As the NBA Draft 2009 is approaching, I take a look at the latest development around the European players that will be in the Draft this year.
To start with, the bad news of the weekend is of course the hip injury of Ricky Rubio. This will of course hurt him and we will have to see how this impacts his Draft stock over the coming days.
After the publication of the Early Entrants list and the first possible Reebok Eurocamp candidates, we will take a close look about the chances of these players being in the Draft when it comes to New York and who is only there to make some publicity for himself. A full list of all European early entrants can be found here.
Several names on that list may sound like a joke in terms of current playing level (I won’t name the guys here), I take a first group of players that is clearly here just to test waters or to promote their own name. Players like Aboubakar Zaki, Adam Hanga, Tanel Kurbas, Carl Ona Embo, Anton Ponomarev or Fernando Raposo use this platform in order to show first of all that they have interest to play in the NBA one day. Zaki for example made several statements in the French press recently that he sees himself pretty soon on that level despite playing barely any minutes at all in the French league. Adam Hanga will have to show in Treviso if he has the necessary potential for the next level as he is currently playing in his home-country of Hungary. Guys like Tanel Kurbas, Carl Ona Embo or Anton Ponomarev have decent talent, but it won’t probably be enough to play in the NBA. However, they probably know about that and use the early-entrants platform in order to boost their stock for the European market. The same probably counts for Fernando Raposo who has the necessary physical tools but has the necessary talent level?
When limiting the list of European players to only those that may be drafted this or the next years, it will come down to these players in my eyes: Rodrigue Beaubois, Omri Casspi, Victor Claver, Vladimir Dasic, Milan Macvan, Boban Marjanovic, Miroslav Raduljica and Ricky Rubio. These are the guys that will probably have a future as serious NBA Draft candidates. Nearly all of them should be in Treviso as well. But when looking over the list of players that have been selected so far from that Early Entrants list, the names of some players surprise however. While a guy like Tim Ohlbrecht apparently did not make it, some A2 players from Greece will be in Treviso to showcase their talent.
The players born in 1987 on the other hand show only limited talent in my eyes as most of them won’t get a shot in the NBA anytime soon. Maybe players like Jonas Jerebko, Henk Norel or Slava Kravtsov have a chance to hear their name in the 2nd round. They absolutely need the Treviso camp in order to boost their stock and being picked. Milenko Tepic is another name that may come up but he is probably more bound to a European future while his country mate Nemanja Aleksandrov is also automatically eligible. The Serbian forward was considered years back as a top talent but multiple injuries have slowed him down.
To stay with the list of Treviso camp participants, the next generation pool of talent is always pretty interesting. This year, the team around Pete Philo selected once again a highly talented group of players where guys like Tornike Shengelia, Tomas Satoransky, Jan Vesely or Tibor Pleiss may get a lot of attention. Personally, I really want to see what these guys can bring on that type of event. Some others like Alexey Shved, Oleksandr Kolchenko or Semen Shashkov have already participated and can use this year’s edition to show their progress.
A new feature that I will try to keep as updated as possible is the little widget you can find on the right hand of the website where I post the dates of Europeans participating at specific NBA Workouts.