June 29, 2018, 4:53 pm
Welcome back Hoop Ballers to our International Spotlight weekly feature where we will be taking a look into all the international players that were selected last Thursday in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Luka Doncic – No. 3 for the Dallas Mavericks
Talking about a perfect landing spot, Luka Doncic was traded to the Mavs and will be the face of their franchise for the upcoming years. With so much information available on most draft prospects these days it’s really important for teams to get it right especially at the top of the draft and the Mavs, a team with a front office that puts a lot of emphasis on international scouting, quietly did their research and went after the 19-old phenom. The difference between Doncic and everyone else in this class could be far larger than a first round pick that Dallas had to surrender but Rick Carlisle is already excited about his rookie and I’m pretty sure he and Dirk will help ease the transition to the NBA for him. Early signs out of Texas are that the Mavs are going to take it easy with Luka and even though he is on the Mavs’ Summer League roster he will probably see limited action.
Fantasy impact: Conservatively high; standard league value from the start
Josh Okogie – No. 20 by the Minnesota Wolves
A potential steal of the draft candidate, Okogie is a prototypical 3-and-D player coming out of a tremendous career year at Georgia Tech where he averaged 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds (despite standing at just 6’4”) and 2.5 assists as a sophomore, shooting 38 percent from the 3-point line while getting to the line consistently (at least 6.0 free throw attempts per game in both seasons at Georgia Tech). He’s a strong, multipositional defender who probably won’t get too many minutes in his rookie season unless the Wolves ship Wiggins out of town.
Fantasy impact: Low but with tons of upside
Moritz Wagner – No. 25 by the Los Angeles Lakers
Wagner posted per-40 minute stats of 22.4 points, 10.9 boards and 1.5 steals while shooting 39.2 percent from distance this year and after just two seasons at Michigan it remains to be seen as to whether these numbers can translate in the NBA. The Lakers were clearly focused on improving their shooting with no concerns for their defense and the German big is an impressive offensive talent that can shoot from anywhere. He has improved his rebounding but provides very little defensively and that will be the biggest challenge for him. The Lakers ranked second last in 3-point shooting last year and clearly felt that it was something that needed to be addressed.
Fantasy impact: Moderate; unlikely to hold standard league value right away
Dzanan Musa – No. 29 by the Brooklyn Nets
Rodions Kurucs – No. 40 by the Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have made it clear that they want long, versatile wings on their roster and that’s exactly what they got in the Bosnian sharpshooter. Musa is more than that, a scoring wing who can shoot from outside or finish with either hand at the rim. Kurucs on the other hand is similar with high-level ball handling skills and a nice touch around the rim. Neither of these guys will have anything but a negative impact on defense though. Their fundamentals need a lot of work and they both lose engagement often but the Nets and Kenny Atkinson specifically put a lot of emphasis on player development. Brooklyn has tried to increase their pace and shoot as many threes as possible over the past few years so Musa and Kurucs will be able to help with that immediately as their offense will give them the chance to fire away from the NBA line. Musa was one of the best guys on the board available at the end of the first round.
Fantasy impact: Low to moderate; unlikely to hold standard league value right away
Elie Okobo – No. 31 by the Phoenix Suns
The French guard was the first pick in the second round by the Suns who are already high on him as they gave him a four-year, $6 million contract. He had a chance to go higher but his intention to come over this season kept some teams away from drafting him and this decision might look bad in a few years. Devin Booker’s progression as a primary ball handler is the big question the team will face moving forward and a lot will depend on who they sign as their starting point guard as I don’t anticipate Okobo to earn many minutes at the beginning of the season.
Fantasy impact: Moderate to high; dependent on playing time but solid upside
Isaac Bonga – No. 39 by the Los Angeles Lakers
Bonga landed with the Lakers after they acquired the No. 39 selection from the Sixers in the draft. Since the trade won’t be official until July 6, the team can’t really say a lot about him but he’ll eventually be a Laker and is expected to play for the team in the Las Vegas Summer League. He is another stash option that will have to develop his game in the next couple years.
Fantasy impact: N/A
Issuf Sanon – No. 44 by the Washington Wizards
Sanon will take the floor next month in the Las Vegas Summer League where we will be able to see how he performs against better competition. The Wizards saw the Ukrainian guard at the NBA’s international combine and loved his combination of size and speed. With the team lacking any financial flexibility he is expected to be stashed in Europe.
Fantasy impact: N/A
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk – No. 47 by the Los Angeles Lakers
Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson were thrilled to see Svi available when it was their turn to pick deep in the second round. Valuing individual workouts too much over a players’ entire body of work is dangerous but Mykhailiuk has exactly what the Lakers have been after for a while – shooting. The team really hopes he can actually do more than that as Svi guarded elite players like Marvin Bagley during his college career without backing down.
Fantasy impact: Conservatively moderate; specialist value
Arnoldas Kulboka – No. 55 by the Charlotte Hornets
Kulboka will remain in Europe for at least a couple of seasons, but he is an intriguing prospect with good size and a developing offensive game. He is very young and has good NBA size so a few more seasons in Europe could really help him make the transition to the majors.
Fantasy impact: N/A
Kostas Antetokounmpo – No. 60 by the Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs were smart enough to take a chance with Giannis’ little brother who is a raw talent that will most likely be spending his rookie season playing in the G-League. Dallas has been tremendous in developing their players the last few years and if Kostas is able to put in the work he should be able to crack the rotation at some point down the line.
Fantasy impact: Low with moderate upside; long-term option only
Tryggvi Hlinason – Undrafted
Hlinason tried to cash in on a breakout performance with his national team at last summer’s Under-20 European Championship in Greece, but he is still at the early stage of his development and he struggled to earn minutes with one of the best teams in Europe. He was able to secure a spot on the Raptors’ Summer League roster.
LiAngelo Ball – Undrafted
As expected, Lonzo’s brother was not selected on draft night and the Lakers reportedly refused to extend an invite to him for Summer League team so it looks like LiAngelo will be heading overseas soon.
Dusan Ristic – Undrafted
The Serbian big man was supposed to join his former Arizona teammate Deandre Ayton and the Suns for the Las Vegas Summer League but apparently he just decided to withdraw himself from the tournament. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here as he might sign a deal overseas or latch onto another Summer League roster.
Ajdin Penava – Undrafted
The Bosnian forward will be participating in Summer League with the Wizards and I expect him to have a solid performance.
Egor Koulechov – Undrafted
The undrafted small forward is set to play in Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves and he is a sneaky play for a two-way deal.
Anas Mahmoud – Undrafted
The Louisville center will play in Summer League with the Grizzlies.
Yankuba Sima – Undrafted
The Spanish forward will most likely pursue an international career.
Kerem Kanter – Undrafted
Enes Kanter’s little brother is narrowing down his Summer League options and he should get an opportunity with either the Thunder or another NBA franchise.
Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot – Undrafted
Marc Garcia – Undrafted
Aleksandar Lazic – Undrafted
Thank you for reading this article and please make sure to check us out throughout the summer. Stay up to date on all the breaking news and rumors posted on our website and on our Twitter account @HoopBallFantasy.