5 Best FIBA World Cup players that need to get a shot in the NBA
The FIBA World Cup has entered its final stage with the knockout games taking place this week en route to the Gold medal game on Sunday, September 10.
During the tournament, we have seen some impressive performances by NBA players, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada), Dennis Schroder (Germany) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia).
At the same time, though, there are a few players who have impressed in the FIBA World Cup and are not NBA stars.
With that in mind, we take a look at five players who deserve a shot in the NBA based on how they played in the FIBA World Cup.
#5 - Rokas Jokubaitis (Lithuania)
Apart from Jonas Valanciunas, Rokas was the best player in Lithuania en route to a Top-8 finish in the FIBA World Cup.
The star guard of Barcelona orchestrated his team's offense and was among the main reasons for the Lithuanians' unbeaten record until the quarter-final loss to Serbia (68-87).
He is averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.2 assists in the tournament, shooting an impressive 62.5 percent from beyond the arc. Jokubaitis has already attracted interest from NBA teams (drafted in the second round by the OKC Thunder with the No.34 pick in 2021) and we should expect him to move to the US in the coming years.
#4 - Yago Dos Santos (Brazil)
Yago Dos Santos did his best to help Brazil finish in the Top-8 of the FIBA World Cup. But, the Brazilians came up short in the must-win game vs. Latvia (84-104) and got eliminated before the quarter-finals, finishing 13th and clinching a spot in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer.
For his part, Yago Dos Santos played excellent offensively with his ability to run the floor and create for his teammates, averaging 14.8 ppg, 7.2 apg and 4.0 rpg for a PIR of 18.8, while shooting 45.2 percent from three.
He is set to make his debut in the EuroLeague with Crvena Zvezda, but if he plays as well as he did in the FIBA World Cup, he should attract interest from the NBA soon.
#3 - Arturs Zagars (Latvia)
Arturs Zagars has shined in Latvia's run in the FIBA World Cup, leading his team to the Top-8 in its maiden appearance in the competition.
With averages of 14.2 ppg and 6.0 apg, on 44.8 percent from three, Zagars led the way for the Latvians, despite Kristaps Porzingis' absence. One of the best players of the tournament, he could move to the NBA soon if he continues to play that way.
#2 - Andres Feliz (Dominican Republic)
The second-best player of the Dominican Republic, behind Karl-Anthony Towns, Andres Feliz brought the Dominicans a game away from the Top-8.
He played very well on both ends and backed up the superstar big man of the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 16.0 points, 4.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds for a PIR of 22.0 and shooting 65.2% from three.
Feliz showed his ability to play at an elite level and attracting interest from the NBA wouldn't come as a surprise.
#1 - Nikola Milutinov (Serbia)
One of the best big men of the FIBA World Cup, Nikola Milutinov led Serbia to the Top-4 of the FIBA World Cup, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic.
An elite center with the ability to dominate inside the paint and create for his teammates, Milutinov is averaging 13.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg and 2.0 apg, on 67.4 from the field, and has covered for the absence of reigning NBA champion Nikola Jokic.
The 28-year-old big player, who is now with Olympiacos in the EuroLeague, would fit well with many NBA teams looking for an elite big man.