European Prospects

News about Young European Basketball Prospects

NBA Draft 2011: LIVE Countdown

June 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

With the NBA Draft being held this night, we will do a LIVE countdown to the big event that will have as many Europeans in the Lottery as probably never before. Be sure to check regularly as we try to update the situation constantly. If you have questions on Europeans or anything else, feel free to ask them below in the comments or via Twitter.

[0h19] Countdown done for me tonight. See you back tomorrow for the first analysis of the European picks.

[0h11] Looking back in time. Check my countdown to the NBA Draft 2010. Lots of rumors, moves and what happened in the end?

[23h52] BasketUSA continues to report on the Wizards promise to Jan Vesely. The Wizards have invited people from the Czech embassy in Washington to an after-Draft party. If it’s true, let’s hope for them that nobody picks Vesely above #6. The story has been released by the Washington Post beforehand.

[23h50] German agent of Robin Benzing just confirmed us that the forward did not attend any workouts in the United States. Some teams are interested but nothing is clear what will happen.

[23h46] French BasketUSA reports that Jan Vesely will get drafted at 99.9% by the Washington Wizards.

[23h31] Joe Dumars has permission from new team owner Tom Gores to draft Jonas Valanciunas. However, the Pistons only have the #8 spot. The questions is: Is Valanciunas still available at that point?

[23h13] CBS’s Ken Berger reports that the Charlotte Bobcats have moved up to #7 to get Bismack Biyombo. (Trade would be Bucks get Beno Udrih, Stephon Jackson and #19, Charlotte gets #7 and Corey Maggette while the Kings get #10 and John Salmons.

[23h09] Robin Benzing has not been in the US for workouts despite having been invited by some teams. We heard that the Grizzlies at #49 and the Spurs at #59 are interested in him.

[22h27] German U20 National Team beat Hungary 61-49 in a friendly tonight. The top scorers for the German team were Daniel Theis (14) and Patrick Heckmann (12). Germany will travel to Austria tomorrow for a 4 nations tournament where they will play against Poland, Slovenia and Austria.

[22h15] Former NBA Scout and now GM of Armani Jeans Milano Gianluca Pascucci has sent us his Top 3 European Picks if he would still in place as a European Scout: #1 Enes Kanter, #2 Jonas Valanciunas, #3 Jan Vesely

[22h10] German Robin Benzing gets some interest from Cajasol Sevilla according to the Spanish press.

[22h06] Update on the contract situation of Lithuanian Mindaugas Kuzminskas. He has 1 year left plus 1 year with a team option. So basically he has two more years of contract with Zalgiris Kaunas.

[22h05] Another Youth Tournament that is currently going on is the Turk Atakol U20 Event in Turkey. Here are the results from today: France – Latvia 75-68 (Evan Fournier 15pts, Leo Westermann 14pts 5rebs, Will Yeguete 12pts 9rebs – Janis Antrops 15pts), Russia – Ukraine 84-78 (Ivan Strebkov 20pts, Denis Pastukhov 19pts 4rebs, Nikita Balashov 14pts 7rebs – Oleksandr Mishula 26pts 5asts), Turkey – Czech Republic 75-72 (Can Mutaf 17ts, Furkan Aldemir 10pts 13rebs – Ondrej Balvin 17pts 9rebs)

[21h49] Bismack Biyombo has cancelled his workout with the New York Knicks that was scheduled for today. He got an invite for the Green Room on the other hand. Additionally, Biyombo is said to have a 1 million Euro buyout to pay to Fuenlabrada. Biyombo has unilaterally cancelled his contract with the Spanish team on a Nike Hoop Summit issue this year. His team did not want him to play in the event which Biyombo did though. This situation is another question mark around the Congolese big guy.

[21h37] Lithuanian Mindaugas Kuzminskas is optimistic concerning his Draft chances. He has heard positive things from seven teams with picks in the bottom of the second round. He has left another year in his contract with Zalgiris Kaunas and does not see himself ready to play in the NBA already next season. (via @GreenHoopslt)

[21h26] Here are the details for Antoine Diot and Edwin Jackson. Buyout is at 750.000€ which is over 1 million USD.

[21h14] BasketUSA reports that most likely no French player will be drafted because the buyouts are too high. French players in the mix are Edwin Jackson, Bangaly Fofana, Antoine Diot or Ousmane Camara.

[21h08] Another sponsoring deal that has been announced recently was the cooperation between Robin Benzing and Red Bull. In fact, the German forward is the headliner of the promo-campaign of the Energy Drink’s King of the Rock 1-1 contest.

[21h00] French Auto-eligible Antoine Diot signed a Shoe Deal today with Reebok. He will become the ambassador for the brand and its ZigTech collection in France. The deal runs over 3 years.

[20h54] For the College Seniors from Europe, you have Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Romanian Vlad Moldoveanu who are in the mix. While the second one has probably no chance to get drafted, the Brit is a bubble second rounder. He is also the only European Draft prospect that is actively twittering this year together with Edwin Jackson. Follow them both: @MBALIVE11 and @edjacks. If you know a different European in the Draft that is twittering., feel free to tell us.

Check the highlights of Bryan Amaning below.


[20h45] Interview with Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic, who is automatically eligible for the Draft this year. Here are some extracts:

I wanted to see if I could play with my American counterparts. I really do not know who could choose me in the draft and I do not know whether I would leave Europe immediately or if I would play some more ball in Europe.

Playing in the NBA? God Please…It’s my dream!

[20h42] While most people talk about the European Early entries, there are also a couple of interesting automatically eligible players who might have a chance to get drafted in the second round. Xavi Rabaseda, Robin Benzing, Bangaly Fofana, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Antoine Diot, Giorgi Shermadini, Bojan Bogdanovic, Milan Macvan, Edwin Jackson and Adam Hanga are the most common names of players who might get drafted. While Hanga and Bogdanovic are projected as second rounders by Draftexpress, Shermadini, Benzing or Rabaseda might have a chance as well to find a team in the ranks 30-60. Macvan was regarded very well after he played the Nike Hoop Summit in 2009 but has not been followed that much since. He has played with Maccabi Tel Aviv this season where he has signed a contract until 2015.

[20h15] Currently, the Douai U18 Tournament is running and this afternoon, France has won against Greece 64-62 while Germany beat Croatia 65-63. For France, Mam Jaiteh has played very well with 14pts and 17rebs while Hugo Invernizzi was the top scorer (15pts). On the Greek side, Kyprianos Maragkos had 11pts, 5rebs and 3asts. Germany was lead by the 18pts and 4rebs of Bogdan Radosavljevic while Dennis Schröder had 13pts. Josip Mikulic recorded a double-double for the Croats with 18pts and 1rebs. The last game of the evening started at 20h and see Turkey play against Bulgaria.

[20h07] Former Oaklahoma Thunder Draft pick Tibor Pleiss extended his contract with Brose Baskets Bamberg for another season. On the other hand, automatically eligible Frejus Zerbo (2m06) has signed a three-year contract with CSP Limoges in the French ProB.

[19h53] Davis Bertans is the youngest player in this year’s NBA Draft. He signed a 3+3 years contract with Olimpija Ljubljanain November 2010. We were given some information on his buyout situation by a source. He has an NBA and a Euro-clause after every season with a buyout of 500.000€. This is a quite reasonable amount which is worth currently about 700.000 USD.

[19h45] Latest Mock Drafts: Draftexpress has Kanter at #3 (Jazz), Valanciunas #4 (Cavs), Vesely #6 (Wizards), Biyombo #8 (Pistons), Vucevic #16 (76ers), Motiejunas #18 (Wizards), Bertans #26 (Mavs), Mirotic #29 (Spurs), Bogdanovic #43 (Bulls), Hanga #54 (Cavs),

[19h39] First major rumor of the evening is that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select Jonas Valanciunas at the #4, even if Enes Kanter is available. In my opinion, Valanciunas is right now the better choice, he played two years on the highest level possible while Kanter did not play one serious game in two years. Lots of game experience lost for the Turkish big guy.

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