With @JailedFlynt selecting Zhao Yanhao with the 240th pick of #INTLHoopsDraft, the International Basketball Fantasy Draft is officially over! 20 fantasy GMs were planning, researching and picking for almost 3 weeks and with their rosters complete it’s now “judgement time”! In the very light sense of it, of course, as Moshe Barda of TeamScout and Sweet16 joined by Yuval Barak of EuroLeague Fans United sat down to comment on and rank each one of the 20 teams and I am very glad that they accepted my invitation to be the first ones who will do so.
First of all, we would like to say that we are honoured to be approached and asked to be part of this amazing project. Before we begin the ranking of all the teams that GMs built in the #INTLHoopsDraft, we would like to emphasize that a) vision was one of the main things we looked for, b) we tried to analyse lineups, matchups, etc and c) we ignored current injuries.
To BE The Best You Gotta BEAT The Best
At Number 20: @mn_nba (Isaac Bonga, Petteri Koponen, Tibor Pleiss, Austin Daye, Geurschon Yabusele, Vander Blue, Colton Iverson, Alex Caruso, Kevin Pangos, Luke Harangody, J.P. Tokoto, Karsten Tadda)
Why: No experience, neither floor general nor season combo guard to control the rhythm, some positions look slow on D and some too soft, no versatility. Bottom line: we struggled to find a vision of any sort and there are clear issues at almost every position – besides the SG one. In short term a lot of weapons are missing which means that in long term the team will have to be rebuilt rather than have small changes to adapt.
At Number 19: @Ugur77sen (Bryant Dunston, Abdel Nader, Rakim Sanders, DeAndre Kane, Dragan Milosavljevic, Bryce Cotton, Dakari Johnson, Ding Yanyuhang, Diego Flaccadori, Thomas Scrubb, Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot, Pierria Henry)
Why: First of all, this clearly is a defense-oriented team that is lacking in almost every offensive aspect and can most likely attack only in very specific ways. However, there is depth and we simply liked some of the signings for the noise they made: Ding ding ding! Penetrating another basketball market which potentially means a lot of money is a smart move that can prove vital for the expensive adaptations the team might need from the second year of the project onwards. Bottom line: still in search of balance.
At Number 18: @rafael_uehara (Nando De Colo, Brock Motum, Daniel Theis, Alpha Kaba, DJ Cooper, Jarell Eddie, Ricky Ledo, Darko Jukic, Sekou Doumbouya, Josh Cart, Luka Bozic, Dino Radoncic)
Why: Positions 2 & 3 are pretty much solid, depth is without a doubt an issue though. We loved the addition of DJ Coopper, who’s a scoring-first point guard, but it raises the question of how well will he work with De Colo? A backup for DJ would be good and the Center position is almost Missing In Action requiring some PF-reinforcement.
— Sinan Guler (@sinanguler) July 26, 2017
At Number 17: @chernykh (Alexey Shved, Nikita Kurbanov, Chris Babb, Zach August, Nick Minnerath, Sergey Karasev, Sinan Guler, Fabien Causeur, Tony Taylor, Othello Hunter, Miro Bilan, Suleiman Braimoh)
Why: The team is packed with players that do not necessarily belong to the same units and it’s unclear how chemistry will be achieved. The roster will obviously enjoy some advantages due to its depth and talent however the guard selections raise concerns about potential matchups against opponents. Deep with glimpses of talent but also problematic, in our opinion.
At Number 16: @JailyedFlynt (Luka Doncic, Raymar Morgan, Ognjen Kuzmic, Kyle Kuric, Antoine Diot, Joe Ragland, Shayne Whittington, Ryan Broekhoff, Aaron White, Kyle Fogg, Richard Hendric, …)
Why: We see a decent job with the front line as the PF and C positions are pretty strong. Although the strength there is impressive, the team lacks in terms of athleticism – with the exception of Raymar Morgan. Kyle Kuric is not known for his ability to create for himself and the fact that there’s no one at the SF position that can complement him well takes a lot from him. Kyle Fogg was a nice late-addition and, of course, the team can see the best non-PG passer of European basketball on its roster in the face of Luka Doncic.
At Number 15: @mikegrib8 (Cedi Osman, Darius Miller, Darius Adams, Melvin Ejim, Eric Moreland, Howard Sant-Roos, Rade Zagorac, Brandon Davies, Coty Clarke, Peyton Siva, Brandon Paul, Norvel Pelle)
Why: This was perhaps the most controversial discussions we had as the team is, on paper, probably worth way more than its seeding. Although there is a slasher in the team, a high-low passer is missing and although the backup SG provides great size the team is also missing a more offense-oriented big man. In general, the frontcourt needs better finishers around the rim.
Lmaoff is not 74 players better than me in europe . https://t.co/BM50a6AOFd
— edwin jackson (@edjacks) July 25, 2017
At Number 14: @Pierre_CLS (Adam Hanga, Anthony Randolph, Alberto Diaz, Edwin Jackson, Giorgi Shermandini, Luka Mitrovic, Joaquim Colo, Sasu Salin, Stephane Lasme, Vlatko Cancar, Damian Kulig, Amedeo Della Valle)
Why: The first two picks were great and created one of the best combinations on SF and PF and it helped understand the vision – with a shot in the dark we guess that the GM wants the team to run a lot. However, the set offense of the team might be a problem as the combination in the guard positions has a downside: The roster is shouting that it’s craving for a pass-first PG as most of the guards use the ball to create for themselves, making the slashers at 3 & 4 redundant.
At Number 13: @AdrienBauer (Jan Vesely, Keith Langford, Frank Elegar, Blake Schilb, Facundo Campazzo, Paulius Jankunas, Giorgos Bogris, Cedric Simmon, Adam Waczynski, Nikos Zisis, Mouhammadou Jaiteh, Shawn Dawson)
Why: The combo of Langford and Vesely has “problematic” written all over it simply for the fact that Keith creates for himself and needs the ball to make the defense bring help on him – the two can coexist but it’ll be tough. Campazzo also needs the ball to create for others which is why we LOVED the addition of the “wise child” Nikos Zisis. Some picks were good, some were interesting and some just made us wonder why. Bottom line: A solid stretch-4 is missing.
— Devin Oliver (@The_Underdog5) August 2, 2017
At Number 12: @francisadurjr (Sergio Llull, Matt Lojeski, Maxi Kleber, Keith Benson, Jimmer Fredette, Tadas Sedekerskis, Jarnell Stokes, Chris Wright, Jabari Brown, Felipe Dos Anjos, Branko Lazic, Devin Oliver)
Why: No floor general. Llull is more of a combo guard and Fredette is more of a scorer. We think that players in the frontcourt were picked to cover the lack of defense in the backcourt. Benson, Stokes and Wright are decent rim protectors and pretty mobile on offense but an old school big man that can make the defense collapse or take some pressure off and give some open looks to the the scorers is missing.
At this point we should note that the next four teams look quite even and if they participated in some tournament they could easily form an inner group with matchups going 1-1 between them.
At Number 11: @sebfromthecourt (Georgios Printezis, Kostas Sloukas, Anzejs Pasecniks, Victor Rudd, Isaac Fotu, James Bell, Moustapha Fall, Daniel HAckett, Furkan Korkmaz, Jimmy Baron, Anthony Drmic, Gabriel Deck)
Why: A full disclosure needs to open as Sebastian is a good friend of both of us – and we hope he’ll remain one after reading the next lines! However, we tried to review as professionally as we could and that’s exactly what we did with his team too. That said, we really liked the combination between experienced players and youth that the team demonstrates. Although the team is pretty balanced it feels like it’s missing a pure shooter that can make points on shooter plays and pin downs – which is probably why Jimmy Baron was selected. This is a good opportunity to say that the final potential and position for everyone would have to do with the selection of the coach.
Wth is this😂😂😂🤔🤔 https://t.co/Mp5IRAF5Ry
— drew gordon (@xtraGORDONary32) July 31, 2017
At Number 10: @IllegalScreens (Bojan Dubljevic, Tornike Shengelia, Errick McCollum, Vangelis Mantzaris, Alex Tyus, Levi Randolph, Artsiom Parakhouski, Dee Bost, Matt Janning, Lukas Lekavicius, Drew Gordon, Devondrick Walker)
Why: In general the picks were all very solid and the depth is great at all five positions. It looks like the guide was the concept of a team that should be able to play in various styles and at the same adapt to the opponent’s style. However, the problems started with the size issues at the SG position and none of the players at 3 is a by-definition-SF looking like players that would play there as solutions; and solutions are always temporary.
At Number 9: @rodhig7 (Chris Singleton, Thomas Heurtel, Earl Clark, Tyler Honeycutt, Nemanja Nedovic, Kim Tillie, K.C. Rivers, Fernando San Emeterio, Viacheslav Kravtsov, Michael Dixon, Krunoslav Simon, JaJuan Johnson)
Why: The picks demonstrate a vision for a very athletic team that can try to hide any potential weaknesses. Depth and versatility are serious in every position but that of the PG: As not all is euphoric and even if talent is there too, neither of these two guards are actual PGs and we are concerned about the lack of a backup – especially after what we saw from Thomas Heurtel last leason.
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) July 25, 2017
At Number 8: @rlawrencem (Khem Birch, Andrey Vorontsevich, Mike James, Luka Babic, Janis Strelnieks, Pierre Jackson, James Gist, Marius Grigonis, Luke Sikma, Jack Cooley, Jayson Granger, Pietro Aradori)
Why: Both the back and the front court are more than solid with a combination of IQ, experience and athleticism. However, the SF position is just not doing it as both of the SFs of this roster are more of solid backup than starting players. Lineups with three guards can be implemented but that’s not a season plan that guarantees anything.
At Number 7: @LithuaniaBasket (Brad Wanamaker, Vassilis Spanoulis, Luigi Datome, Victor Claver, Nick Calathes, Arturas Gudaitis, Royce O’Neale, Tyrese Rice, Marko Todorovic, Dzanan Musa, Gdeiminas Orelik, Felipe Reyes)
Why: The backcourt is packed with a very high level of talent giving the team a lot of options for the guard positions. The SF one looks solid as well but problems begin to hit the surface with the recruitment of the PF position as Datome and Claver will compete for the minutes there making size and athleticism obvious options for the opponents to attack. Felipe Reyes is a brawler we love but, although he can play at both the PF and C positions, speed is an issue especially when one considers that the starting C is Todorovic. So, speed, athleticism and rim protection are definitely missing.
— Kyle Hines (@SirHines) July 23, 2017
At Number 6: @AntigoniZchr (Kyle Hines, Johaness Voigtmann, Andrew Goudelock, Stefan Markovic, Will Cummings, Will Clyburn, Kevin Jones, Reggie Redding, Adrien Moerman, A.J. Slaughter, Guillem Vives, Augustine Rubit)
Why: The first seven picks were near perfect, the next two were definitely solid, however with Slaughter and Vives it looked like the team almost derailed from its path as better options existed on the market – always in our opinion. Also, a better selection at PF would have made this ranking higher.
At Number 5: @Vu1ak (Nikola Kalinic, Cory Higgins, Charles Jenkins, Derrick Brown, Gustavo Ayon, James Feldeine, Kendall Marshall, Anthony Gill, Amath M’Baye, Justin Williams, Vladimir Lucic, Branden Dawson)
Why: A really deep and skilled team with a lot of quality players that can give the team great solutions on multiple positions. There are good abilities on both ends of the court and, above all, a real old school PG who can play the PnR almost like no other (Kendall Marshall) and make the guys next look quite better. A potential weakness can be found in the backup C position but Anthony Gill can offer some relief.
this guy, an actor, is Google's first suggestion when you search those Greek words. y u drafted an actor 🤔 pic.twitter.com/0kTk8QfNbF
— Kemal Rutkay Ozcan (@krutkayozcan) July 31, 2017
At Number 4: @savasbdl (Nicolo Melli, Kostas Papanikolaou, Aaron Jackson, Nikola Milutinov, Marko Guduric, Ante Tomic, Jordan Theodore, Mateusz Ponitka, Scottie Wilbekin, Ilimane Diop, Nemanja Dangubic, Vassilis Charalampopoulos)
Why: Another full disclosure is needed here as Savas is another friend of Moshe – even if he left the bar before Moshe arrived on the “lads night out” after the gala of the EL Final 4 in Istanbul. With that being said, this team’s IQ is tremendous. Every pick looks like it was well thought off and we have to give it to the GM for the last three picks that moved his team up in the rankings. The main weakness, perhaps, is the absence of an old school kind of big guy – such as Karnowski, and a solid backup shooter.
At Number 3: @KLChouinard (Bogdan Bogdanovic, Aleksandar Vezenkov, Shane Larkin, Frank Ntilikina, Mike Scott, Bobby Dixon, Pero Antic, Laurynas Birutis, Hamed Haddadi, Alberto Abalde, Dairis Bertans, Rolands Smits)
Why: Pure talent in every position of the roster which is balanced between veteran players and young talents. A better player on the SF position would have brought the team on a higher place. Just like the two top seeds this team has a clear vision with a good potential on both ends of court.
Do que se trata esse Draft Gabriel?
— Reginaldo Santos (@resants73) July 29, 2017
At Number 2: @GabrielAndPaula (Ekpe Udoh, Janis Timma, Quincy Miller, Leo Westermann, Jaycee Carroll, Jonah Bolden, Stefan Jovic, MarShon Brooks, Jonas Maciulis, Augusto Lima, Yi Jianlian, Vitaly Fridzon)
Why: Starting with a two real old school and unique point guards, combined with athletic, versatile and great perimeter defenders like Udoh, Miller, Jianlian and Timma and solid veterans who can play on both sides of the court like Caroll, Maciulis and Fridzon this team might had been been first in our rankings with a better center (like Young?) and a more solid SG/SF reinforcement.
At Number 1: @bie_basketball (Milos Teodosic, Ante Zizic, Jeffery Taylor, James Nunnally, Trey Thompkins, Jared Sullinger, Maodo Lo, Miroslav Raduljica, Jon Diebler, Marko Simonovic, Jason Thompson, John DiBartolomeo)
Why: Last disclosure of the day – Emmet is Sweet16’s co-host and a close friend of Moshe. However, he simply nailed it on the head with every pick on his team being made according to a clear vision and, above all, serving a balance. The team looks like it was built by a seasoned GM: it has versatility, it has depth, it has a floor general and all the potential lineups definitely make it the one to beat!