Most players who have been named the FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year at some point have gone on to do very good things in their careers.
There was also Jan Vesely in 2010. Exception that proves the rule, and all that.
FIBA Europe released their candidates for the 2014 award this week, and several names with ties to the NBA can be found. They can also be voted for, as the award combines fan voting with votes from an expert panel. All European players under the age of 22 are eligible for the award, regardless of where they play.
Of those nominated, Milwaukee Bucks sophomore Giannis Antetokounmpo may stand the best chance to win. The 20-year-old wing is having a breakout season, averaging 12.2 points and 5.9 rebounds, capping off a calendar year that saw him become an NBA fan favorite and develop into a capable two-way rotation player well ahead of schedule. Antetokounmpo also suited up for Greece at the FIBA World Cup.
Jusuf Nurkic of the Denver Nuggets is also a nominee. He's averaged 4.3 points and four rebounds in 12 games, one year after averaging 10.9 points and five rebounds for KK Cedevita in Croatia, enough to make him the No. 16 pick in the draft.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Dario Saric a few picks ahead of Nurkic, and he, too, is a nominee. The 20-year-old Croatian is averaging 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists for Anadolu Efes, impressed at the FIBA World Cup and was named the Euroleague MVP for the month of November.