10/17/2021 at 1:05 AM CEST
The NBA faces its 75th anniversary with the presence of six Spanish players with a current contract. Santi Aldama and Usman Garuba have enriched the roster of Spanish players entering through the 2021 Draft and they are not expected to have many minutes on the court. We will see what happens with the rest of Spaniards because there are situations for all tastes. Some have changed their airs like Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernángomez, while others like Serge Ibaka hope to recover from their injuries. Willy Hernangómez hopes to be able to consolidate his status as a guaranteed substitute center and not have to think about returning to Europe. Below we analyze in detail the situation of each of the Spanish NBA:
Spain’s best player at the Olympics does not have the same star role in the NBA. He was traded this summer to a rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers with Colin Sexton and Darius Garland – two suckers under 1.90m – ahead of the rotation. The El Masnou point guard will seek to earn a position without losing sight of the option of being transferred to a franchise with ring options. After a tough year last season at Minnesota, Ricky deserves to be able to aspire to a champion title.
The Spanish-Congolese is still recovering from a back operation that will prevent him from playing in the first weeks of competition. The Clippers have lost a lot of potential compared to previous seasons due to the loss of Kawhi Leonard after breaking the crossed knee and in this scenario Ibaka should stand out as soon as he can return to the court. No one doubts that he will start in a Clippers whose main challenge will be to reach the Play-Offs without his great star.
The Madrid native has been given the opportunity that many have dreamed of playing with a historic franchise like the Boston Celtics. It is likely even that he can act as a ‘4’ starter, but we do not believe that he will go above 15 points per night either. Juancho’s role will be to give energy and defense to some ‘proud greens’ very much in need of those qualities. The team is one of the eternal contenders in the Eastern Conference, but they have had bad luck with signings like those of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward or Kemba Walker.
The Pelicans center had a great season last year, surpassing seven points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes. He will try to replicate those numbers this year with a newly signed Jonas Valanciunas ahead. The Madrid player seeks to hold on to a competition where his continuity has always been on the wire after never reaching the starting status. Willy will have to work hard to improve his reputation as a bad defender to get all the opportunities he deserves.
The closest player to Pau Gasol faces his first season in the NBA wearing precisely the Memphis Grizzlies jersey. The one who was MVP of the European Youth of 2019 averaged 21.2 points and 10.1 rebounds last season with the University of Maryland Loyola being chosen at number 30 in the Draft. Everyone expects great things from a player who still lacks a bit of physical cooking, but has some spectacular fundamentals.
The former Real Madrid youth squad is leaving for the land of opportunities. That place in the NBA is called the Houston Rockets. The Texans lost James Harden and the direction of a team that last season gave minutes on the court even to the utility man. Draft No. 23, Garuba has not gotten off to a good start with the Rockets to the point where there has been talk that he will alternate appearances on the Development League team. Power forward is pure intensity and rebounding instinct for an NBA with fewer and fewer specialists in those struggles.