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NBA Draft 2013: the Euro-Analysis

June 28th, 2013 · 1 Comment

The NBA Draft 2013 is in the books and the number of European players drafted has been very impressive. While some of the names in the lottery would have been unexpected 12 months ago, others that were considered NBA picks for a long time have not even been called. So here we go for our analysis.

Alex Len – #5 Pick by the Phoenix Suns

The Ukrainian inside player is certainly the most talented and versatile big guy of this draft. Mobile and athletic, Len will become a factor on both sides of the court as he possesses a good skill set that could make him a interesting mixture of the two Gasol brothers on the long term. Unavailable for any workouts because of a stress fracture, Len needs to overcome the recovery phase well and start only to play when his foot is totally healthy. If he does this, I do not see what can take him away from a very long NBA career.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – #15 Pick by the Milwaukee Bucks

The “mystery” man from Greece finally made it to be picked as second highest European without having played one game in a European Division 1 nor in a European Championship. Compared to Kevin Durant for his body, which I do not understand as Durant is 6-11 and the Greek forward 6-9, Antetokounmpo can at best be considered as a very long-term project. Unable to dominate in the 2nd Greek League, Antetokounmpo will have to go long weeks in the D-League to get acclimatized to the American style of playing. He is the perfect “Bust or Bargain” pick.

Lucas Nogueira – #16 Pick landed at Atlanta Hawks

The Brazilian big man has already gained a lot of experience in Europe and will certainly become a factor easily in the NBA because of his length and athletic abilities. Not superbly skilled, Nogueira was considered a bit as a immature kid over the last years but this seems to have improved. However, making the step from being a back-up in the ACB to the NBA is tough. Nogueira should however be able to be an NBA player for some years even his role will probably never grow over being a back-up for a Play-off contender.

Dennis Schröder – #17 Pick by the Atlanta Hawks

One year ago, most of the NBA executives  barely knew the German PG but he is the perfect example of the necessity of the Nike Hoop Summit. Within one week, he catapulted himself into the first round by doing the same that he did the whole season in the Bundesliga. The question is now how quickly he can adapt to this new environment but the explosive German has certainly the tools to become an NBA player. In the right situation, he might become a good amount of minutes right from the start but he still needs to get stronger physically to go through the season as he never experienced international games during his career in Braunschweig.

Sergey Karasev – #19 Pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Russian scorer finally landed at the Cleveland Cavaliers and he should compete there immediately to become their starting Small Forward. Already quite experienced for his young age, Karasev will bring his versatility and surprising athleticism to Ohio and he should be able to make his living in the US over a long period. Not the guy who will be a franchise player though but Karasev should develop into one of the best Europeans in this draft over the next years.

Rudy Gobert – #27 Pick landed at Utah Jazz

After being massively hyped last summer when he arrived at the Eurocamp, Rudy Gobert finally got drafted at a level that is probably more in line with his real potential and skill set. The long Frenchman is currently a rim finisher and shotblocker without a very polished offensive game. If he can develop a good low post game, Gobert might be one of the steals of the draft. However, this is a project in the making in order to become more than just an incredible wingspan with a limited skillset. Gobert has time to develop though and the Jazz have some experience in doing this with European big men.

Livio Jean-Charles – #28 Pick by the San Antonio Spurs

A player that I personally like for some time but seeing him drafted in the first round was quite a surprise to me. However seeing him land at the Spurs is a good choice as they will most likely bring him to the Boris Diaw school. Jean-Charles might not have the same court-vision than his country man but his relentless will is a major asset for the Finalists. The rebounding wizard has a lot of potential and with the help of the Spurs shooting doctors, Jean-Charles will most likely become a very interesting prospect on the wing in the future.

Nemanja Nedovic – #30 Pick landed at Golden State Warriors

The athletic Serbian guard managed to get picked in the first round which was a bit unexpected. Nedovic has already played quite a good amount of international games and is therefore clearly ahead in terms of experience to a guy like Schröder. With his NBA athletic abilities, Nedovic might be a good steal even at #30 for the Warriors, especially if the former Lietuvos Rytas player can consistently knock down shots from behind the arc. This is one of the better European picks in my eyes.

Alex Abrines – #32 Pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder

The OKC Thunder drafted another quality European to stash in the ACB next to Tibor Pleiss. Abrines is one of the best kept secrets in Europe at the moment as the Spanish swingman rarely plays for Barcelona. But in the games where he had good minutes, he showed what a big time player he can become. In 4-5 years, he might come over once he has won some trophies in Europe.

Marko Todorovic – #45 Pick by the Portland Trailblazers

Playing even less than Abrines in Barcelona, Todorovic is a good pick at #45 as he has still several years to grow in the best domestic league in Europe. Good size and mobility are the main characteristics of the Montenegrin player and the Trailblazers should get a valuable asset in a few years to complete their rotation.

Raul Neto – #47 Pick landed at Utah Jazz

The tiny Brazilian guard is one of the exciting players in this pool and he might become a interesting pick for the Jazz in a few years. Having already gained some good experience in the ACB, Neto should be able to translate his game to the NBA but will most likely first stay in Europe for some time.

Joffrey Lauvergne – #55 Pick landed at Denver Nuggets

The move of the French big guy to Partizan might have been the right boost at the right moment as he was a bit stuck in Chalon. Having develop his game quite well over the last months, Lauvergne found himself being drafted after being considered out of reach some months ago. His future is first of all with Belgrade as he has still a lot of room to improve but the Nuggets might get a quality big here down the road who might be more valuable in the end than Gobert.

Bojan Dubljevic – #59 Pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves

Not really your typical NBA Draft pick, Dubljevic has nevertheless developed into one of the most effective big men in Europe. Neither athletic nor  having major upside, the Montenegrin big is an immediate impact guy who plays with smartness, feel for the game and technique. He might never play in the NBA which is one of the reasons why he dropped to #59 but if he decides to come to the US, he can become a quite interesting PF in a few years.

Janis Timma – #60 Pick by the Memphis Grizzlies

It has been a bit of a surprise to me when Timma announced that he stays in the Draft. However, it looks like it was the right decision a he earned a #60 pick. Timma has an NBA body but also some game so that he might be a very interesting pick in a few years. I would not be surprised if he goes all the way through the Summer Leagues and the pre-season to get a roster spot even for next season.

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Zach // Jun 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Gobert was traded to the Jazz.

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