Luka Samanic is already well-known Croatian prospect from 2000 generation who was the biggest offensive and defensive reference for Barça’s Junior team and also had some minutes in Barcelona B where he did a fair job. Despite not having the best summer and getting eliminated by Germany in Round of 16 during FIBA U18s, his performance & impact on the game was remarkable as he averaged 17 PPG.
With Barcelona his season as far as team achievements goes wasn’t as satisfying as it could be since he finished at the 3rd spot in Spanish U18 Championships after losing semifinals against Real Madrid. Luka also fell short to carry his team to the Adidas Next Generation triumph by losing against Joventut in the Final, despite getting the MVP award and producing great statline: 23.3 PPG & 14.8 RPG.
As a projected first round pick in NBA ’19 Draft, Luka is a versatile skilled wing with a good size and athleticism who also can shoot and pass really well, still thin body but has time for it in Olimpija. Eurospects had a chance to talk to him before he starts probably the most important season of his career.
After spending a couple of seasons in Barcelona what were the determinants for moving into Olimpija Ljubljana?
LS: First of all playing time and being able to get as much experience as possible…
What are your thoughts looking back at FIBA U18s past summer. Are you satisfied with your own and team performance?
LS: I had a productive summer but as a team we had a goal to win medal and it didn’t happened so you know the answer..
What was the hardest thing about leaving Barça?
LS: I met so many friends and coaches and nice people and Barcelona is big and beautiful city so this two things maybe…
With a team full youth-loaded how do you think to overcome the lack of veteran players?
LS: I think with extra energy and playing together and working hard.
Which are your team expectations for the year? And your own expectations?
LS: To win as much as possible and to be a better player and person then on beginning…
Which position you think will fit better? In where you think is the best for you to play now/future?
LS: I think as a 3/4 position.. Shooting threes but also post-up and defending small guards..
How can you help the team? Which role will you have?
LS: I can help my team with high energy, running, playing defense from 1-5 and offense will come..
Do you feel pressure at yourself since you are a highly regarded name?
LS: It’s a pressure but I don’t look it as a pressure. It’s more of a motivation than a pressure.
About the draft… Despite still being really far, how do you picture it?
LS: It’s early to talk about draft. I just want to stay healthy and go to the right place…Work hard this season and try to be ready.
How do you think you could contribute to an NBA team?
LS: The same way I could help any team.. Energy, offensive versatility, defense 1-5.. All things really.
Who are your all-time favorite players?
LS: Petrovic, Kukoc, Durant..
Do you think your playstyle looks like any player?
LS: I think not so many tall guys can move good and are fast so I said Kukoc and Durant I try to model my game and also I like AK47.