After a once-promising NBA career, Anthony Randolph found himself playing on the other side of the world. Playing for a team that most NBA fans have never even heard off and trying to pick up the pieces of his basketball playing career. He was no longer the highly regarded former LSU standout, no longer the would-be NBA star. Randolph now is just a regular guy. And he just helped his new nation achieve history in Europe’s biggest basketball competition, the Eurobasket.

Randolph, consistently inconsistent in the NBA

Anthony Randolph was drafted number 14 by the Golden State Warriors during the 2008 NBA draft.

He played 63 games with the Warriors during his rookie year and averaged a modest 7.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks per game during the 2008-2009 season.

While he was agile and quick for a 6-11 big man, Randolph was too skinny to defend a legitimate NBA center and power forward. He was too slow to and unskilled to be a small forward, making him a bit out of sorts during his playing days in the NBA. About the only thing going for Randolph was his young age and the potential development.

During his second NBA season with the Warriors, Randolph managed to increase his averages to 11.6 points, 1.5 blocks, and 6.5 rebounds per game. But he only played 33 games during the 2009-2010 season. Randolph played well during the Summer League games, dominating the competition.

However, he was traded to the New York Knicks during the off-season and was traded again to the Minnesota Timberwolves midway through the 2010-2011 season.

He spent the next season with the Minnesota Timberwolves before being shipped to the Denver Nuggets where Randolph played for two seasons. Randolph was again traded to the Orlando Magic but was waived a day after the deal became official.

After 6 seasons in the NBA, Randolph finished with career averages of 7.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks.

Randolph admitted that he was probably too young, immature, and not prepared for the rigors of the long NBA seasons. Also, the game was a bit different back then and his skill set wasn’t a good fit for the teams he had played for.

He was too slow to be a small forward and not strong enough to play the power forward or the center position.

On playing on the other side of the world

Anthony Randolph signed a one-year deal with Russian team Lokomotiv Kuban. While he wasn’t the star of the team, Randolph immediately had an impact. Randolph was named to the All-EuroCup Second Team and a few months later, he re-signed with the team. Randolph helped Kuban reach the Final Four of the 2016 EuroLeague.

His performance in the EuroLeague was a key instrument in his signing with powerhouse team Real Madrid. Randolph now has a reliable outside shot, a necessity in European basketball games. After averaging 24.1 percent from the three-point line during his days in the NBA, Randolph increased his average to 25.3 when he was playing for the Kuban, and eventually raised his accuracy to 36.7 percent during his time with Real Madrid.

EuroLeague 2017

Anthony Randolph has been a huge revelation during the EuroBasket 2017, the biggest basketball competition in Europe. Randolph, now a naturalized player for Slovenia, has helped his new national team to reach its first EuroBasket Finals. What’s more impressive is that Randolph is playing as the third option for the Slovenians.

Slovenia is bannered by Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic and NBA prospect Luka Doncic. But it was Randolph’s presence that allows Slovenia to play at breakneck speeds while opening up the court due to his vastly improved shooting stroke. On the defensive end, Randolph provides Slovenia the versatile and quick big man that helped the relatively smaller Slovenians to compete against the bigger teams.

In 7 EuroBasket games, Randolph is averaging 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. Slovenia is playing Serbia as of press time and regardless of the result of the EuroBasket 2017 Finals, Randolph has already cemented his place in Slovenia’s basketball history.

Randolph ready for NBA comeback?

Now the only question remaining is this: can Anthony Randolph make an NBA comeback? Slovenian captain Goran Dragic seems to think that Randolph can get back to the NBA. “I think he should be in the NBA,” said Dragic. According to Dragic, Randolph has given Slovenia someone that they’ve never had in the past: a guy that can play multiple positions.

Dragic adds that having Randolph in their squad allows the Slovenians to play a different type of game.

“In the past, we never had a guy you can throw an alley-oop to, can switch everything, can take the big guys out, shoot the mid-range or a three,” said Dragic.

Dragic describes Randolph as a complete player. While it may have been a glowing praise from a former All-NBA Third Team player and arguably Slovenia’s best player, it doesn’t make certain that Randolph would be able to return to the NBA. According to Randolph, he doesn’t want to be back in the NBA for the sake being in the NBA again. Randolph said he doesn’t want to be in the NBA if he will not have the opportunity to play.

Randolph said “I don’t want to go sit on the bench. And with the NBA game of today a bit different from his first run in the NBA, basketball pundits believe that Randolph may have a shot on being picked up by an NBA team due to his improved play. “I want to play,” Randolph said. And play he could. Perhaps in the NBA landscape soon.