After having discussed five prospects to follow in the German Bundesliga, we will check today who are the players to follow in the French LNB League this season.
Evan Fournier – 2m00 – SG/SF – 1992 – Poitiers
Evan Fournier comes into his second season on the highest professional level in France and the young swing man from Poitiers will have to lead his team as one of the main scoring options on the wing. The 18 year old forward knows very well how to attack the basket and is excelling in the open court. He lead the French U20 National Team to a Bronze Medal this summer in Bilbao where he underlined his main forces. Fournier needs though to solidify his three-point shot and become physically stronger to hold his man on defense. But his understanding of the game is above the average and he is a very quick learner. This should help him to be one of the most regarded international prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft.
Rudy Gobert – 2m13 – C – 1992 – Cholet Basket
This season could be the first where Rudy Gobert will see regular minutes for Cholet. The long and athletic Center impressed with his shot blocking qualities and overall potential in the different youth competitions but remained too soft to have an impact on the professional level. He is a long term project but he has the tools to develop into a highly interesting player down the road. However, Gobert has not yet competed on the highest level and will probably need some time to adapt to the strength of the competition. He saw his minutes during the pre-season and showed some good things but we do not expect big minutes for him during the regular season. The first chance to see him play will be in the Euroleague Qualification round in Vilnius this Thursday.
Christophe Leonard – 1m99 – SF – 1990 – Le Havre
After several seasons with Cholet Basket, Christophe Leonard has made the choice of playing time by moving to Le Havre this summer. The athletic and physically strong wing wanted to make the next step in his personal development and will see major minutes with the French mid-level team. Leonard needs to find a better rhythm for his long range shot, improve his game understanding and become more experienced. He has the tools to develop into a good defender and find a way into a similar role than for example Charles Kahudi from Le Mans. Being in his automatically eligible year for the NBA Draft, Leonard is not really on the top of the boards of the NBA teams but with a good season, he might find his spot in the second round in spring.
Leo Westermann – 1m98 – PG/SG – 1992 – ASVEL
The combo-guard from ASVEL is one of the most interesting players as he will have probably a lot of responsibilities with the team of president Tony Parker this season. Westermann has a great basketball IQ and made big steps forward since his knee injury that kept him out for some time. He helped the French U20 team this summer as well to earn a Bronze Medal and he has to play very well right from the start as his team wants to qualify for the Euroleague from this Friday on.
Joffrey Lauvergne – 2m10 – PF/C – 1991 – Elan Chalon
The French big guy comes into the season where he has to confirm his progress. After doing very well in 2010/2011 and seeing his Draft stock move up, Lauvergne has not the bonus of the young prospect anymore and needs to deliver this year. The long PF excels in the shot from outside but is not afraid to battle in the paint. Nicely athletic but a bit mechanical, Lauvergne is generally considered as a future force of the French Senior National team because of his size and understanding of the game. He has one year to go until he is automatically eligible for the NBA Draft but he might put his name again into the pool in the spring. He is definitely a guy to follow and his team is currently trying to qualify for the Eurocup which would be a great plus for his development.