Keith Allison
Photo: Keith Allison

The NBA is a truly worldwide league, with players and fans hailing from every corner of the globe. No longer confined to North America, basketball now has a vast reach and its influence can be seen in the supreme talent heading to the world’s elite basketball league, the NBA.

Now flooded with European talent, this unique band of skilled athletes makes up some of the most prized assets in the sport. So, with many great players coming from Europe, we’ve decided to look at four of the best…

Giannis Antetokounmpo

There is only one place to start and that’s with a man that not only has the potential to be Europe’s greatest ever export but also one of the NBA’s all-time greats – such is the extent of his performances and talent ceiling.

Known by many as the ‘Greek Freak’, he led his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and PER last season. The world is at his feet at just 23 years old, improving his numbers in every single category since making his professional debut, including a huge six-point increase in scoring average this campaign (28.7) and he has proved to be one of the most durable players in the league since being drafted as a 19-year-old in 2013.

Antetokounmpo is sure to be in the regular season MVP discussion come the summer and is one of the favourites with the bookmakers to be named the league’s most prized asset. The fact that the Betfair sportsbook is offering a £100 free bet via the Oddschecker website means that it’s as safe a bet as it is good value.

Rudy Gobert

Utah Jazz’s 7ft 1in French center finished the last term as the NBA’s leader in blocks per game with 2.64 and topped the table in total blocks too, with 214, almost 50 more than everyone else.

Nicknamed the ‘Stifle Tower’ thanks to his sensational blocking skills, he made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team in 2017 and still has years to develop at just 25 years old. Taking the lead after Gordon Hayward’s offseason exit to the Boston Celtics, Gobert is now Salt Lake City’s leader.

Kristaps Porzingis

This Latvian New York Knick is the main man in the Big Apple since Carmelo Anthony’s departure to the Oklahoma City Thunder and he seems to be relishing his chance to revel in the limelight.

However, Porzingis is experiencing a little dip in form recently and has a few fans questioning his ‘unicorn’ status after being branded the franchise’s savior not too long ago. Expect him to bounce back, however, and get back to the performances he was producing earlier in the season.

Nikola Jokic

One of the most talented dime-dishers in the league, the big man took many by surprise during his breakout year last season – putting up impressive numbers.

The Serbian recorded an average of 16.7 points, 9.8 boards and 4.9 assists per game on 57.8 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. Now with a real chance of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013, Jokic will look to make full use of Gary Harris and co to drag a capable team to the postseason.