NBA basketball | The survival of Aldama and Garuba in the NBA

September 27, 2023 at 12:36 p.m


Until Ricky Rubio’s decision and the return of Hernangomez and Ibaka to Europe, the two central defenders remain the only Spaniards in the league

The number is well below the 10 Spanish players present in the 2016-2017 season.

Next October 25th a new season of N.B.A. The best basketball league in the world is back at the start to offer one of the best sports spectacles and to delight the fans who, among other things, are waiting for the Denver Nuggets from Nikola Jokic They are capable of building a dynasty after reaching the ring in the previous Finals.

The confirmation of the Serbian center as one of the best players in the competition reflects a reality that is no longer a coincidence and has been experienced in recent seasons: The best European players are starting to surpass the best American players. Giannis Antetokounmpo became the second European to be voted the best player of the season after being recognized by Dirk Nowitzki in 2007, when he won the ring with the Dallas Mavericks.

The last 5 NBA MVPs are not Americans

The Greek was “MVP” in 2019 and 2020, and then Jokic took the baton in 2021 and 2022. America was unable to recapture the award in 2023 because the Cameroonian Joel Embiid He was named last year’s best player. There were five seasons in which the “national product” did not receive the award, and more Luka Doncic He’s looking forward to a season that could be crucial to his future in the league.

The “worrying” situation of the Spaniards in the NBA

The emergence of European talent stands in contrast to this situation of Spanish players in the NBA, whose presence is minimal. The reigning European champions have based their success on the collective rather than the individual and the current situation is a far cry from what they experienced during the season 2016-2017, Course in which there was a record by national players: the brothers Gasol and Hernangómez, José Calderón, Serge Ibaka, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, Sergio Rodríguez and Álex Abrines They formed two quintets, of which there are no survivors, and are waiting to see what the point guard of Masnou, who has not been on the slopes since August 5 last year, decides Take care of your mental health and for the time being without a return date.

Aldama and the period of its consolidation

Thus, Spain will have for the 2023-2024 season two representatives in the NBA, although the situation between them is completely different. The first is a Santi Aldama Who will play his third season? Memphis Grizzlies, which must serve consolidation in the league. After a first year in which he barely played 32 games and just over 11 minutes per game, the 22-year-old Canarian power forward’s performance was more complicated than expected. Aldama was selected in the 30th place of the 2021 draft by the Utah Jazz, although he was traded to the former team of Gasol or Juan Carlos Navarro.

Santi Aldama is looking forward to a new season with the Grizzlies


His situation changed completely last year and he established himself as one of the important players in the rotation Taylor Jenkins. He made it to 77 games in the regular season, doubling the number of minutes compared to the previous year and averaging 9 points per game, in addition to another 6 playoff games.

On a contractual level, Aldama has provided stability in the NBA. The Canary has signed for this season $2.1 million. Next time, the Grizzlies have a team option to almost keep him 4 million dollars, and for the 25/26 season they have a “first try option” of $5.9 million that they could compete if another team offered that character to the player. All these figures are based on the currently signed contracts and it should not be ruled out that his great performances will lead to a new contract in line with his performance.

Garuba signed for the Warriors at the buzzer

The situation of one Usman Garuba who practically secured a contract to continue in the NBA on the horn. On August 21st, with full concentration on preparing for the World Cup, the surprise came and that The Oklahoma City Thunder have decided to terminate his contract. Garuba played the tournament without a team, and when many pointed to a return to Real Madrid, that was the case Golden State Warriors from Stephen Curry and companies that have signed a contract which will be located between the San Francisco franchise and the Development League team. The NBA will have a limit of 50 regular season games and in order to participate in the playoffs, he would have to sign a “mutual” contract before the end of March. A double-edged sword that can end well, in the form of a new connection, or that can end in a cut. At least it adds minutes Santa Cruz Warriors, something great at 21 years old.

Usman Garuba, in front of his new team


The Hernangómez and Ibaka return to Europe

The truth is that this summer, which we have already left behind, can be considered “hard” in view of the reality of the Spaniards in the NBA. Until three players They had to pack their bags to return to the old continent: Willy Hernangómez, who signed for him FC Barcelona his brother until 2026 Juancho who has signed until 2025 Panathinaikos and whose movement does not definitively nullify a hypothetical return to the league, and Serge Ibaka who signed for them at the age of 34 Bayern Munich by Pablo Laso.

The future, exciting and promising

Although the present is not very promising, the future looks very different in the short term. There are high hopes for next year’s draft that up to three Spanish players can be selected and have a future in the NBA: Izan Almansa, who will play for the G-League’s Ignite team next season, has never fallen out of the top 15 at any point. Aday Mara, Whoever will play at UCLA next season after leaving Casademont Zaragoza will also gain points to be chosen quite high. On his part Baba Miller, from Florida State, could also be selected in the first round. All of them, without forgetting how young people like it Juan Nunez (Ulm), Hugo González (Real Madrid) or Jordi Rodriguez (Joventut), whose present and future are more than promising.

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