Premium : Nando De Colo king’s choice

The MVP of the Euroleague who ends his contract this summer will certainly continue the adventure with the CSKA Moscow, despite the interes shown by a dozen of NBA franchise. We are here to explain you why.

by Antoine Lessard (Basket Hebdo), traduction by Dylan De Abreu,

Best scorer, MVP of the season and then of the Final Four, Nando De Colo was the king of Europe this year and has given the title which Moscow was looking after since 2008. The French player who already was a great last year, made his entrance at the pantheon of the best European players. Among which appears his teammate Milos Teodosic. The Serbian and the French have made all their opponents be martyred. They probably form the best point-guard line of the current Europe. Their Greek coach, Dimitrios Itoudis compared the tandem to Aris Thessaloniki’s legendary players Panagiotis Giannakis and Nick Galis.

Today it is an evidence, Nando took the right decision when he has chosen to leave NBA in 2014 to go in Russia and to join the most powerful European club. “The Raptors’ executives were particularly surprised when he chose to leave, said his agent Wassim Boutanos.” The Canadian franchise wanted to keep its frenchy. “His comeback in Europe was not a part of his plan

Continue to read :  The thing which made him choose Russia and not Toronto, besides the fact that Itoudis know well how he wanted to use him, was that CSKA it was 11 Final Four in the 12 last. It really was the team which ran after the supreme title for several years.”

With only a small role in NBA and an average of ten minutes per game with the Spurs and then with the Raptors, Nando found some new strong responsibilities with CSKA. He has filled his trophy cupboard with individuals and collective ones… and secondarily his bank account as he earned twice more in Moscow than in the NBA – a bit more of 1.5€M net for the two last years  against 1.4$M in the NBA. Whether between 700 and 800K$ net. His salary puts him around the twentieth European rank. He no longer corresponds to his real market value. His contract with CSKA ends this summer and he has an option for next season, but the Euroleague MVP is now in the position of power to negotiate his new contract.

3$M per year

Andrey Vaututin, CSKA’s president does not want to lose his French jewel. He confessed on Eurohoops.net that he will do everything he can to keep Nando “We will do what we have to do. The answer is his. He will take a decision.” For real, the discussions have started for weeks, « well before Final Four, confirmed Wassim Boutanos. » No number has come, but according to our sources, his contract could be for three or four seasons with around 3€M per season. Nando De Colo would have the second best wage of Europe, just after the Russian player of Khimki Moscow, Alexei Shved (3,5$M, or 3,1€M following the current rate). View from the current context of the Russian economy – the rouble has lost 35% of its value against the euro and the dollar in only one year – it means that CSKA is ready to make an important effort to keep its MVP. This, to block the potential offers coming from Europe and especially from the NBA.

« Not less than 12 franchises are interested, reveled Wassim Boutanos. » The Toronto Raptors are one of those franchises. The Canadian team still has the rights on Nando and will have the priority on other teams only if they match the best offer coming from the NBA. Nando declared on BeIN Sports that a comeback in Canada would be an option. But, the guard-lines of the Raptors are well furnished (Kyle Lowry, DeMar Derozan, and Cory Joseph also in the roster). Denver is also interested and Nando would have more guarantees to play with Jameer Nelson, D.J. Augustin and Emmanuel Mudiay in the roster. It is an essential condition for him to accept to go back in the NBA. But, not sufficient. Indeed, Nando wants to play in a team which win. “He is not interested in playing 30 minutes in a franchise, which will win five games in the year. He has kept in mind the sentence of his first professional coach Erman Kunter: it is better to score ten points in a team which wins than to score thirty points in a team which loses. But, there are not more than four or five teams which potentially could play the title, said Wassim Boutanos.”

A thing is clear, his choice will not be dictated by money. “Since the beginning of his career and his first professional contract in Cholet, Nando has never privileged the financial aspect.” Furthermore, Nando De Colo should not receive an extraordinary offer, despite the explosion of salaries, which is coming. According to our sources, the best offers should not be over 6 ou 7$M a season, which corresponds more or less to the proposition of CSKA (tax and advantages included).

So well in Moscow

Nando De Colo loves Spain. He spent three wonderful years in Valencia. It is there that he met his wife Veronica. He wants to live there after his career to have a good retirement under the sun. In 2012, he had hesitated between Barça’s offer and Spurs’ one. In 2014, his priority out of the NBA was to come back Spain.Two years later, a comeback seems unrealistic.

“He is not interested in playing 30 minutes in a franchise, which will win five games in the year, said Wassim Boutanos his agent.”

In Europe, only the biggest Turks franchise could have the resources to attract the French player. But, CSKA is one step ahead. “Sportive osmosis, sportive relations with the coach, the staff, the executives, the teammates, and the possibility to win titles… it is not easy to find the same elsewhere, continued his agent.” Nando confirmed it on BeIN Sports: “I am in the right team, at the right place. My priority is still CSKA.” All the elements are combined in to stay. Just after the final in Berlin, Dimitrios Itoudis has received a new contract. Except a cataclysm, the coach will continue the adventure with the CSKA. Itoudis said to Kos Magazin that his main goal was to “reach and to surpass Real Madrid” at the number of Euroleague’s title. Real Madrid has nine and CSKA seven. “Is it a great franchise, but in life you always should have goals.” The Greek coach will still count on Milos Teodosic, Aaron Jackson, Nikita Kurbanov, Kyle Hines, Andrei Vorontsevich, and, Joel Freeland will all be in Moscow next year. And there are waiting for the possible contract extensions of Cory Higgins, Vitaliy Fridzon and Victor Khryapa. If Nando also chooses to continue, CSKA will be the first candidate for its own succession.

Can he really succeed in the NBA?

The Nando De Colo of 2016 is really stronger than the one of 2012, who decided to join the San Antonio Spurs after three seasons in Valencia. Rarely a point guard in the last ten years, has been so dominant, constant and master of his subject in Euroleague. This is why on his intrinsic value, De Colo has nothing to envy to a majority of NBA players and he is even better than several starters in the best league of the world. The only problem is about his athletics capacities. Speed represents a barrier in NBA. A lot of great players crashed themselves in America because of this. Tony Parker, Goran Dragic, Ricky Rubio even Jose Manuel Calderon have managed to do career in NBA because they had the speed adequate to answer to the athletic challenge. Conversely, several lords of the Old Continent, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Sergio Rodriguez, Nick Calathes, and Raul Lopez were not at their place in the NBA. The passage of Vassilis Spanoulis in Houston about ten years ago was an enormous flop. According to us, only one European point-guard managed to do career in the NBA without any physical qualities, it is the Slovenian, Beno Udrih, twice NBA champion with the Spurs in 2005 and 2007, today in Miami. This observation, says a lot about low chances that Nando has to succeed in the NBA. It exists, of course, but only with a condition, to find the right environment and especially the right coach. “For the most part of the NBA coaches, Nando is a UFO, said Wassim Boutanos.” Visibly, the French player has made the choice of the reason between anonymity in NBA and the titles in Europe.