Thanks to ESPN3.com, I was able to watch the Euroleague semi-final between Barcelona and Moscow. There were plenty of potential NBA'ers on the court, and I was able to form some opinions on them...
Ricky Rubio - much has been said about this guy, mostly by people who have never seen him play. From what I was able to observe, he is an exceptional playmaker. He makes passes that you would call "dumb" if they were made by any other player - but they all work perfectly for him. And watching the play over again, you can see him set it up the whole time. He best passing comes in the low post of the dribble. He would benefit tremendously with a player that has good hands and can dive to the bucket and finish (read: Amare Stoudemire, David Lee). He seemed very hesitant to finish around the basket, giving me nightmares of Chris Duhon. I didn't see him take one jumpshot, which can be a good thing or a bad thing (knows what he can and cannot do on the bball court). However, at the end - he nailed a dagger three that all but sealed the game. On the defensive side of the ball, this kid is a plus rebounder for a PG, and D's up very well. He understand positioning and team defense, and I never saw him make a defensive mistake. Athleticism is where his game may not translate. He can easily stay in front of PGs in the Euroleague, but will that happen when he's lining up across Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Derek Rose. Speaking of Nash, much can be assumed when looking at these two as a pair. Like Rubio, Nash's athleticism was questioned early in his career. Yet, he has been able to make up for this with superior conditioning. So, Rubio will need to take many cues from Nash's determination to stay in excellent shape in order to perform in the NBA.
Sasha Kaun - This guy really surprised me, he seemed much more mobile and polished than I had remembered him in his Kansas days. He has good size, moves his feet well and has a solid touch around the basket. Perhaps someone to take a flier on as a 12th-13th man. A hack-a-Howard asset.
Fran Vasquez - Picked by Orlando around the time of signing of the Magna Carta (no, not that far back), Vasquez has remained in Europe. I have always heard about how good this guy is and how he would have an impact immediately upon entering the NBA, this guy did NOT impress me. He seemed thin and gangly, and would get punished by NBA big men. Didn't see him make a single play that suggests he's an NBA player. Save for one nifty tip-in on a ridiculous lob pass by Rubio that he practically tossed over the backboard back towards the hoop. So I'll give the props to Rubio on that one. Vasquez - quite frankly, you suck.
I thought I was going to write more, but as it turns out thats about all I got for ya. Thoughts? Anyone else watch?