The American magazine ranks the top 100 NBA basketball players every year before the new season. The popular sports magazine started this year’s countdown and published the list from 51st to 100th place, where the names of two Croatian basketballers were found.
For the first time in his career, Ivica Zubac entered Sports Illustrated’s Top 100, in 99th place.
“Outside of a three-point shot, Zubac checks every box necessary for a modern big. On offense, he’s an expert offensive rebounder and a sturdy screener with soft hands as a roll man. On defense, he’s smart as a rotating big and he won’t get bullied by the game’s biggest behemoths. Zubac is perhaps the least flashy player on our Top 100 list, but don’t let that detract from his value in Los Angeles,” writes Michael Shapiro of the LA Clippers player.
A year ago, after the best season of his career, Bojan Bogdanović was close to the top 50, in 56th place, but now he is ranked as 74th this season.
In May of 2020, season-ending surgery on Bogdanovic’s right wrist knocked the veteran forward out for Utah’s bubble run, proving a major loss for the Jazz. Last season, Bogdanovic returned and further proved his worth, serving as both a reliable shooter and more-than-capable on-ball creator. Toward the end of the regular season when Donovan Mitchell went down with an ankle injury, Bogdanovic thrived, averaging 22.8 points over the regular season’s final 16 games,” writes BP.
The remaining two Croats in the NBA were not on the list. Dario Šarić will miss most, if not the entire Phoenix Suns season due to an operation, and Luka Šamanić has yet to confirm his place in the rotation of the San Antonio Spurs.
Among the players from the Sports Illustrated region, Serbian defender Bogdan Bogdanović was ranked 64th and Jusuf Nurkić, the center from BiH who plays for Portland 65th.
Luka Dončić and MVP Nikola Jokić will certainly be among the top 10, and whether SI placed them in the Top 5 and in which exact positions they see them, we will find out in a few days, reports Index.hr.
You can see the list so far HERE.
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