Josh Scott, hero of the people, savior of the damned, has signed on with the Macedonian club MZT Skopje Aerodrom. Scott was undrafted in June and signed with the Denver Nuggets’ Summer League team. Scott never really had a chance to make the Nuggets — they have an expensive and experienced five-man rotation at center and power forward — and he never had a chance to show off his game to the rest of the league in the 11 minutes of game time he saw in two appearances.
At first glance, Scott’s decision to sign with Aerodrom is a good one. Aerodrom isn’t the most decorated team in Macedonian history (that would be 14-time champion Rabotnički), but they’ve been the most dominant in this decade. The Storks have won each of the past five Macedonian league championships, four of the past five Macedonian Cups and the 2015 Macedonian Super Cup. If you compare those accolades to English soccer, the first would be akin to winning the Premier League, the second to the FA Cup, and the third to the Community Shield.
In addition to competing in the Macedonian First League, Scott will suit up for competition in both the Adriatic League and the EuroCup. The Adriatic League, which consists of the best teams from the Balkans (plus others!), is widely considered to be at the top tier of European basketball, right in line with the Spanish Liga ACB. The EuroLeague is basketball’s equivalent to soccer’s Champions League, and the EuroCup — the competition Aerodrom will compete in — is equivalent to the Europa League.
In these competitions, Scott will play against many of the best big men in Europe and will be able to grow as a player as a result. Scott will more than hold his own, as his polished offensive game and cerebral defense will be perfectly suited in these leagues. He appears to be penciled in as a starter immediately for Aerodrom and will get heavy minutes henceforth.
Scott signing in Europe doesn’t end his NBA dreams. Scott can play overseas to a few years to develop his game, particularly his jump shot, and be ready for the NBA should the opportunity arise, just as former Buff Chris Copeland did in 2012. This circuitous route to the NBA isn’t as likely as one from the D-League, but it offers far more financial security and potentially a better environment for development.
Hopefully Scott will make the most of his playing time in Europe and develop his game enough to get an NBA chance in the near future.