Rio Olympic Basketball: Olympians who shined that may get a shot at the NBA now
World basketball takes center stage during the Olympics every four years. It’s a reminder to see how good the rest of the world has gotten at basketball and how much other talent there is out there that isn’t in the NBA.
This year in Rio, the United States was challenged as much as ever, at least until the gold medal game. A big reason for that is the talent that made up the rosters of countries like Spain, Argentina, Serbia and Australia.
Many NBA players highlighted those teams, but also many non-NBA players, and some of which should be given a chance in the NBA next season.
The salary cap has skyrocketed this summer affording many teams more money than they’re used to having to sign free agents. Most teams have already exhausted their options in doing so, but some may still have some money left over to round out next season’s team. After two weeks of Olympic basketball, there are many players that showed out in Rio they may consider targeting.
Three Serbians, an Argentinian and Spaniard caught Peters’ eye. The five players: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia), Sergio Llul (Spain), Facu Campazzo (Argentina), Stefan Markovic (Serbia) and Nikola Kalinic (Serbia).
Writes Peters on Bogdanovic:
What really excites me about Bogdan’s NBA future is his underrated playmaking. He has some shake to his handle and flashed an arsenal of in-and-out dribbles and crossovers in one-on-one situations. In the pick and roll, he knows how to get his man on his back and be patient for the roller to get open or read where the help comes from. You need playmaking at every position in the NBA, and Bogdan excels at that. He has a quick first step and sneaky athleticism, which will help in the faster paced NBA.
What catches my eye with Llull is his aggressiveness defensively, not being afraid to get up and pressure the ball. He has some work to do off the ball, as he struggled to chase Klay Thompson around screens in their semifinal game against the USA. That has more to do with his lack of elite athleticism than anything else.
It will be interesting to see if any NBA teams make a move toward signing one of these Rio stars. We definitely saw a lot of good players in the Olympics that aren’t in the NBA, many of which could make pretty good NBA players.