Sea2003 wrote:Aleksej Pokusevski might be the most overrated euro player I've seen in a while. For one, his level of competition is abysmal. When you consider he's level of competition, he's highlights aren't very interesting. He won't be able to do much of what he does in a more athletic league like the NCAA. His stats aren't very impressive considering the fact that he played about 22 mins against a bunch of scrubs. He also really was not very impressive at U18 FIBA. With Poku, You're basically betting on a small percent chance that he can translate his shot as well as his ball-handling.
If your evaluating him on talent alone, he doesn't sniff the top 15 taking into account his level of competition. While it's easy for me to see how much value he brings with his shooting and mobility it's hard for me to overlook his issues with finishing at the rim, defending( mostly on the perimeter).
I think he'd be perfect on teams like New Orleans, San Antonio, OKC, etc. Teams that can afford to mess on him as well as play him the necessary minutes for his development.
Greek 2nd division is clearly much higher level competition than you think it is. Of course it's lower than the first division in Greece, and that is much lower than EuroLeague. But you can't talk about NCAA being better than Greek 2nd division.
In years past, G-League selection teams (like all star selections) used to go play Greek 2nd division teams in the preseason, and most of the times the G-League teams lost. One summer the G-League selection team went 0-3 against teams from Greece's 2nd division.
If we talk about NCAA, quite a few mid major and mid minor teams have played against 3rd and 4th division Greek teams. Not 2nd division, but 3rd and 4th division teams. And plenty of times those mid major NCAA teams lost to teams from Greece's 3rd division. I remember a game some years back where a mid minor college team actually lost to a 4th division Greek team. I don't remember the names of the teams, but just what leagues (NCAA DI and Greek 4th).
I mean sure, some elite college team like Kentucky or Duke might very well beat an average or good team from Greece's 2nd division. But no way is the overall average level NCAA DI as good as the Greek 2nd division level. In Greece's 2nd division there are numerous players that were very good, or even dominant in FIBA youth competitions, there are guys that have played many years and been good players in first divisions in Europe, like in good leagues like Greece, Italy, Spain.....
There are also plenty of players in Greek 2nd division that have played in European-wide leagues like EuroCup and even EuroLeague. And it certainly is not a semi-professional competition. The best players in Greece's 2nd league make around $220,000 to $350,000 a year. So it's most definitely not semi-professional. It's a professional men's league.
Granted, it's miles from something like EuroLeague level, but the NCAA shouldn't even be used as a comparison. The best teams in Greece's 2nd league are clearly better than an average DI college team. Let's put it this way for clarification, there are plenty of former NCAA division 1 players that have played in Greek 2nd division that were below average players, were scrubs, or that even got cut for poor play.
Obviously, looking at what a guy is doing in Greece's second league is way different from looking at a guy that is playing regularly in EuroLeague, like say Luka Doncic was. But, you can't swing that the other way around all the way to if he played against NCAA level competition, he would not be as good. The average NCAA player wouldn't make the rotation of a Greek second league team. The vast majority (98%) of NCAA players never even play at a pro level anywhere.
It's certainly a valid and good point to make about him not playing at EuroLeague level, and not playing even in a first division European national league. But on the other hand, we can't start comparing to college hoops, or even implying that college ball is better than a fully pro men's league in Europe, in a country that has a highly developed basketball system. Even if it is a second league, because the second tier leagues in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece are serious leagues. Those country's second level leagues are better than some of the first tier national leagues in Europe.
In Greece's 2nd league, there are lots of players that could easily play in the first league, but they choose the second league because they can actually make more money that way, as a team will pay them more, in trying to be promoted to the higher league. So the 2nd division teams will pay higher contracts than a first division team would to such players, to help them get that league promotion. It's not like NBA to G-League. It's not a system where all the players are in a second league because they are not good enough for a higher level league. That's not how it works. You actually have guys that would be good players in the first division, choosing to play in the second division, for more money.
From time to time, you will get former NBA players in those second level leagues of Spain, Greece, Italy, and France. And most importantly, most of the players are grown men, not boys (NCAA).