The 2013 edition of FIBA Eurobasket generated a lot of buzz, not the least of which was France winning the gold for the first time. However, scouts flocked to Slovenia to check out those who could make an impact in the NBA in the near and not-so-near future. Here are the top NBA prospects that were spotted in Eurobasket 2013.
Mantas Kalnietis celebrates after leading the Lithuanian national basketball team to the championship game of FIBA Eurobasket 2013.
Bogdanovic was supposed to enter the NBA in 2013, but the Brooklyn Nets and Fenerbahce Ulker were not able to come to terms on a buyout. The 6'8" swingman was forced to stay on in his mother team where he averaged 15.5 points per game and 40.5 per cent from the three-point area. Bogdanovic's arsenal was in full display in Eurobasket 2013 where he led Croatia to an appearance in the bronze-medal game.
Widely considered the breakout player of FIBA Eurobasket 2013, Gentile was certainly Italy's best offensive player, averaging 14.2 points a game. Even though Italy failed to make the semifinals, fans of the Azzuri were treated to an explosive display of offensive prowess courtesy of Gentila. He is currently under contract with Emporio Armani Milano until 2015, but at just 20 years old, he has all the time in the world to grow into his own.
The 26-year-old Tomic is considered one of the brighter spots of Croatian basketball. Averaging 16.8 points for FC Barcelona Regal in the Euroleague, he was also known as an explosive scorer in Eurobasket 2013, sinking 26 points en route to eliminating former champions Greece. The 2008 Utah Jazz draftee has paid his dues in the Euroleague long enough; its about time he made the leap across the pond.
At 27 years old, the Lithuanian starting point guard still has a lot of basketball left in him. Kalnieties had 19 points in the gold-medal match against France, backing up Linas Kleiza whose hands suddenly turned cold after halftime. While he is contractually tied up to Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar until 2015, the athletic 6'5" guard might just consider crossing the Atlantic and to try his luck in the NBA.
The Atlanta Hawks might want to take notice of their 2009 second-round pick Sergiy Gladyr who broke defenses down at Eurobasket 2013. At just 23 years old, Gladyr has already spent time in the Hawks's Summer League team and is a veteran of the Spanish league. Gladyr was a vital part of the Ukraine rotation that sent the country to the FIBA World Cup for the first time in history.
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