Outside of the NBA, here are the top six basketball leagues in the world



Regular-season schedule: October to April

Teams in current season: 16

Defending champion: CSKA Moscow


The EuroCup, which is organised by the EuroLeague, is Europe’s second-level transnational league. The EuroLeague qualifies teams based on their performance in their domestic league, other competitions, and by invitation from the EuroLeague. A team’s performance in the EuroCup helps them to advance in the Euro League the following season.


Real Madrid’s 6-foot-7 forward is an NBA potential to watch. Luka Doncic, a 17-year-old Slovenian prodigy, has been a major contributor for one of Europe’s top teams. The league has been talking about his scoring and playmaking. Since the Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic starred for the same club, he is the Euro League’s best young player.


2. Spain’s Liga ACB

October to May is the regular season.

Current season’s teams: 17

Real Madrid is the defending champion.


Notable: The league has produced NBA All-Stars like Paul and Marc Gasol in recent years. Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks most recently attended Seville before storming the NBA in his first two years. Last season, the NBA had 39 former ACB players, the most of any overseas league.

Doncic is an NBA prospect to watch (see EuroLeague above)


3. Turkish Basketball Super League (BSL)

The BSL was founded in 1966, although basketball was first played in the country in 1904. Tremendous financial resources are being poured into the league, and because of that, it may soon overtake the ACB in quality of play. Istanbul’s Anadolu Efes and Fenerbahce are two of the best teams in Europe at the moment.


Regular-season schedule: October to April

Teams in current season: 16

Defending champion: Fenerbahce

Notable: Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt is currently coaching Darussafaka S.K. in the BSL and the EuroLeague. He had incredible success in Europe before departing for the NBA. In addition to the two-year agreement, he signed with the Turkish team, he is thought to be earning $3.3 million owed to him by the Cavs in the final year of his contract.

Furkan Korkmaz, a 6-foot-7 forward, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2016 NBA draught. As a 19-year-old, he was only getting 12 minutes per game with BSL powerhouse Anadolu Efes, but he was recently loaned to Banvit, where he is getting more playing time. This should aid his progression as a player.


4. Russia’s VTB United League

The league is the top-tier Russian circuit, plus it includes clubs from Estonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Regular-season schedule: October to April

Teams in current season: 13


Defending champion: CSKA Moscow Keith Langford, a former University of Kansas basketball star, was not good enough to make an NBA squad early in his career, so he went overseas. He has established himself as one of Europe’s top players, earning a seven-figure wage over the last decade. Unics Kazan, which also competes in the EuroLeague, is his current team.


5. Germany’s Basketball Bundesliga (BBL)

Some believe this league could be among the best in Europe in the near future — even if it’s currently a midtier European league. It is well-funded, well-marketed, and the games are well-attended. And there is a pipeline of young German players in the national team system.


Regular-season schedule: September to May

Teams in current season: 18

Defending champion: Brose Bamberg


Jared Jordan, a junior and senior at Marist College, topped the NCAA in assists and was picked by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2007. While playing with Tigers Tubingen, he now leads the BBL in assists this season.