The Slovenian southpaw, Goran Dragic, aka “The Dragon,” divides time between point guard and shooting guard in the NBA. One of the top European basketball players in the new millennium, Dragic made his debut in 2008 with the Phoenix Suns in 2008. He’s surpassed the 20-ppg plateau twice (2016-17, Heat; 2013-14, Suns) and had a career average of 13-plus ppg going into 2018. Goran Dragic retired from the Slovenian National Team after the historical win at EuroBasket 2017.
Pau’s other brother and a fixture on the Spain national team for a long time, Marc Gasol is one of the top all-around centers in the NBA. Big Marc, a three-time All-Star, has spent his whole NBA career with the Memphis Grizzlies. Marc, one of Europe’s chief basketball players, scored a career-high 19.5 ppg in the 2016-17 campaign. He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.
A two-time FIBA Europe Player of the Year (2012, 2007) and four-time Russian player of the year. Kirilenko (“AK-47”) was a keeper for the Utah Jazz for 10 years (2001-2011) with later stints with the Nets and Timberwolves. Kirilenko led the NBA with 3.3 blocks in 2004-05, a cue that he’s one of the most vital basketball players from Europe.
Turkoglu was in the NBA from 2000-15, assisting the Orlando Magic to reach the Finals in 2009. He was the 2007-08 NBA Most Improved Player award recipient, averaging a career-best 20 ppg.
Rik Smits was the #2 overall pick out of Marist College in the 1988 NBA Draft. Indiana picked the 224-cm Smits right after Kansas star Danny Manning’s name was called by the Clippers. From 1988 to 2000, Smits was in charge of the middle for the Pacers. He posted a 15 ppg average in his career and assisted in pushing the Pacers into the 2000 Finals.