New Brooklyn Net Mirza Teletovic, a Bosnian and Herzegovnian national, is currently averaging 23.6 ppg in the qualifying tournament for EuroBasket (a Europe-wide basketball tournament of nations). Most scouts that have reported on Teletovic have concluded that he may struggle to do much else besides shoot at the NBA level, which makes his supporting stats in this particular tournament even more interesting (6 rpg, 1.6 spg, .6 bpg).
Stats such as those Teletovic has assembled throughout this tournament (and throughout his career with Vitoria, a Spanish League team) suggest that he is a prototypical international player, with the ability to stretch defenses with his 6’9” frame and downtown shooting ability. While the stats from this tournament also suggest an ability to contribute on the defensive end of the floor, only time will tell if Mirza can have such an impact in the NBA.
From watching the Olympic Games and all other international tournaments where Team USA participates, it is clear that the NBA talent that fills the USA roster is by far the most athletically gifted collection of players in the world. When European big men come to the NBA, an adjustment period to the speed and above-the-rim nature of the American game is usually needed, as it was with Andrea Bargnani and a young Dirk Nowitzki. Luckily for Teletovic, the Brooklyn Nets employ a man named Reggie Evans that simply will not allow him to get pushed around. Evans is as tough as they come and is a great teammate by all accounts, and should have Teletovic’s back during this upcoming season.
Another distinct advantage Teletovic has over most foreign players making the jump to the NBA (such as Bargnani and Dirk) is his experience, as he is a 26-year-old who has been balling professionally since 2004. He’s played in the Spanish ACB League throughout his career, a league widely considered to be the second best in the world behind the NBA. Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol are two of the most recent stars to hail from the ACB League, which routinely produces players that can nail down a rotation spot in the NBA. Teletovic has been successful there for years, another trait that should positively impact his promising NBA career.