So much for that potential lottery pick: Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas, perhaps after having seen his stock drop off a bit in the past couple of months, has announced he’ll pull his name from 2010 NBA Draft contention.
Motiejunas’ agent Herb Rudoy explained to ESPN thusly:
“Donatas really felt like he needed another year of international ball before he was ready for the NBA … He wants to be ready to come in and contribute right away and the feedback we got from the NBA suggested that as his body matures, he’ll get there. I fully expect he’ll be in the NBA draft for sure next year.”
With the withdrawal of Motiejunas following Jan Vesely’s April pullout and Kevin Seraphin’s recent seriously ill-timed injury, this particular draft now seems bereft of top-level European players. As Freaknick over at Euroleague Adventures presciently points out, in every single NBA draft since 1995, at least one foreign baller has been drafted in the first round: This streak now figures to come to an end.
On the other hand, The Continent’s prospects certainly look fantastic for 2011, with a European draft class that will probably include Motiejunas, Vesely, Seraphin and Enes Kanter — all with one more year’s of experience under their belt…