With the Knicks kiddies set to strut their stuff in the Las Vegas Summer League a few days from now, let us not forget that one of the team's most exciting projects will be staying in Europe for the near future.
And where will young center Willy Hernangomez be plying his trade next season? Only with the reigning Euroleague champs, Spanish League superpower Real Madrid:
Hernangomez, who is under contract with Real through June 2017, had been on loan with Baloncesto Sevilla the past 2 seasons.— Austin Green (@LosCrossovers) July 9, 2015
If I understand European club basketball correctly, it mostly works the same way as in soccer. The biggest, richest clubs scoop up young talent, then loan them out to lesser clubs for seasoning. The ones deemed unworthy are eventually sold off, while the best of the best are assimilated into the big club once they're ready.
Hernangomez will join a Real roster littered with former NBA players: Gustavo Ayon, Andres Nocioni, Rudy Fernandez and (former Knick!) Sergio Rodriguez. He'll be playing against the best clubs from across the continent in Euroleague, instead of the second-tier Eurocup.
It will be exciting to see how Hernangomez fares against the best of the rest of the world next season. He's under contract with Real until the summer of 2017, so there's no guarantee he makes the leap to the NBA after next season. With a strong 2015-16 campaign, however, he might make the legions of Knicks so wild with prospect lust that they declare war on Spain.