It’s by no means a list of the best players 21 and under in the world, but FIBA has put together a list of the best young players based on their play in this year’s FIBA World Cup Qualifiers ... and the Nets Dzanan Musa ranks No. 1.
Of course, the best young players in the U.S. couldn’t play in the oddly scheduled qualifiers which have taken place so far in November and February. Those roster spots were filled for the most part by young Americans who play overseas and the G-League. Same with some Europeans whose club teams would sometimes decline them permission to take time off.
Still, Musa, this year’s 29th pick, was ranked ahead of R.J. Barrett of Canada, the consensus overall No. 1 in the 2019 Draft and Rui Hachimura of Japan who plays for Gonzaga and is considered a lottery pick next year. Others on the list include players already drafted by NBA teams in the past, including Furkan Korkmaz of Turkey and the 76ers and Isaac Bonga of Germany and the Lakers. Also on the list, 17-year-old Nico Mannion of Italy who plays in the U.S. and is seen as a top NCAA recruit this year. All below Musa.
Of Musa’s performance for Team Bosnia, FIBA writes...
The leader of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the country’s next superstar. Dzanan Musa, who turned 19 in May, averaged 21.0 points - included 26 points against Russia - 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in the February window.
It also provided some highlights of his play vs. Russia...
Musa didn’t play in the June round of Bosnia’s games in the World Cup qualifiers, which took place days after he was drafted.