From NBA players to deadly scorers: 7 exciting EuroLeague rookies to watch

2022-08-11 11:14
Credit: Irmantas Gelūnas/BNS/Brescia/AP
Credit Irmantas Gelūnas/BNS/Brescia/AP

The 2022-23 EuroLeague season will deliver plenty of new intriguing faces. Some of them with exciting stories behind their upcoming rookie campaign were discussed in the recent URBONUS podcast.

BasketNews' Donatas Urbonas, Rytis Vysniauskas, and Augustas Suliauskas shared stories of some of the most exciting EuroLeague rookies worth following.

The list includes former NBA players, deadly scorers, and historically short guys.

Semi Ojeleye (Virtus)

Rytis Vysniauskas: "Brad Stevens has an eye on these guys.

We see what happened with Guerschon Yabusele, who also was on the Celtics. 

Yabusele maybe didn't make big in the NBA, but there is a reason why Brad Stevens wanted him as he saw him as a potential power forward in the NBA. Now he's dominating the EuroLeague.

It's kind of similar to Ojeleye. I think he will be one of the best defensive players in the EuroLeague in the upcoming season.

If it's a player coming after four years with Brad Stevens, you know he will have a good character and work ethic.

I think he's going to be a very good intriguing player."

Johnathan Motley (Fenerbahce)

Rytis Vysniauskas: "It's the obvious one. It's not much to be said.

We were talking about him coming to the EuroLeague the whole EuroCup season."

Ignas Brazdeikis (Zalgiris)

Rytis Vysniauskas: "It is interesting to see what the ceiling is for this guy.

We had a sneak peek experience with him so far because we saw him not in the greatest competition with the national team.

It is going to get serious in the EuroBasket and the EuroLeague season. But you see that the potential is there.

He could be a huge game changer for Zalgiris. You see him as a guy who could go from 400k or whatever he earns in Zalgiris to almost a million euros next season if he stays in the EuroLeague."

Naz Mitrou-Long (AX Armani Exchange)

Augustas Suliauskas: "He is crazy good. An amazing scorer. He had a 38-point game in the Italian league playoffs against Sassari.

Mitrou-Long has amazing acceleration, and the first step, can change directions exceptionally well in the paint.

Good shooter off the dribble and a great all-around scorer.

After his long journey in the G League, he finally arrived in Europe only at 28. But he's already a mature and experienced player, so he should adjust to the EuroLeague very well."

Carsen Edwards (Fenerbahce)

Augustas Suliauskas: "He was G League scoring champion last year. But I think it is a gamble for Fenerbahce.

He is a great offensive player. He is a great shooter. He can easily knock down 3-pointers from 7 to 9 meters off the dribble.

But I'm not sure how he is going to fit in Europe. He wasn't really playing defense. He wasn't a creator. But if this man gets hot... You can expect 30 or 40 points.

He had a 46-point performance in the G League last year on 17 of 25 shooting.

He is so good after dribble that there can be games in the EuroLeague where he will have 20-25 points in a short time."

Markus Howard (Baskonia)

Donatas Urbonas: "Pure scorer with a very soft touch. He has the potential to be very successful in Europe because of his scoring skills.

He had consecutive 40+ points games in college, including a 51-point performance. Had a couple of 20+ points games in the NBA.

When Jamal Murray got injured, Denver was happy how Howard stepped up and helped them.

Howard might get exposed in the EuroLeague if he won't get serious and more focused on the defensive end.

But Baskonia has a history of bringing great scorers to the EuroLeague, such as Mike James, Shane Larkin, and Darius Adams, so they know what they're doing."

Parker Jackson-Cartwright (ASVEL)

Donatas Urbonas: "Some list him as a 1.80 m guard. Some others list him as 1.76 m. But if you watch his highlights, he looks even shorter.

I can't remember a shorter guy in the EuroLeague, so it will be exciting to watch how successful a player of his size can be at such a level.

Jackson-Cartwright made an incredible leap in his career.

Two years ago, he finished his season in the British basketball league. A season ago, he spent the year in the second French division. Now he's coming off a great season in Bonn.

It's going to be fun to watch him."

Watch the entire URBONUS episode where the biggest EuroLeague free agency winners and losers were discussed:

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