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Misko Raznatovic: ‘I’m worried about basketball in Europe’

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Raznatovic thinks European basketball business doesn’t have a bright future and admits not having an idea of who the faces of the EuroLeague after three years will be.

Misko Raznatovic is arguably the most influential basketball agent in Europe. While he manages tens of EuroLeague players, his outlook on the future of the tournament isn’t the brightest.

Raznatovic is currently at the EuroLeague Final Four in Berlin, where he gave an interview to Guillermo Garcia from Relevo.

“I’m in love with European basketball. It’s the court where I play, and I’m intertwined with the Euroleague, but the European basketball business does not have a bright future,” he said. “The NBA’s money is very big and will [only] get bigger. Furthermore, the number of two-way contracts is increasing, and Europe is receiving fewer and fewer quality players from the US. If the NBA adds two more teams, there will be 40 fewer players [left] for Europe. If a third two-way contract is allowed, we can add 30 more, then it will be 70 less.”

EuroLeague CEO Paulius Motiejunas admitted on Saturday that the league is facing challenges with the NCAA’s NIL deals and the recent court settlement, which essentially allowed athletes to be directly paid by the universities.

With the current landscape shifting more and more toward paying basketball players at a younger age than ever before, the EuroLeague is losing young talents, while the talents that remain face the challenge of receiving playing time due to the competitive nature of the competition.

“European teams do not give opportunities to young people, and the leagues are aging. We don’t have new faces because the best young players go to the NBA. On top of that, with the money from the NIL rights, the universities will choose the best young people who are not in the NBA,” Raznatovic said.

“I really don’t know who the new faces of the EuroLeague will be in three or four years,” he admitted. “I’m worried about basketball in Europe. There’s no doubt that the competition is enormous and exciting, but the EuroLeague misses stars like the ones it had before: Spanoulis, Diamantidis, Navarro… I’d love to be wrong.”

The EuroLeague is keen on welcoming a team from Dubai into the competition system, either the EuroLeague or the EuroCup, but the project is facing struggles, and a possibility remains that the club will only compete in the ABA League next season.

Raznatovic is a proponent of the idea.

“I liked this idea from the beginning. Probably, if they succeed, we will have other good teams in the Middle East, and basketball will expand,” he said.

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