The just-begun EuroBasket tournament features a slew of faces familiar to NBA fans, some still in the league, others not. Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, a native of Lithuania, just inked a four-year, $64 million extension and is an important piece on a playoff team; Ukrainian big man Kyrylo Fesenko hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2012. But in their matchup on Saturday, Fesenko threw down this two-handed dunk over Valanciunas:
Lithuania beat Ukraine 69-68 in the game.
Report: Free agent Landry Fields out five months due to injury
A healthy Fields might have drawn a minimum-salary contract, though that would have been far from a lock. An injured Fields has no chance.
If he’s recovered, a team could sign him after the trade deadline if it can’t fit a hole via trade.
Fields could provide wing depth as a situational defender, though it’s difficult to play him if his shooting woes continue. After making 39% of his 3-pointers as a rookie, Fields has shot just 24% from beyond the arc since.
Fields’ NBA future already looked precarious. The 27-year-old will have a chance to return, but this might be the last we see of him in the league.
Watch Luis Scola drop 35 and 13 to lead Argentina past Canada at FIBA America
On one hand, they got to see their new power forward show that he still has a lot in the tank. There are questions about how the Raptors rebuilt their roster this summer, but if he plays like this Luis Scola can answer a few of them.
On the other hand, those Raptors fans are Canadians excited about their strong young national team — and Scola just torched them.
Score one for the old guard as Scola and Argentina beat Canada 97-84 behind 35 points and 13 rebounds from Scola Tuesday. He did it with his deliberate, physical, crafty, below-the-rim game.
Canada’s athletic young team — led by Andrew Wiggins, who had 13 in the game — looked a little tentative in their first game as potential favorites on a big stage. The top two finishers at FIBA Americas get a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and there is an expectation Canada will land one of those slots.
Argentina came out with an intensity and desire Canada did not match. Argentina has been on the big stages before — they are the 2004 Olympic gold medalists — and it showed.
Canada can right the ship Wednesday against Cuba (a game Canada should win handily). From there they should be able to get the wins to get to the knockout stage, and then they just need to play more like Scola and Argentina to advance.