Is San Antonio Hoarding International Players?

We are just the beginning. . . more will follow.

With the prospect of a shortened/non-existent NBA season looming, let’s continue our over-analysis of Eurobasket 2011! This time I’ll be looking at all the players who participated in the Eurobasket and who have ties to the NBA.

There are several European players who play in the NBA (Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Andrei Kirilenko, Tony Parker, etc), and many more whose rights are held by NBA teams. In the following table, I have compiled statistics for every player in the Eurobasket who meets one of three conditions:

  • they are currently on an NBA roster
  • they have played an NBA game
  • their rights are held by an NBA team

Now, before we continue with the list, a little disclaimer: it is very hard for me to determine whether or not teams are still holding on to the rights of the players they have drafted. It is possible that I have made some mistakes. If anyone sees any mistakes and can point me to a source with a correction, I’d appreciate it.

On with the table! The following table is ordered by estimated wins:

There are plenty of interesting numbers to pick out – for example, the performance of certain NBA players. Those numbers are there for you to examine, but I’d actually like to analyze the players who have not played any NBA games. If we look at the totals for each NBA team, here’s what it looks like:

Team

# of Players

Estimated Wins

San Antonio

5

2.53

Utah

2

2.45

Dallas

1

1.31

Minnesota

2

1.26

Washington

1

1.21

Cleveland

1

1.04

Toronto

1

0.77

New Jersey

1

0.75

Atlanta

1

0.11

OKC

1

-0.07

Indiana

1

-0.07

Portland

2

-0.13

Philadelphia

2

-0.21

Houston

1

-0.39

San Antonio has a reputation for drafting and stashing international talent, and the numbers confirm this. Many of the players on other teams were drafted in this year’s draft, but San Antonio has players going back to the 2001 draft (if anyone is wondering, Robertas Javtokas, captain of the Lithuanian team, was selected with the 55th pick that year). Of these 22 players, the standouts include:

  • Viktor Sanikidze, Georgia
  • Ante Tomic, Croatia
  • Nick Calathes, Greece
  • Emir Preldzic, Turkey

Although we must be aware of the problems of small sample sizes, each of these four players seem like they would be good NBA players. Will these players ever make it to the NBA? Only time will tell.

- Devin

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 Devin Dignam (of NBeh? “fame”) is the Toronto Raptors writer for the Wages of Wins Network. His background with the Raptors gives him unique insight into many areas including the draft, overpaid players and overrated players.

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