Oct 1, 2019
Oct 1, 2019

EuroLeague 2019–2020 Season Preview

EuroLeague 2019–2020 Season Preview

Europe’s premier basketball competition begins soon. Who are the teams and players to watch during the 2019-20 EuroLeague season? Read on to find out.

The 2019-20 season starts on October 3. All 18 teams are finishing up their pre-season training camps and are heading into their domestic competitions, and so they should already be warmed up.

The teams in this year’s competition include the eleven long-term license guarantees: Anadolu Efes, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan, CSKA Moscow, FC Barcelona Lassa, Fenerbahce Beko, KIROLBET Baskonia, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos OPAP, Real Madrid and Zalgiris Kaunas.

Valencia qualify as the 7DAYS EuroCup Champion, ALBA Berlin are the second-placed team in the easyCredit league.

Khimki Moscow Region qualified from the VTB United League alongside ABA League Champions Crvena Zdevda. The final addition came as a surprise as Zenit St. Petersburg joined the league for the first time in their history.

With EuroLeague expanding to 18 clubs, FC Bayern Munich and LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne were added, securing a wildcard for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The third wildcard was created because Valencia took home the EuroCup trophy - and Spain’s fourth and final spot with it.

What to watch out for in the EuroLeague 2019-20

ALBA Berlin (via easyCredit BBL)

German teams in general have the strategy to surprise powerhouse teams in the Euroleague. Alba Berlin is no exception to this. They are appearing in the Euroleague for the first time since 2014-2015.

Guards: Niels Giffey, Peyton Siva, Martin Hermannsson, Kenneth Ogbe, Stefan Peno, Makai Mason, Jonas Mattisseck

Forwards: Luke Sikma, Marcus Eriksson, Rokas Giedraitis, Tyler Cavanaugh, Tim Schneider

Centers: Johannes Thiemann, Landry Nnoko

Coach: Garcia Aito Reneses

Players to watch

Tyler Cavanaugh: a fresh face from the NBA who could make a major impact this season. The Euroleague games that he plays in are bound to be thrilling, as he not only brings in impact scoring but can take the team up a level defensively with focused ball deflections.

Landry Nnoko: a big man to watch out for, he had a close to breakout season while playing in Turkey, and with his NCAA pedigree he should thrive in lineups where he can be paired up with quick playing wings and guards. He has the mid-range game to impact scoring, and defensively can be a 2-block threat per game

Anadolu Efes

Last season’s surprise EuroLeague finalists showed everyone that it is not about just the construction of the team financially but also of building team chemistry to bring Final Four success.

With most of the core intact from last season, Anadolu Efes are going to be on top of the power rankings once the first games are played at the beginning of October.

Guards: Dogus Balbay, Rodrigue Beaubois, Vasilije Micic, Bugrahan A. Tuncer, Shane Larkin, Omercan Ilyasoglu

Forwards: Krunoslav Simon, Adrien Moerman, Chris Singleton, James Anderson, Tolga Gecim, Alec Peters, Yigitcan Saybir

Centers: Bryant Dunston, Tibor Pleiss, Sertac Sanli

Coach: Ergin Ataman

Players to watch

Vasilije Micic: with him at the helm, or even distributing the ball, the team’s cohesiveness goes up an added notch. Micic will dig deep into his dime pocket and add +3 assists a game.

Chris Singleton: the most recent addition is a solid one to the Anadolu Efes roster, and can stretch the floor from the inside out and create equal balance on both ends of the floor

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan

This off-season has been one of moves for the Italian powerhouse. First of all was their decision to bring Ettore Messina back from the NBA, followed by giving him absolute control. The team from last season has been overhauled and there have been some terrific newcomers that have been around the Euroleague game for a while.

The key with Milano will be how stable they will play, and whether they will look to beat opponents at home more than anything else.

Guards: Andrea Cinciarini, Sergio Rodriguez, Riccardo Moraschini, Nemanja Nedovic, Shelvin Mack ,Amedeo DellaValle

Forwards: Christian Burns, Vladimir Micov, Michael Roll, Jeffrey Brooks, Aaron White

Centers: Xavier Rey, Paul Biligha, Arturas Gudaitis, Kaleb Tarczewski

Coach: Ettore Messina

Players to watch

Sergio Rodriguez: after years of playing with CSKA, the Spaniard has decided to move closer to the Mediterranean coast. Nacho will definitely bring much needed flair as well as those added +7 - +9 points of scoring when Coach Messina needs clutch plays.

Xavier Rey: the latest addition to the Milano team is more of a defensive element on the roster, but do not disregard him as a scoring option. He was an impact player with his former team when really needed (Benfica, Portugal) averaging +13 points and +9 Rebounds.

Crvena zvezda mts Beograd (via ABA League)

The Serbians are always the loudest in the league in terms of fans, and the team always try to come up big when home games are concerned. When analyzing the Belgrade team, they will likely end up at the bottom end of the power rankings after the first few games are played (the first five, to be exact).

Their roster construction has naturally suffered due to financial impact, yet with the players they have they always do amazing things, and can bring a show vibe to the EuroLeague. They are back in the EuroLeague after not playing last season.

Guards: Filip Covic, Charles Jenkins, Branko Lazic, Lorenzo Brown, Billy Baron

Forwards: Stratos Perperoglou, Mouhammad Faye, Derrick, Dejan Davidovac, Ognjen Dobric, Borisa Simanic

Centers: James Gist, Ognjen Kuzmic, Nikola Jovanovic, Michael Ojo

Coach: Milan Tomic

Players to watch

Billy Baron: always a name to watch out for. After a great NCAA career, his pro career each year has been a moving in the right direction.

Derrick Brown the name to watch out for in my opinion on the Serbian team. If he can improve on his stats-line and go up to +19 points, +9 Rebounds +7 Assists a game – he can literally take the whole team on his back.

CSKA Moscow

A lot has happened this off season even though Moscow did win another EuroLeague title last season. The changes in the front court as well as overall will make the former champions interesting to watch out for. Coach Itoudis is a great strategic mind, and the way he will lead his team on the side will no doubt dazzle us all.

Guards: Daniel Hackett, Janis Strelnieks, Darrun Hilliard, Ron Baker, Ivan Ukhov

Forwards: Nikita Kurbanov, Andrey Vorontsevich, Semen Antonov, Will Clyburn, Joel Bolomboy

Centers: Kyle Hines, Kostas Koufos, Johannes Voigtmann, Andrey Lopatin

Coach: Dimitris Itoudis

Players to watch

Ron Baker: almost everyone is curious to see how Ron Baker will transition to the EuroLeague level game – he has already proven that he can do a lot at the NBA level. If he can produce +15 points, +8 rebounds and +7 assists a game, the champions will likely be in a better standing in the EuroLeague than expected.

Kostas Koufos: another name that is coming in from the NBA that can do a lot and that has a solid balance based on European basketball – it’ll be worth seeing how he fares.

FC Barcelona Lassa

Coach Pesic will do all that he can to surprise the league. The addition of Mirotic & Abrines back from the NBA, plus Delaney, Davies and Higgins coming in will look at placing the Spanish team where they are supposed to be – title contenders.

Guards: Pau Ribas, Kyle Kuric, Malcolm Delaney, Kevin Pangos, Cory Higgins, Thomas Heurtel

Forwards: Rolands Smits, Adam Hanga, Victor Claver, Pierre Oriola, Brandon Davies, Alex Abrines, Nicola Mirotic (both Abrines and Mirotic coming in from the NBA are seen as the impact players that will look at getting Barca back to contending situation this season)

Centers: Ante Tomic, Aretm Pustovyi

Coach: Svetislav Pesic

Players to watch

Alex Abrines and Nicola Mirotic: both players are coming in from the NBA and are seen as the impact players that will look at getting Barça back to being strong contenders this season.

FC Bayern Munich

Bayern, like Alba Berlin, are always looking at creating a strategy that will get them to be just more than just middle of the pack. However, given so many moves other teams have made, Coach Radonijc will have a hard time trying to get away wins in particular.

Guards: Petteri Koponen, Maodo Lo, TJ Bray, Diego Flaccadori, Robin Amaize

Forwards: Alex King, Vladimir Lucic, Danilo, Josh Huestis, Nihad Djedovic, Paul Zipser

Centers: Leon Radosevic, Greg Monroe, Mathias Lessort

Coach: Dejan Radonjic

Players to watch

TJ Bray: His impact at Rasta Vechta last season is why he now is at Bayern. If his +7 assists a game and +1 steal a game stay stable, then the EuroLeague can give him a great opportunity to grow.

Danilo Barthel: a solid stretch forward that has grown each season in the German BBL. With each EuroLeague game he has played in, he has needed to find a new approach to improve his game – this season if he can look at deflecting balls inside and stealing balls in the process he’ll be a name to watch.

Fenerbahce Beko

A lot of excitement surrounds the Turkish Final Four anchor of the last two season. The addition of both De Colo and Stimac and the fact that the core of the group that won the recent EuroLeague title a few seasons ago make it a great team to watch.

Guards: Bobby Dixon, Nando De Colo, Melih Mahmutoglu, Kostas Sloukas, Leo Westermann, Egehan Arna

Forwards: Luigi Datome, Joffrey, Berkay Candan, Derrick Williams, Nikola Kalinic, Efe Tirpanci

Centers: Vladimir Stimac, Jan Vesely, Ahmad Al-Dwairi

Coach: Zeljko Obradovic

Players to watch

Nando De Colo: after a pivotal move from CSKA to Fenerbahce and an amazing run with the French Nation Team at the FIBA World Cup 2019 in China, he is going to bring much needed quality to the Turkish Team that they have been missing.

Joffrey Lauvergne: he has not been able to be a stable player so far since he got back from the NBA. Last season for Fenerbahce he was below the +15 points, +9 rebound stats-line. At the moment he is injured and will hope to be back to fitness as soon as possible so he can help the team.

Khimki Moscow

The Russians will looking to to play at their best in the EuroLeague this season. Many were hoping that Alexey Shved would make it first quarter of the league games but from his injury update things do not look good.

Guards: Egor Vyaltsev, Dairis Bertans, Viacheslav Zaytsev, Stefan Jovic, Chris Kramer, Alexey Shved

Forwards: Sergey Monia, Evgeny Valiev, Jeremy Evans, Janis Timma, Sergey Karasev, Anthony Gill

Centers: Devin Booker, Andrey Desiatnikov, Timofey Mozgov, Petr Gubanov

Coach: Rimas Kurtinaitis

Players to watch

Devin Booker: He might be the only player on the roster that can spark interest.

KIROLBET Baskonia

Baskonia this season are a mid-pack team in the league, even though as a group they have compiled solid performers. I see the issue here of being able to hold off a lot of scoring power based on speed of scoring.

The league in general this season will on average be going up in terms of offensive possessions (85 – 90 possessions). If a team like Baskonia can manage to score efficiently, then they might be able to see themselves back in the playoff just like last season.

Guards: Jayson Granger, Matt Janning, Nik Stauskas, Luca Vildoza, Pierria Henry, Shavon Shields

Forwards: Tornike Shengelia, Patricio Garino, Ajdin Penava, Filip Siewruk

Centers: Micheal Eric, Ilimane Diop, Youssoupha Fall

Coach: Velimir Perasovic

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne

The French team coming in are going to fight tooth and nail to climb up the power rankings, but given how strong the league overall is, assumptions that they will be dead last and will adjust after a few games are likely to be proven correct.

Guards: Antoine Diot, Edwin Jackson, Jordan Taylor, Rihards Lomazs, Theo Maledon, Matthew Strazel

Forwards:, Charles Kahudi, David Lighty, Livio Jean-Charles, Adreian Payne, Amine Noua, Charles Galliou

Centers: Ismael Bako, Tonye Jekiri

Coach: Zvezdan Mitrovic

Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv

The Israeli team will, like some others, be one of the league’s mid-pack teams. A major addition for them in terms of performance has been the veteran Casspi coming back from the NBA after a solid career run.

Guards: Nate Wolters, Scottie Wilbekin, John DiBartolomeo, Tyler Dorsey, Elijah Bryant

Forwards: Omri Casspi (if he can manage to rack up +15 points and go above +10 rebound, plus most importantly dish out about +7 assists a game – he’ll be the type of player that can get into all-star mode by EuroLeague standards). Quincy Acy, Angelo Caloiaro, Jake Cohen, Yovel Zoosman, Sandy Cohen_III, Deni Avdija

Centers: Othello Hunter, Tarik Black

Coach: Giannis Sfairopoulos

Players to watch

Omri Casspi: If he can manage to rack up +15 points and go above +10 rebounds and, most importantly, dish out about +7 assists a game, he’ll be the type of player that can get into all-star mode by EuroLeague standards.

Deni Avdija This young player being paired with Casspi is a match made in heaven and will no doubt be utilized a lot – worth watching

Olympiacos

Whilst Olympiacos were relegated to the Greek 2nd league, their A licence with the Euroleague keeps them at top European competition. Spanoulis the EuroLeague legend will no doubt look at figuring out a way to stay clutch in the league.

Guards: Vassilis Spanoulis, Vaggelis Tzolos, Will Cherry, Antonis Koniaris, Andreas Petropoulos, Kevin Punter, Wade Baldwin IV, Nikos Arsenopoulos, Iosif Koloveros, Alexandros Nikolaidis,Ilias Moraitis

Forwards: Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Georgios Printezis, Petros Noeas, Kostas Papanikolaou, Brandon Paul, Aleksandar Vezenkov, Thomas Zevgaras, Andreas Tsoumanis, Aleksej Pokusevski

Centers: Augustine Rubit, Nikola Milutinov, Vassilis Christidis, Ethan Happ, Panagiotis Tsamis, Dimitrios Agravanis

Coach: David Blatt

Player to watch

Ethan Happ: a recent NCAA big man if he can make a big impact in the EuroLeague this season – but will likely seek an alternate way into the NBA circle.

Panathinaikos OPAP

This could be a make-or-break season for the Greek team. They have brought in Fredette and have paired him with Calathes which has worked so far. However, can the duo keep up with the rest of the league? That remains to be seen.

Guards: Tyrese Rice, Nikos Pappas, Ioannis Athinaiou, Jimmer Fredette, Nick Calathes, Konstantinos Papadakis, Pavlos Bardas

Forwards: Wesley Johnson , Ioannis Papapetrou, DeShaun Thomas, Rion Brown, Konstantinos Mitoglou, Ben Bentil, Nikos Persidis

Centers: Ian Vougioukas, Georgios Papagiannis, Jacob Wiley

Coach: Argiris Pedoulakis

Player to watch

Wesley Johnson: long time NBA sharp shooter and athletic wing, and will be a good player to keep an eye on.

Real Madrid

The ever-steady, Real Madrid again will make the league ever so good. The arrival of Laprovittola and Jordan Mickey are great moves that will take the Spanish team to Final Four level.

Guards: Facundo Campazzo, Nicolas Laprovittola, Jaycee Carroll, Fabien Causeur, Sergio Llull

Forwards: Trey Thompkins, Anthony Randolph, Jeffery Taylor, Gabriel Deck, Rudy Fernandez

Centers: Jordan Mickey, Felipe Reyes, Walter Tavares

Coach: Pablo Laso

Player to watch

Jordan Mickey: His game play and rebounding last season with Khimki is what made him a good pick up for Real Madrid, and how he plays with the guards on the team will make him even better.

Valencia (via 7DAYS EuroCup)

Guards: Fernando San_Emeterio, Sam Van-Rossom, Joaquin Colom, Guillem Vives, Jordan Loyd, Vanja Marinkovic, Hilmar Henningsson

Forwards: Aaron Doornekamp, Brock Motum, Joan Sastre_Morro, Louis Labeyrie, Alberto Abalde, Maurice Ndour

Centers: Bojan Dubljevic, Mike Tobey

Coach: Jaume Ponsarnau

Players to watch

Brock Motum: this Australian player can be offensively dangerous if he lets loose.

Zalgiris Kaunas

The Lithuanian team never disappoints during the regular season. The impact they bring to the league has been a proven factor each season. They are the reason offensive possessions have increased during the last two season. Never count them out of contention.

Guards: Marius Grigonis, Lukas Lekavicius, Thomas Walkup, Alexander Perez_Kaufmann, Rokas Jokubaitis

Forwards: Paulius Jankunas, Arturas Milaknis, Edgaras Ulanovas, Nigel Hayes

Centers: Zach LeDay, Martinas Geben, Laurynas Birutis, Jock Landale

Coach: Sarunas Jasikevicius

Player to watch

Zach LeDay: can become so much more if Coach Saras guides him to improvement.

Zenit St. Petersburg

Zenit are joining the Euroleague for the first time after their devastating season last season. They will hope to be able to have a good season trying to just win games and cause a few surprises.

Guards: Evgeny Voronov, Anton Ponkrashov, Dmitry Khvostov, Andrew Albicy, Alex Renfroe, Austin Hollins

Forwards: Will Thomas, Tim Abromaitis, Vladislav Trushkin, Mateusz Ponitka, Andrey Zubkov, Sergey Balashov

Centers: Gustavo Ayon, Colton Iverson, Anton Pushkov

Coach: Joan Plaza

Player to watch

Will Thomas: this wing player has always been good without the ball and now with Zenit he can keep on moving and scoring when needed.

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