Top Standouts of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers
The FIBA Basketball World Cup can be held in 2019 in China, and completely different areas throughout the globe have already begun collaborating in tournaments to qualify for this occasion. Teams from 4 completely different areas will participate in the FIBA World Cup: 5 groups from Africa, seven groups from the Americas, 5 groups from Asia, 12 groups from Europe, and the host nation China.
The qualifying tournaments wrapped up the first spherical of play on Monday evening, and won’t resume till February 2018. Although not quite common, there are generally gamers who use these worldwide tournaments as a way to spice up their inventory and even get to the NBA, if not put themselves on scouting radars.
Here’s a take a look at 5 of the high performers of the qualifying tournaments up to now.
1. Xavier Munford – USA
Xavier Munford went undrafted out of Rhode Island as a senior after the 2013-14 season. He elected to play in the NBA’s G-League, was drafted by the Maine Red Claws, after which traded to the then Bakersfield Jam. Following a stable rookie season with the Jam, he caught the eye of the Los Angeles Lakers, enjoying for his or her summer time league group in Las Vegas.
He returned to the Jam the following yr and was named to the G-League West All-Star group after placing up 20.5 factors per sport, four.1 rebounds, and 6.four assists. This time, he drew the consideration of the Memphis Grizzlies, who have been coping with a rash of accidents. He performed nicely in Memphis and even noticed some playoff motion. He ended up signing a multi-year cope with the Grizzlies, however they declined his choice previous to the begin of the 2016-17 season and he went again to the G-League.
This summer time, he was a member of the USA nationwide group that received the FIBA AmeriCup Championship, which led to him being included on the World Cup qualifying group. He was lower by the Milwaukee Bucks in coaching camp this yr and was enjoying with the Wisconsin Herd of the G-League. In the two qualifying video games up to now, Team USA has used a balanced offensive assault with Munford placing up a team-high 13 factors per sport on 52.6 % taking pictures from the subject and 40 % from the three-point line. Munford is a bit undersized for a taking pictures guard, and if he can develop his playmaking sport a bit extra, he may draw some NBA curiosity as soon as 10-day contract time rolls round.
2. Ding Yanyuhang – China
Ding Yanyuhang first got here into mainstream prominence this previous summer time when he performed with the Dallas Mavericks summer time league group in Las Vegas. He was no stranger to followers in China, nonetheless, as he’s been a rising star in the Chinese leagues for fairly a while. For the previous 5 years, Ding has steadily improved his sport whereas enjoying in the CBA.
This previous season, he received MVP of the Chinese Basketball Association whereas enjoying with the Shandong Golden Stars, the group he’s performed for since 2011. He put up 23.2 factors per sport, 5.2 rebounds, and a couple of.5 assists in 39 video games. He had two video games, one in again in January and the different in February, the place he scored 43 factors. To open the CBA season, again in October, Ding scored 42 factors, 20 in the fourth quarter, in a 116-114 win over the Shanxi Brave Dragons, who boast the likes of Brandon Jennings and Luis Scola.
In the qualifying match, he’s led China to a 2-Zero report whereas placing up 19.5 factors on 50 % taking pictures from the subject, 46.2 % from downtown, 5.5 rebounds, and a couple of.Zero assists. He’s a tall ahead with guard-like talents and vary out to a few, the precise kind of participant who can thrive in at the moment’s NBA. He’s already caught the eye of NBA groups after his summer time league efficiency, and it in all probability received’t be lengthy till he finds himself on an precise roster.
three. Miroslav Raduljica – Serbia
Miroslav Raduljica is a reputation that is perhaps considerably acquainted to NBA followers. He had a pair of temporary stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves from 2013-2015. Prior to that, he had a prolonged profession in Europe the place he’d been enjoying professionally since 2005. Like many abroad professionals, Raduljica began enjoying when he was a mere 17 years previous.
Before coming to the NBA, he was already a extremely embellished participant, having received the FIBA Europe U20 Championship MVP (2008), the Serbian Super League MVP (2010), and successful the Serbian League title (2012). He was seldom used, nonetheless, in the NBA. Since heading again abroad, he’s had stops in Greece, Italy, and China the place he at present performs with the Jiangsu Dragons.
He’s been the most recognizable participant for Serbia throughout the World Cup qualifiers as fellow group leaders Milos Teodosic and Nemanja Bjelica are at present in the NBA. So far, he’s led Serbia to a 2-Zero report in early play whereas placing up 21.5 factors on 50 % taking pictures, eight.Zero rebounds, and three.Zero assists. He’s a burly large man with a pleasant contact round the rim, and he can step out and knock down the mid-range jumper. He’s nonetheless comparatively younger at 29 years previous and absolutely may assist a group off the bench.
four. Markel Brown – USA
Markel Brown is one other title who must be recognizable to NBA followers. He was drafted by the Wolves in the second spherical of the 2014 draft and instantly traded to the Brooklyn Nets. During his rookie season, he performed very sparingly throughout the first half of the 2014-15 season earlier than being assigned to the G-League.
The second half of that season was a unique story. Head coach Lionel Hollins inserted Brown into the beginning lineup at taking pictures guard proper after the All-Star break. He gave the Nets a stable enhance, scoring in double figures six instances over the remaining 31 video games. His second yr in Brooklyn, he returned to his function off the bench. Since then, he’s had coaching camp stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder, and he at present performs for the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.
He’s been one of the leaders for Team USA in the World Cup qualifiers, serving to them to an early 2-Zero report. The U.S. has used a balanced offensive assault and through these video games, Brown has averaged 12.Zero factors on 52.6 % taking pictures, three.Zero rebounds, and a couple of.5 assists. Although athletic, scoring wings are a dime a dozen in the G-League, Brown does have prior NBA expertise throughout which he performed decently. He’s in the mould of a three and D wing and will earn a call-up later in the season when 10-day contracts are capable of be signed.
5. Anderson Varejao – Brazil
If none of the different gamers on this checklist up to now have been acquainted to NBA followers, Anderson Varejao absolutely have to be. Varejao spent 11 and a half seasons in Cleveland, the place he emerged as one of the greatest backup facilities in the NBA. After he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers throughout the 2015-16 season, and subsequently waived, he joined the Golden State Warriors.
He was seldom used with the Warriors, and in the restricted minutes he obtained, it seemed like his NBA profession was nearing the finish. The Warriors launched him final season in February. After successful the title, the Warriors provided him a championship ring, which he accepted. At age 35, he didn’t resurface wherever else after parting methods with Golden State, and retirement appeared a possible choice.
That was till the World Cup qualifiers rolled round this fall. Varejao has suited up for the Brazilian nationwide group since 2001, one of the longest-tenured gamers on the group. He’s powered Brazil to a 2-Zero report and has seemed like he simply might need some gasoline left in the tank. He’s averaged a double-double with 13.5 factors and 10.5 rebounds. The NBA sport may be very completely different, however groups may do rather a lot worse than Varejao as an finish of the bench veteran man. It’s probably he by no means units foot on an NBA court docket once more, however simply in case, he’s displaying everybody he’s nonetheless acquired it.
There are just a few different names to observe throughout the World Cup qualifiers. Alessandro Gentile of Italy has seemed good as the Italians are additionally undefeated at 2-Zero. Gentile was drafted by the Wolves in 2015, however his rights have been traded to the Houston Rockets. He may find yourself being a good wing off Houston’s bench. Germany additionally has a 2-Zero report, and so they have Isaiah Hartenstein who was a second-round choose of the Rockets this previous summer time. He’s put up a close to double-double with eight.5 factors and seven.5 rebounds. The guys on this checklist, although, are in all probability the ones with the greatest likelihood of ending up on an NBA roster anytime quickly.