Dario Saric in action.

Four international NBA stars to watch at the Olympics

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The Olympics is less than a month away and teams all around the world are gearing up to take home the gold medal.

The United States will head to Rio as the heavy favorites for the gold, which would be their third win in a row, and they look to be in great form again under Mike Krzyzewski as they dominated Argentina 111-74 last night in their first warm-up game ahead of the tournament.

However, everyone knows what to expect from the likes of Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and co. So, let's take a look at some non-Team USA players who you should look out for at the Summer Games next month.

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Tony Parker - France

Okay, so Tony Parker isn't quite an unknown quantity in basketball, but he will still be a very interesting player to watch out for in Brazil.

Parker is taking part in what is bound to be his very last Olympic Games and will want to do as well as humanly possible to lead the French National Team to success in 2016. He hasn't won an Olympic medal with his national side throughout his career, with the closest being a quarter-final loss to Spain in London 2012.

Aiding Parker will be his former San Antonio teammates Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo, as well as current NBA stars Nicolas Batum, Rody Gobert and Joffrey Lauvergne of the Denver Nuggets.


Dario Saric - Croatia

After being drafted two years ago, Dario Saric is finally headed to the Philadelphia 76ers. For Sixers fans who maybe haven't seen the youngster's EuroLeague highlights with Anadolu Efes in Turkey, the Olympics will be a great first chance to see him action.

The 22-year-old Saric, a 6ft 10in power forward, was named MVP of the 2016 FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament after averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists for the Croatian national team.

The Croats have a very young team heading into the tournament, with Saric starting at power forward and Orlando Magic youngster Mario Hezonja lining up at shooting guard. While they probably won't be in medal contention this time around, it's always good to see two guys who could be superstars in a few years time.


Jonas Valanciunas - Lithuania

An unexpected contender, Lithuania have never really been a powerhouse in any major sport but head into this year's Olympics as the number three team in the world according to FIBA, only behind the USA and Spain. 

Jonas Valanciunas is no doubt the big-name superstar on the roster, starting at center and being a key part of the Lithuanian's gameplan. They are a solid all-around outfit who will try to make themselves hard to break down and do the easy things well. 

Valanciunas only has two other NBA names next to him in the lineup, Domantas Sabonis, who was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder this year and Mindaugas Kuzminskas, a small forward who just signed with the New York Knicks.

Lithuania has three Olympic bronze medals to their name, they will be looking to go one step further in Rio. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Toronto Raptors - Game Six

Bogdan Bogdanovic - Serbia

The final name on the list is 23-year-old shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who plays for Fenerbahce in Turkey with draft rights belonging to the Sacramento Kings.

Despite the fact that he is staying in Turkey for the upcoming season, Kings fans will have plenty to be excited about by the shooter after he put in a fine display to lead Serbia to the Olympics in their win over the Czech Republic. Bogdanovic dropped 21 points, eight rebounds, and three assists for the Serbs, to seal their place in the Games and in Group A alongside the United States.

Bogdanovic is the starting two guard for Serbia, alongside the Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic who starts at center.

Serbia has a rich basketball history at the Olympics but hasn't picked up a medal since winning silver in Seoul 1988. Is this the year they break that streak? It's unlikely, but if Bogdan Bogdanovic gets hot then you cannot write them out.


Tony Parker
San Antonio Spurs
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