17 Euroleague players' rights owned by NBA

At the start of the NBA and Euroleague seasons in 2007-08, 17 Euroleague players have their rights owned by NBA teams …

Axa FC Barcelona: Fran Vazquez (Orlando Magic)

CSKA Moscow: David Andersen (Atlanta Hawks)

Efes Pilsen: Cenk Akyol (Atlanta Hawks)

Lottomatica Roma: Erazem Lorbek (Indiana Pacers), Christian Drejer (New Jersey Nets), Roko Leni Ukic (Toronto Raptors)

Maccabi Elite: Lior Eliyahu (Houston Rockets), Yotam Halperin (Seattle SuperSonics)

Olympiacos: Renaldas Seibutis (Dallas Mavericks), Sofoklis Schortsanitis (L.A. Clippers), Loukas Mavrokefalides (Minnesota Timberwolves), Georgios Printezis (Toronto Raptors)

Panathinaikos: Sani Becirovic (Denver Nuggets), Milos Vujanic (Phoenix Suns)

Real Madrid: Axel Hervelle (Denver Nuggets)

Tau Ceramica: Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs)

Zalgiris Kaunas: Eureljus Zukauskas (Milwaukee Bucks)


A half-dozen emerging Euroleague stars coming to an NBA team near you soon … (with analysis from a leading European scout)

NICOLAS BATUM (Le Mans, France)

6-foot-8 -- Forward -- France
Extremely athletic, a game changer who can take it to the basket but also pull up and shoot the 3-pointer. He didn't play in the World Championships at all, he had a really bad tournament and his stock slid. Now, I think he realizes he's got to play harder and, so far in Euroleague, his stock is back up.

NIKOLA PEKOVIC (Partizan Igokea, Serbia)

6-foot-10 -- Center -- Montenegro
It's early in the Euroleague season but he has probably been the most dominant big man, he's really had some great games. He tore up FC Barcelona when Partizan Igokea upset them. He's big, strong, can bang and also has a good touch and can finish.

GASPER VIDMAR (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

6-foot-10 -- Center -- Slovenia
A very interesting prospect, for a young guy. He's almost 6-11, can run the floor and is agile. He's fundamentally very sound and there is a lot of bounce to his game. He can make things happen and people are going to be pleasantly surprised with his game.

SEMIH ERDEN (Fenerbahce Ulker, Turkey)

6-foot-10 -- Center -- Turkey
The same size as Vidmar, the same team. No question about his athletic ability but I do question his desire and work ethic. He has a tendency to disappear in games but physically he has all the tools. Against Barcelona, he drove in from the left side, made a spin move, picked it up without putting it back on the floor, went in, cocked his left hand and dunked with his right. It was a big-time "SportsCenter" move. Jerry West saw him in practice with the Nike Hoop Summit team and thought he was amazing. By the end of the week, Erden had managed to change Jerry's mind!

DANILO GALLINARI (Armani Jeans Milan, Italy)

6-foot-7 -- Forward -- Italy
He has had some nagging injuries but is back playing now. He can handle the ball extremely well and does a lot of other things very well. I don't know if he has one skill that jumps out at you but he's a pretty good all-around player, very fundamentally sound.

OMRI CASSPI(Maccabi Elite, Israel)

6-foot-9 -- Forward -- Israel
He has a lot of potential, a tough, hard-nosed kid. There are not that many guys who play harder or are tougher than him anywhere in the world. He has a funny outside shot, his elbow "flies." He needs to work on his outside shot. If he can get that down, he will be a serious future pick.