I will start today, about 4 and a half month before the NBA Draft 2008 a regular review of the different Mock Drafts and their respective places for the European Prospects. I have established a small formula that will give me an average position of the respective players.
I have selected 7 Mock Drafts websites and checked their respective latest versions of their Mock. The 7 selected sites are the following: Draftexpress, NBADraft.net, Real GM, Draft Review, BasketDraft, Hoopsvibe and NBA Draft Guru. And here are the results.
Nicolas Batum (projected Draft position: 11th)
It is not a big surprise to see him at the top of the list. Batum is clearly the most NBA type of player actually on the radar of NBA scouts. What is interesting that 4 out of 7 mocks see him as top European pick with Basketdraft going highest with the 7th overall. The lowest prediction for him is a 15th place according to the NBA Draft guru.
Danilo Gallinari (13th)
The question remains if Gallinari is the better prospect or Batum. For 3 of the 7 websites, he is. And the difference is particularly speaking for Draftexpress that sets him as high as 5th place. For the moment, the performances of Gallinari in the Euroleague are clearly above those of Batum. But still, a lot of people see more upside with the French guy. But of course, both have to enter the Draft first in order to get drafted as they are both born in 1988.
Serge Ibaka (39th)
He is probably still the biggest mystery in the Draft. While two mocks (DX, Basketdraft) don’t have him at all in their listings presuming that he won’t enter this year, the other see him drafted between 19th and 28th spot. As Basketdraft and DX have probably more reliable sources in Spain due to their writers, it is strongly possible that we won’t see the Congolese this year. At least, the two non-selections hurt his position in the EP.com Mock draft Review a lot.
Nikola Pekovic (41st)
Probably the most imposing force at the present, but also being born in 1986 and hurting in that way his potential upside which is still a huge factor in NBA Drafts. Pekovic is a fundamentally sound big man who could contribute immediately as his learning process is already well developed. Imposing force in the Euroleague, he may have some trouble in playing against NBA centers which are way more physical; if he is interested in moving over.
Omer Asik (43rd)
The late bloomer from Turkey that moved to Fenerbahce Ülker during the season and is getting serious Euroleague minutes in a prospect loaded team on the inside positions. He only entered the draft boards recently as the two elder mocks don’t even mention him. What is also interesting is that DX and DraftReview see him above Pekovic.
Semih Erden (51st)
Another Fenerbahce front line member is Semih Erden. He is sidelined with an injury at the moment but a good start in the Euroleague season earned him a spot in the second round for most of the Mocks. Again like for Asik, the elder mocks don’t have him at all in their rankings so he must get a little boost in our next edition when those have updated their predictions (hopefully).
Goran Dragic (53rd)
The Slovenian PG rocketed his stock during the Eurobasket 2007 but after some up and down games in the Euroleague, his is now somewhere in the middle of Round 2 for most of the mocks. However, while DX is quite high on Dragic having him at 37, NBA Draft.net only sees him at 53 which is quite a big difference.
Rodrigue Beaubois (55th)
The French PG just comes back from a minor injury and he should move up the different mocks in the coming weeks. Having created a huge buzz around him last year by announcing his name to enter the Draft, Beaubois has lived up the expectations by cracking the rotation at Cholet. Being from the 1988 generation, he still has a lot of upside and should improve with increasing playing time until the end of the season.
Ante Tomic (56th)
The Croatian Center is still a mystery if he ever can come over to the NBA. According to the different mocks, his actual place is between 31 and undrafted. Tomic is still putting up interesting numbers in the Adriatic League but his non-presence in the Euroleague seems to hurt his stock with some mock draft writers. His talent is undeniable, but he has to produce on the next European level in order to get the necessary recognition. He has still one year left before being automatically eligible.
Anton Ponkrashov (57th)
The Russian guard is playing an outstanding season with Khimki where he has recently won the Russian cup, is second in the Russian Superleague and also able to go far in the ULEB Cup. However, his interesting numbers don’t seem to give him enough credit to be worth more than the end of the second round. He showed however with CSKA last year in the NBA Europe Live Tour what his potential level is.
Alexis Ajinca (59th)
Probably the most interesting case in this edition. Being of the board for all the mocks, Ajinca has reentered the NBA Draft.net mock again and is actually listed as a potential first round pick at the 28th spot. His very improved performances during the last weeks and especially his shot blocking effort in the Semaine des As seem to have motivated the NBA Draft team to bring him back to the first round. The presence of a scout of them in Toulon is certainly also one of the reasons for this change.
undrafted: Peja Samardziski, Mantas Kalnietis
Present in some mock drafts, but the overall ranking does not give them actually a spot in the Top60 of the EuropeanProspects.com Mock Draft Review.