April 2, 2011
Sani Becirovic (46th pick, 2003)
- When Becirovic was drafted, much of the talk was about his knees. Becirovic had been an early entry candidate in 2000, then promptly averaged 21 points and 4 assists in the 2000/01 Euroleague system, an established star before his 20th birthday. His stock was cooking. Then came the knee trouble; Becirovic missed the whole 2002/03 season, and pretty much missed the whole 2003/04 season as well. Denver drafted him in the offseason between the two, taking a flyer on a guy with more resume than the majority of those picked ahead of him, knowing full well of the knee history but hoping it wouldn't be too big of a hinderance.
Becirovic's knees have actually held up rather well, considering. He has missed some time over the years with them - including, notably, the Eurobasket 2009 tournament - yet he has sustained a high level of play over the years. That said, still aged only 29, Becirovic's prime may have come and gone. He remains a talented offensive combo guard, and has been playing a good standard of basketball, averaging 13.6 points and 2.5 assists per game in the TBL for Turk Telekom before a late season move to CSKA Moscow. But relative to his peak years, that's a backwards step.
As recently as two years ago, Sani was one of the Euroleague's highest scorers, recording 14.8ppg for Lottomatica Roma. Now, though, he's only in the EuroChallenge, and in need of a second wind.
Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%. Not now.
January 6, 2010
- Sani Becirovic
Becirovic is Bavcic's teammate at Ljubljana. Like Bavcic, Becirovic is also a former NBA draftee, being picked 46th overall by the Nuggets back in 2003. And like Bavcic, Becirovic won't play in the NBA. But unlike Bavcic, it's not because he can't. Despite a slightly worrisome injury history, Becirovic has been a good player for over a decade, and still is. He is averaging 12.9 points and 3.9 assists per game in the Adriatic league, and almost exactly the same (12.9/3.3) in the Euroleague. As it happens, though, there's a player from Ljubljana whose play is blowing both of those two out of the water. We'll come to him later.