Hezonja and Eriksson are just the latest FC Barcelona players chosen in the NBA Draft

Hezonja and Eriksson are just the latest FC Barcelona players chosen in the NBA Draft

The 20-year-old Croatian was selected fifth overall, making him the second highest Barça pick ever behind Pau Gasol, who was taken third overall in 2001 Another current player, Àlex Abrines, was taken 32nd in 2013

MarioHezonjaandMarcusErikssonare just the two most recent FCBarcelona players to be selectedintheNBADraft. Erikssonwas taken by theAtlantaHawks with the 50th overall pick while Hezonja was chosen fifth overall by the OrlandoMagic, making him the second highest Barça player ever selected.

The highest pick ever used on a blaugrana player was back in 2001, when the Hawks took Pau Gasol third overall and then shipped his rights to the Memphis Grizzles in exchange for forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Later on in 2007, Memphis would be the landing spot for another Barça draftee, Juan Carlos Navarro. The guard was actually taken in the second round, 40th overall, by the Washington Wizards in the 2002 Draft. Nevertheless, Navarro declined to sign with the Wizards so he could stay in his comfort zone back in Barcelona. In August of 2007, the Wizards traded Navarro's rights to the Grizzlies in exchange for a future first-round draft pick and he signed on to join Gasol in Memphis. 

In 1997, RobertoDueñas was chosen with the 57th and final pick by the ChicagoBulls, but refused the offer and never made the jump to the NBA.

More recently, current Barça guard Àlex Abrines also opted to stay with FC Barcelona after being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. Abrines was taken by 32nd overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder, who still own his rights.

That sameyear,MarkoTodorovic, wholast seasonwasloaned toBilbao Basket,was takenin the second round, 45th overall, bythe PortlandTrailBlazers.

Current FCBarcelona shooting guard ThomasSatoransky has also been drafted, although he was actually playing for Sevilla CB when theWizards made him their first pick of the second round, 32nd overall in 2012.

More Barça–NBA Draft connections

But Satoransky wasn't the only player to have been called by the NBA while playing for another team before later joing Barça. The most well-known case is that of Ricky Rubio, who was taken with the 5th overall pick in 2009 by the Minnesota Timberwolves when he was still playing for Joventut. Rubio waited two years before heading to frigid Minnesota and starred for FC Barcelona in the meantime.

Memphis Grizzlies all-star and former Barça center Marc Gasol was the second-round pick, 48th overall, of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007, when he was still playing for Akasvayu Girona.

Two others who were drafted by never played in the NBA were Fran Vázquez, who was playing for Málaga when the Magic made his the 11th overall pick in 2005, and José Antonio Montero, who was at Joventut when he was chosen in the 5th round, 113th overall, by the Hawks back in 1987). Both passed up the NBA and later played for FC Barcelona.

Força Barça
Força Barça
Close article