Today, the NBA released the official Early Entry Candidates List for the NBA Draft 2010. You can find the list of all the European players here. We will go through all of them and check where they will probably end up.
Kevin Serpahin – 2m05 – C – Cholet Basket – 1989
The French Center plays his first full season as a professional on the Starting Center position. Even if he had a lot of ups and downs in his performances, the Cholet-bound player is an interesting prospect in terms of NBA potential. Cholet is playing an excellent season and is about to qualify for the Euroleague which may influence the future of the 2m05 tall player. If Cholet runs deep in the French playoffs, Seraphin will mostly likely miss the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso. Additionally, the French Finals are played on the 14th of June which is the Early Entry Withdrawal date. In the case, Cholet goes to the Finals, Serpahin may have no possibility to do individual workouts for NBA Teams which can hurt his stock. In any case, Seraphin will probably stay another year in Europe to play in the Euroleague with either Cholet or a different team.
Prediction: stays in the Draft
Thomas Heurtel – 1m88 – PG – Strasbourg – 1989
The question that we have discussed earlier this year is to know if Thomas Heurtel has progressed. The opinions were diversified and there came even the question on his future position, PG or SG. Right now, Heurtel does not really look like an NBA prospect and he put his name in certainly to test the waters and see if there are NBA teams that show interest in him. He will most likely be at the Eurocamp which is an event where he probably will excel with his flashy play.
Antoine Diot – 1m91 – PG – Le Mans – 1989
Is Antoine Diot an NBA player or not? The French guard is currently progressing in nearly every domain and will certainly become a high-level Euroleague player in the future. He has already lots of experience at a young age and plays the typical European basketball. His limits in creativity and athleticism will probably hurt him in terms of NBA potential but you never know. He will probably miss the Eurocamp also because of the potential of Le Mans to go deep in the French playoffs.
Edwin Jackson – 1m91 – SG/PG – Rouen – 1989
Together with Thomas Heurtel, Jackson represents the group of ASVEL players loaned out to a different team in France. The player from Rouen has the athletic tools and mentality to play in the NBA but a limited size for the SG position and still underdeveloped PG skills will hurt him down the road. Jackson will certainly by a good competitor in the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso and he needs to use this opportunity to boost his stock.
Andrew Albicy – 1m78 – PG – Paris-Levallois – 1990
The name of Andrew Albicy was quite a surprise for me when it was announced as the tiny PG from Paris has never been hyped up in France as a potential NBA player. The force of the U20 National Team player is of course his defense and he will compete during the Adidas Eurocamp with the U20 French team as guest. He uses this Draft to put his name on the boards of the teams that did not know him but in the end, he will most likely not play in the NBA one day.
Robin Benzing – 2m08 – SF – ratiopharm Ulm – 1989
The German forward played an excellent first season on the Bundesliga level after having his break out event at the Eurobasket in Poland. Benzing has an excellent combination of skills, height and speed but had lots of trouble on the defensive end. He is a below average rebounder for his size and needs to gain in strength. He will be at Treviso for sure and will certainly be a player that gets a lot of looks by NBA teams before the withdrawal date. And depending on what he will hear, he may stay in the Draft.
Tomasz Nowakowski – 2m09 – PF – Luka Koper – 1990
The Polish player came into the Draft as a total unknown so the main goal of his early entry is already reached: people know his name and at least check out who he is. He will probably be in Treviso for the Eurocamp where all the teams can evaluate him.
Ryan Richards – 2m06 – PF – BBC Monthey – 1991
The British player is one of the youngest players that has entered his name this spring and he is all about potential at the moment. After an odyssey throughout Europe over the last seasons, Richards has settled down in Switzerland but he has not played a game there since March. He will probably be at the Adidas Eurocamp in June.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas – 2m03 – SF/PF – BC Siauliai – 1989
The Lithuanian forward had a nice Treviso camp last summer and entered his name to the Early Entry list this spring. He played an excellent season both in Baltic League and Eurocup and may go back to Zalgiris this summer as return on the loan. Kuzminskas tests the water this year to see his value for the NBA Draft and may remain in the pool if he likes what NBA teams will tell him. The big time potential is however not there.
Bojan Bogdanovic – 2m02 – SG/SF – Cibona Zagreb – 1989
Finally, Bogdanovic plays on the highest level after travelling through lower Spanish divisions for several years. He boosted his stock in terms of an NBA future nicely this season but is he the type of player NBA teams are looking for. I have some doubts if he will be at the Eurocamp in a month but the NBA teams had enough possibilities to scout him in real conditions so that those teams that may want to draft him should be aware of his qualities.
Prediction: may stay in
Tibor Pleiß – 2m14 – C – Brose Baskets – 1989
The German Center made a big step forward this season as he is a starter for an ambitious Bundesliga team. His presence on the defensive end as shot blocker is excellent and he also made some progress in his physical presence. Offensively, he is developing and he has still a major potential upside. Being seven foot tall and far from being stiff, he is certainly one of the European players in this Draft getting the most attention. It is highly possible that he won’t be in Treviso because of the German playoffs.
Prediction: stays in
Donatas Motiejunas – 2m13 – PF/C – Benetton Treviso – 1990
With the absence of Jan Vesely, the Lithuanian forward is the biggest stock from Europe this year. Combining excellent basketball skills with great size, Motiejunas is one of the players that lots of teams like because he has no real counterpart in College Basketball. He may be at the Adidas Eurocamp, living just next door. He may end up being the only European in the 1st round if he stays in which seems to be not so sure according to different sources.
Prediciton: stays in
The 2nd part of the analysis will follow later.