Things are looking pretty bleak for the upcoming NBA season and the talk about players heading overseas to play during the lockout is becoming all the rage in the offseason. Stars are the real show-stealers, with Deron Williams signing an agreement, Amar’e Stoudemire saying he might be interested, Kevin Durant wanting to keep his game fresh, speculation Kobe may go back to where he grew up and of course many others.
While they could choose to rest instead by riding out the storm, they want to play and continue working on their games. To be honest, they don’t really need to though, given their success in the league.
On the flip side, there are a number of players in the league currently who, while they don’t necessarily need to play overseas, could very well benefit from doing so. The game over there is a little more orchestrated, hard-nosed and skill-oriented from what you see in the freer-flowing, star-powered and athletically driven NBA game.
This would give the proposed players of this list a good training ground to help forge some skills and overall play in preparation of the league’s return. Former Stanford star Casey Jacobsen wrote a nice summary of how the NBA play differs from the European style and I think it's an excellent reference point for people who haven’t gotten a good opportunity to see the international game much.
There are number of NCAA players who show promise and skill on a team's roster, but just haven’t reached it or had the opportunity to show their skills yet. With the break from the NBA apparent, these are players who could benefit from the European structure and style to work on their games and benefit from the break. Obviously this is a very open-ended article and there are couple teams who could send a few guys, but these are the players who I could see being the biggest beneficiaries of a potential Euro-exchange.
The guidelines to make the list were:
- Must still be relatively young (26 years or younger)
- No bona fide NBA stars
- No incoming rookies
- No international players (meaning no prior participation in U.S. high school or NCAA play)
That said, SwishScout.com presents “One Player From Each Team Who Could Benefit Playing Overseas.”