June 14, 2018, 3:43 pm
On Tuesday, the NBA officially announced the list of international players who have kept or withdrawn their names from consideration for the NBA Draft next week. Forty-three international players who had declared as early entry candidates have removed their names while another twelve decided to remain and are eligible to be selected by NBA teams next Thursday.
Editor’s Note: Dio has been breaking down all the international prospects this draft season. In case you’ve missed it, he’s covered Luka Doncic here, the class’s top point guards, the class’s top shooters and taken a high-level look at some of the biggest names overall. You’ll also find notes on the various minicamps and showcases that have helped to elevate the stock of some of the players discussed below.
(Real Madrid, Liga ACB, Spain), 6’8” 220 lbs SG/SF
His participation in this year’s draft was never really in question as he’s looking to cash in on a spectacular season where he has already played more than 75 games, earning personal awards and leading Read Madrid and his Slovenian national team to multiple trophies. The Liga ACB Finals kicked off yesterday and Baskonia snatched Real Madrid’s home advantage in Game One so now there is a chance that the best-of-five series extends until June 21th, which is the day of the draft, potentially forcing Luka to miss the event.
(Pau-Lacq-Orthez, LNB Pro A, France) 6’3” 180 lbs PG
Okobo’s draft stock has been on the rise after an exceptionally strong finish to an impressive overall season with Pau-Lacq-Orthez that has led to an increase in the buzz surrounding him. He has followed up on the hype with a series of impressive workouts with NBA teams in the last few weeks and I strongly expect him to be gone by the end of the first round. He is an explosive left-handed combo guard with great size and length for the position who can play within a system and could develop into a potential starter in the NBA.
(KK Cedevit, Adriatic League ABA), 6’9” 195 lbs SG/SF
Musa is a skilled and very confident offensive talent that has shown the ability to score in a variety of ways. He just turned 19 years old and although there are already some serious questions about his ability to defend, NBA teams have to be hopeful that his strength on offense will outweigh his defensive deficiencies. He had his first NBA workout with the Pacers a couple days ago and I’m looking forward to seeing more reports about his draft workouts in the next few days leading to Thursday’s draft.
(Barcelona, Liga ACB, Spain) 6’10” 190 lbs SF/PF
Kurucs is a 6’10” combo forward who was projected to go in the first round but saw his draft stock drop significantly this year due to injuries and a lack of playing time with EuroLeague powerhouse Barcelona. Many scouts still consider him to be the third-best international prospect in this year’s class and he had a nice showing in front of scouts at the CatalystSM Pro Day a couple weeks ago, making his case about staying in the draft. It’s really hard to evaluate him considering his limited exposure but the combination of size, polished scoring instincts and versatility is attractive in today’s NBA game.
(Fraport Skyliners Bundesliga, German Pro B) 6’9″ 203 lbs G
Bonga has an interesting foundational skillset thanks to his playmaking ability, positional size, defensive flashes and potential jump shot and he is a great stash candidate thanks to his youth, size, and all-around flashes. His lack of strength is not surprising and he is not the most explosive athlete, but he is a player with a ton of high-level role player potential and I expect him to either remain on Europe for another year or spend time in the G-League, depending on where he gets drafted.
Scroll down on this page to read his scouting report.
(Orlandina Basket, Serie A, Italy) 6’9” 220 lbs SF
Coming off a great weekend in Treviso at the NBA Global Camp, the Lithuanian prospect decided to stay in the draft and looks like another great draft-and-stash option for the second round. He is an extremely talented prospect that can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and even though he remains very thin and just completed his first season playing at a high level, his combination of size and scoring ability is something that teams are looking for.
(Olimpija Ljubljana, Slovenia) 6’3” 190 lbs PG/SG
Sanon was the player that helped himself the most after an impressive showing at the NBA Global Camp and rumors have it that he already has a draft promise in place. An athletic and fearless attacking guard without much discipline in his game, he is one of the youngest prospects in the draft (currently 18.6 years old) and he looks like a great draft-and-stash option for the second round.
(Valencia, Liga ACB Spain) 7’1″ 255 lbs C
The enormous center only started playing basketball at the age of 16 and he has made rapid improvement since, showing impressive mobility and instincts to go along with his massive frame and a 7’4”wingspan. Still at an early stage of his development, he struggled to earn minutes with one of the best teams in Europe this season so it was surprising to see him declare but he demonstrated exceptional mobility and control for a player his size in his recent athletic assessment and NBA teams are taking a hard look at him as another draft-and-stash guy deep in the draft.
(Vytautas Prienai–Birštonas, LKL, Lithuania) 6’5” 216 lbs SG
LiAngelo did not garner an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine but has worked out with the Lakers and the Warriors in the last couple weeks. Judging him as a prospect is really difficult after playing this year in Lithuania but his game didn’t really develop at all overseas as he still can’t really create his own shot and he remains a streaky shooter and an inconsistent defender who doesn’t really do anything at a high level at this point other than score. Still, don’t be surprised if a team takes a flier on him.
(Trefl Sopot, TBL, Poland) 6’7” 193 lbs SF
Kolenda was a late addition to the NBA Global Camp in Treviso last week but he is not expecting his name to be called on draft night and he just took the opportunity to present his skills to scouts.
(Nancy, LNB Pro B, France) 6’8” 218 lbs PF
An undersized big man from Cameroon playing in the second division in France, he is also expected to go undrafted.
(KK Beli Manastir, B1 Liga, Croatia) 6’4” 176 lbs SG
An athletic guard playing in the lower divisions of Croatia, he is definitely not a consideration for NBA teams.
(Mega Bemax, Adriatic League), 6’11” 245 lbs C
The 18-year old center started his career as a low-post player but has shown the ability to become a stretch big. He has been playing for Mega Bemax in the Adriatic League, a team controlled by European super-agent Miško Ražnatović who has been extremely successful in recent years in getting his clients to the NBA (Ivica Zubac, Nikola Jokic and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot among them). His decision to withdraw really came down to the 11th hour but he probably made the right choice as one more year at the European level could help him develop a consistent shot from outside and turn him into a potential lottery pick.
(Mississauga Prep, Canada) 6’9” 202 lbs PF
Thon Maker’s little brother had a nice showing in Treviso leading his team in scoring (18.0) and FG percent (61.5) while playing 23.5 minutes in a couple games but he is simply a project who will now look to get some professional experience with a team next year before returning to the draft.
(BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque, LNB Pro A, France) 6’3” 213 lbs PG/SG
The LNB’s Pro A Best Young Player this year looked like he played himself into the second round of this year’s draft with his impressive frame, athleticism and poise but he eventually decided to withdraw and he will only benefit from another year playing in Europe since he is still raw and far from a reliable shooter.
You can check the full list of international withdrawals here.
Thank you for reading this article and please make sure you check us back again next week as I will be conducting the final mock draft for international projects before Thursday’s NBA Draft. Stay up to date on all the breaking news and rumors posted on our website and on our Twitter account @HoopBallFantasy.