The first three rounds of the new regular season have been completed and the discussion around the 2018-19 Euroleague MVP is on. That comes as no surprise if we take into account the great performances that we have already seen in the opening games.
Until today, there have been 13 different winners of the prestigious Euroleague MVP award. Maccabi’s Anthony Parker was the first player to be named as Euroleague’s Most Valuable Player of the year back in 2005. As if that wasn’t enough, Parker won again the award in 2006 and became the only player until today who have got the trophy twice.
Through the years the list consists of many Euroleague legends such as, Juan Carlos Navarro, Thodoris Papaloukas, and Dimitris Diamantidis.
Sergio Rodriguez, Vassilis Spanoulis, Sergio Llull, and Nando De Colo are some of those who have the opportunity to win it for a second time in their impressive career this year.
Without further ado, DunkStories presents to you the Top 10 candidates for winning the 2018-19 Euroleague MVP award:
10. Tornike Shengelia
Just recently, Baskonia extended Toko’s contract until 2022 and showed in the most emphatic way that he is the star of the team. If we also take into consideration that this year’s Final Four will take place in Vitoria then it doesn’t take much to understand that Shengelia has an excellent opportunity of making some serious noise in 2018-19 Euroleague season.
Despite the current win record (1-2) of the Basques, Shengelia has offered some very promising performances in the opening games of the regular season. It won’t be easy but with a some help from his teammates, ‘El Tokomotive’ has good chances of becoming the 2018-19 Euroleague MVP award winner.
9. Sergio Rodriguez
Rodriguez knows well how it feels to win this award, since he has won it in the past when he was playing for Real Madrid. Nevertheless, things have changed a bit now as he is in Moscow defending the CSKA colors.
He is one of CSKA’s game pillars and everybody is expecting from him and Nando De Colo to guide the Russians back to successes after the disappointing Final Four in Belgrade. Our guess is that Sergio Rodriguez will be among the main contestants for the Euroleague MVP award regardless of De Colo’s plethoric presence in the team.
8. Mike James
Mike James is one of Euroleague’s showmen and he proved it again in Piraeus last week. Nobody can’t doubt his talent in offence and his leader spirit. If you combine that with the ambitious 2018-19 Armani Milano team, then you can be sure that James will take Euroleague by storm this year.
Can he make it to the Euroleague MVP award? Probably no, but still I like his chances. Afterall, he is a true winner and it’s sure that he will fight for it until the end!
7. Vassilis Spanoulis
A Euroleague legend is back for one more spectacular season. Spanoulis has already won the Euroleague MVP award once and he could surely do it again. There is a lot of talk around the type of basketball that Olympiacos will play this season under coach Blatt but V-Span is expected to be again the cornerstone of the Reds.
6. Scottie Wilbekin
Maccabi Tel Aviv had a shaky start in this year’s Euroleague, but Scottie Wilbekin has so far been a pleasure to watch. Despite his little experience in Euroleague, Wilbekin is the mastermind of Maccabi and a nightmare for his opponents.
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Last year he won the Eurocup Season MVP award, while playing for Darussafaka, and there are many who believe that this is the season where Wilbekin will conquer Euroleague, as well. If he manages to bring Maccabi back to the Final Four, he will be for sure one of the main candidates for the Euroleague MVP award.
5. Alexey Shved
Khimki has performed really bad in the first three rounds of the season but here is the thing: Shved was again unstoppable. He averages more than 25 points per game and almost every effort of his team runs through his hands.
His scoring instinct is lethal and if Khimki recovers Shved will be one of the favorites for the 2018-19 Euroleague MVP award. Can Khimki and coach Bartzokas help him achieve it? We’ll see!
4. Sergio Llull
After a season with lots of ups and downs, it’s great to see Sergio Llull being himself again. The captain of Real Madrid is back and has a million different ways to put the ball in the basket. The fact that he is playing in a team that has probably the biggest depth in the competition gives him a significant head start compared to most of his opponents in regard to the Euroleague MVP award.
Of course, it’s too early to say but if he remains healthy and Real Madrid gets to the Final Four (huge surprise if they don’t) I can’t see how he won’t be one of the top 3-4 candidates for becoming Euroleague’s regular season MVP.
3. Kostas Sloukas
When a coach like Obradovic gives you the opportunity to lead his team, then you are automatically seen as one of the most influential players of the entire competition. No other player of Fener has the ball in his hands more than Sloukas and we can see why. He is the one who can guide the team in the court, control the pace and bring Zeljko’s orders to life.
The fact that he can both score and pass in combination with his solid assist-turnover ratio make Kostas one of my top choices for the 2018-19 Euroleague MVP award.
2. Nick Calathes
Despite the fact that Nick Calathes hasn’t started this season very well, he averages more than 10 assists per game. I wouldn’t want to play against him once he gets to back on shape.
Almost everything in Panathinaikos is run by Calathes and I can’t see how he won’t be one of the top contenders for the MVP award if the Greens manage to have a solid season.
1. Nando De Colo
Nando De Colo sometimes plays like a robot. And yes, that’s a compliment for the superstar of CSKA Moscow. He knows when he is supposed to pass and when he should execute during a game. He has started this season very strong and given the quality of CSKA, it is almost sure that he will lead the Russians to the Final Four.
Another parameter that we should not forget is that De Colo is the leader of a team that has players such as Sergio Rodriguez, Kyle Hines and Will Clyburn. What more can you ask from him?