ship in the near future. On the other hand, he has all the right cards to play after a tremendous run with Zalgiris. Kevin Pangos is no longer in the way and Micic can really thrive with Anadolu Efes, the Turkish club with limited star power. And what’s even more impressive, he’s winning the battle for playing time with Shane Larkin so far. 9 points and 4.2 assists per game is a nice line for EuroLeague but his 69.2 percent three-point shooting is what really stands out.
Anzejs Pasecniks – 22, Gran Canaria, Spain
Micic can and most likely will be good but the Latvian big man can bring more value to a Sixers team that is notorious in monitoring their overseas assets. This might be the breakout year for Pasecniks. His Gran Canaria team has slim playoff chances at best but it’s a very balanced squad with no player currently averaging more than 23 minutes per game. It’s an ideal sandbox for the Latvian. He’s already producing 9 points per game but even more importantly he’s willing to engage on the defensive end of the floor. Sixers fans might want to check this guy out.
Kevin Pangos – 25, Barcelona, Spain
And here comes another creator of Zalgiris’ miracle on our list. Pangos could have easily tried his luck on the NBA market thanks to his heroics in Lithuania but decided to settle down in Barcelona. He had an amazingly slow start this season for a player of his magnitude. His shooting numbers are nightmarish so far with 33 percent shooting from the field and 23 percent from beyond the arc yet you can still bet your house that the Canadian will get out of his slump. He will also probably be one of the candidates to make Team Canada’s final roster in 2019. There’s much more at stake than Barcelona’s potential playoff comeback for him.
Nigel Williams-Goss – 24, Olympiacos, Greece
There is no official “Rookie of the year” award in Europe but Nigel Williams-Goss has all the bragging rights anyway. The former Gonzaga Bulldog steamrolled through Adriatic Basketball League and was one the few bright spots for Partizan in the Eurocup last season. A promotion to the highest European level was just a matter of time. Olympiacos made the first call and got themselves one of the most talented young point guards on the continent. So far, so good for fans in Piraeus. NWG starts alongside legendary Vassilis Spanoulis and they cooperate pretty smoothly generating almost 10 assists per game. Nigel’s shooting splits (45/35/75) will definitely improve as the season progresses.
Jordan Mickey – 24, Khimki, Russia
Thomas Robinson collected solid stats in his first (and maybe last) European campaign and it will be hard to topple his numbers for Mickey. However, Jordan will definitely bring more consistency to the team that is run by Alexey Shved. The former Boston Celtics and Miami Heat big man won’t crash boards like crazy and his 26-point outburst against Milano was definitely an abnormality. But with Khimki’s modern small frontcourt, Mickey will have no choice but to produce on both ends of the floor. He’s currently averaging 11.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Arturas Gudaitis – 25, Milano, Italy
Italian powerhouse Olimpia Milano is loaded with frontcourt talent and the Lithuanian big is their driving force. Gudaitis is only 25 years old but it’s already his 4th Euroleague season and the 2nd with Olimpia Milano. While it is probably fair to say that he’s peaked at this level, Arturas is still putting up respectable numbers. He’s averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game so far. Gudaitis is one of the best defensive centers too, so it’s not only Mike James’ magic keeping the Italian club at the top of the league.
Nikola Milutinov – 23, Olympiacos, Greece
How hard is it to average a double-double in the Euroleague? You can ask Boban Marjanovic, the only guy who did in the modern era. And he barely did it averaging 16.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the 2014-15 season for Crvena Zvezda. There is no way Nikola Milutinov will surpass these numbers but the Serbian big is enjoying a good start to the season. The San Antonio Spurs draftee is averaging 11.2 points and 8 rebounds per game. Yes, his draft rights indeed belong to the Spurs and we all know how they treat international players in San Antonio.
Vincent Poirier – 25, Baskonia, Spain
Luca Vildoza is Baskonia’s hottest young player and Tornike Shengelia is their relentless leader. But it would have been hard to ignore Vincent Poirier’s output and consistency. His highlights are impressive and his willingness to dunk literally every ball is second to none. But he’s also one of the most reliable finishers at the rim in Euroleague. Poirier is the best rebounder of his team (7.2 per game) and the second best scorer with 12 points per game. His field-goal percentage (61.5) is the 9th best in the league.
Scottie Wilbekin – 25, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel
The former Florida Gator is no stranger to the biggest European stage. He made his successful Euroleague debut a few years ago with Darussafaka. Scottie won the Eurocup title with the same club claiming MVP honors in the process last season. But his stock is still going up now with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. After five weeks, the former SEC player of the year trails only Alexey Shved, Mike James and Jan Vesely in the scoring race with 16 points per game. The only problem is Maccabi has a dull 1-4 record to start the season.