Jan 14, 2017; Mexico City, MEXICO; San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) in action against Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) during the NBA game at the Mexico City Arena. Mandatory Credit: JosŽ MŽndez/EFE via USA TODAY Sports

Euro-center Party

Vlade Divac, Arvydas Sabonis and the Gasol brothers have paved the way for the “euro-Center”. A player of this ilk not only must be able to be a proficient scorer, they must have the ability to distribute the basketball. The NBA has benefited from its promotions to globalize the game, pulling talent from all over the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The euro-Center, like a high school player in baseball, has been seen as an asset that teams will draft at a very young age and allow to develop overseas.

A group which includes Vucevic, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Clint Capela and Jonas Valanciunas have created this second influx of European players making their mark in the NBA. Each of them has displayed the attributes of the euro-players before them while adding even more versatility and athleticism.

France’s Gobert and the Swiss Capela have become bonafide number two options for the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, respectively. Jokic and Valanciunas are double-double machines while producing havoc in the lane on defense. Vucevic has become a Brook Lopez type player, where he can be relied on as the first option for the Orlando Magic. No matter the role, the euro-Center is helping evolve the game, as was evident in the Olympic Games.