A few days before the NBA Draft on Thursday, I will take a look at the latest editions of the Mock Draft and calculate the positions for the different Europeans that are still in the process.
Danilo Gallinari (10th)
The consensus is that Gallinari will fall at the 10th place to the New Jersey Nets. But the rumors of him being drafted by the Knicks are still there and he may move up when you check out the teams he was working out for. But he is definitely the European player that will get drafted first.
Nicolas Batum (21st)
Another little slide for Batum who did good workouts but got diagnosed with some minor heart problems these days. This may hurt his stock in the next days but the overall impression he gave for the team he worked out for were good to very good.
Alexis Ajinca (24th)
The runner of the last weeks is Alexis Ajinca who rocketed up the boards. His intriguing skills may have been one of the reasons and so he showed all his potential in the workouts. The teams have to considered still that he is not a huge contributor in the French league right now but he may have nice potential. Be prepared to not see him getting big minutes in the NBA next season.
Serge Ibaka (26th)
Ibaka also arrived now in a consensus 1st round area, which is probably the result of his showing at the Reebok Eurocamp. Even more raw than Ajinca, but also a year younger, Ibaka is another long-term potential who may end up as a good player or as a total bust.
Ante Tomic (41st)
Tomic is the only European early-entrant that stayed in the Draft and has no 1st round position among the Mock Drafts. He may be happy with a 2nd round spot as he is probably way more interested in a career in Europe than in the NBA. Being drafted in the 2nd round is better for him too as he may sign a big-money deal in Europe before moving to the NBA in a couple of years.
Omer Asik (42nd)
Asik had a nice workout in Treviso but is that enough to qualify for a 1st round pick. I don’t think so and him being around the 40th pick is probably the best for him and for the drafting team. Asik has more time to develop in the Euroleague and can decide if he moves to NBA in a couple of years. The 2nd round spot gives him also better salary conditions than being in the late 1st.
Nikola Pekovic (46th)
Pekovic, who is officially now a Panathinaikos Athens player remains exactly where I had him on my last Mock Review. Not a lot has changed for him in between as he is not doing any work outs either and does not display big interest in the NBA in general.
Goran Dragic (47th)
Dragic also took some advantage from his showing in Treviso and moved up in some of the Mocks. Some NBA scouts consider him as one of best prospects of the 1986 generation in the Draft internationally. So far, I did not hear anything about NBA workouts for him either. But we may see him end up somewhere in the 2nd round and developing a few more years within TAU Ceramica.
Semih Erden (50th)
For the moment, you don’t hear a lot about him. Still he moved up in some Mock Drafts as he was 54th in the last Review.
Anton Ponkrashov (59th)
Not a lot of change for Ponkrashov either who could not boost his stock in Treviso with up-and-down play and a lot of individual choices. Still, he remains a good player who can do some good plays but his NBA chances seem very slim these days.