European Prospects

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NBA Draft 2009: the European candidates

June 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

With the NBA Draft being held at the Madison Square Garden this Thursday, I go for a quick check of the most interesting European Draft candidates for the year 2009.

Christian Eyenga (1m95 – G – 1989 – DKV Joventut Badalona)

Eyenga did not see that much minutes with DKV Joventut Badalona through out the season. So at a first look, his presence here may be a surprise. The move behind this is however that Eyenga wants to go either undrafted or for a 2nd round spot which would give him more opportunities when being able to move to the NBA one day. First of all, he needs to crack the rotation of Joventut though.

Current mocks: Draftexpress #56 – NBA undrafted

Rodrigue Beaubois (1m86 – G – 1988 – Cholet Basket)

Beaubois showed his great combination of athleticism and basketball skills at the Reebok Eurocamp. His shooting remains however a bit suspect at the moment even he has made a great move forward in that area this season. He has definitely nice upside but I have some doubts about his abilities to turn into a PG in the future. The team that will draft him will get a scoring guard with great athletic abilities.

Draftexpress #30 – NBA #50

Nando de Colo (1m94 – G – 1987 – Cholet Basket)

Still being listed at more than 2m by some outlets, the guard from Cholet has been officially measured at 1m94 without shoes in Treviso. This does not take away from him his great creativity and passing skills that make him on of the most interesting PG prospects in Europe. He has already signed a deal with Pamesa Valencia according to different reports so that there is the possibility to park for a year or two in Europe. Lacks the athletic potential of Beaubois but has a great shot out of the dribble with a quick release.

Draftexpress #54 – NBA undrafted

Omri Casspi (2m04 – F – 1988 – Maccabi Tel Aviv)

The Israeli forward has impressed quite a lot of people during his workouts with his toughness. He got used to play physically by getting lots of minutes with a Euroleague powerhouse. His good speed helped him to beat his man of the dribble in Europe but is this enough for the NBA when his shot does not fall? He looks currently as one of the most promising wings of the draft and he may be the first Israeli player to get drafted and actually play in the NBA.

Draftexpress #26 – NBA #23

Henk Norel (2m12 – F/C – 1987 – DKV Joventut Badalona)

Norel was hyped a lot more one year ago and several minor injuries have slowed down his development this year. You have here a hard working big guy who can run the floor extremely well and is a fighter in the paint. He has a very nice shot from outside which he does not use that much for the moment but that gives him interesting offensive potential. Despite showing good athletic abilities, he needs to gain some weight in order to have an impact in the NBA.

Draftexpress #55 – NBA undrafted

Milenko Tepic (1m98 – G – 1987 – Partizan Belgrade/Panathinaikos Athens)

The Serbian guard is not what you call a typical NBA prospect. Still he remains eligible due to his age but I doubt that any team will go after him especially as he has signed a deal with Panathinaikos Athens a few weeks ago. Tepic is a tall guard who can play all the 1-2-3 positions. He is a correct athlete but his main asset is his versatility and he has become a correct shooter from behind the three point line.

Draftexpress undrafted – NBA #57

Emir Preldzic (2m06 – F – 1987 – Fenerbahce Ülker Istanbul)

The SF from Fenerbahce had a nice run in the middle of the season for his team. He displays excellent ball handling skills and creativity for a player of his size, something that made his coach play him as a PG during stretches. Currently, he is not really considered as a NBA prospect as his game and physical abilities translate more into the Euroleague type of basketball.

Draftexpress undrafted – NBA undrafted

Gasper Vidmar (2m10 – C – 1987 – Fenerbahce Ülker Istanbul)

Vidmar has not seen the same development than Preldzic with Fenerbahce. Vidmar plays the Center position and his statistical progression has stopped this year in the Euroleague. This has of course not helped him to improve his draft stock and most of the observers don’t see a future for him in the NBA right now.

Draftexpress undrafted – NBA undrafted

Victor Claver (2m04 – F – 1988 – Pamesa Valencia)

The Spanish forward had his season shortened by a broken leg but he is however in the Draft this year. His newly signed deal with Pamesa Valencia indicates also why he has chosen this option, getting drafted below the first round in order to be able to sign an open deal with a NBA team when he ever joins the league. He has the tools to do so but the next season in Spain will show how strong he can come back after this year.

Draftexpress #33 – NBA #24

Sergio Llull (1m90 – G – 1987 – Real Madrid)

The Spanish guard showed a great season this year and he may end up in the Draft this week. Llull has tremendous speed and leaping abilities for a European player and his three point shot has made some interesting breaks for Real Madrid this season. His is very present in defense and offensively can create a lot of scoring in shots stretches. He may become a very interesting role player for a NBA team that creates the right situation for him.

Draftexpress #42 – NBA #44

Ricky Rubio (1m92 – G – 1990 – DKV Joventut Badalona)

The top European talent in this Draft and even for the whole decade is Ricky Rubio. Everything has been said about the Spanish phenomenon already; great defensive instincts, fantastic drive and creativity and difficulties to shot out of the dribble. The question that remains is if Rubio will be able to lead a NBA team at his young age.

Draftexpress #4 – NBA #2

Jonas Jerebko (2m06 – F – 1987 – Angelico Biella)

The Swedish forward has developed into a very interesting player over the last years. Being 2m06 tall and playing the SF, he has all the tools to be successful in the NBA. He has grown step by step by concentrating on his role, long distance shooting and aggressiveness attacking the basket. Jerebko may stay another year in Europe though to progress with a Euroleague team before joining the NBA.

Draftexpress #29 – NBA #28

Rudy Mbemba (1m81 – G – 1987 – Vanoli Soresina)

The tiny PG is the second Swedish player that is available for the NBA Draft this year. He has been a player observed for years now and still the doubts remain if he can ever develop enough to be a player to be asked to run the PG. His outstanding athletic abilities are a major asset for him in Europe but don’t make him that special in the United States.  His decision making and shooting selection has improved this year but is it enough to see a team make a gamble on him?

Draftexpress undrafted – NBA undrafted

Sergiy Gladyr (1m96 – G – 1988 – Mykolaiv)

The Ukrainian sharp shooter had one of the better showing during the Reebok Eurocamp which probably was the reason for him to stay in the Draft. Being represented by Comsport as agency is probably another reason as the team around Bouna N’Diaye is known for getting players in the right light to be drafted. Gladyr is a great scoring guard with interesting athletic capabilities but who has currently a certain lack of experience of high level basketball as he only played for a medium-level Ukrainian team.

Draftexpress #49 – NBA #48

Vyacheslav “Slava” Kravtsov (2m12 – C – 1987 – BC Kyiv)

The Ukrainian Center may have a decent chance to hear his name called on Thursday as he offers a good physical built and jumping abilities to play as a role player in the NBA. He can make the difference with his rebound and shot blocking on the defense end while his offensive game is still improving.

Draftexpress #60 – NBA #52

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