Here at Ball in Europe we (sometimes) like to do things a little early, and I mainly have one thing on my mind about this year’s NBA draft: Namely, next year’s NBA draft.
Since watching the Euroleague third-place game between Partizan Belgrade and CSKA Moscow, I can’t help but think that, because of his decision to stay in Europe an extra season, Jan Vesely [also BallinEurope’s official fearless prediction for Euroleague MVP for 2010-11 –Ed.] could make himself the number 2 pick in next June’s 2011 NBA Draft.
Before removing himself from consideration, Vesely was this season projected as the 10th-15th pick and was considered the best/second-best European pick in the draft alongside Donatas Motiejunas. If Vesely can play as well next season as he did this one, while also improving in his weaknesses and making himself a bit bigger, he could even push Harrison Barnes aside and go no. 1 overall.
Vesely has shown this season that he has the size and talent to play in the NBA; with some clutch play, he has increased his image tenfold and NBA scouts have been all over him, especially at the Euroleague final-four weekend in Paris. I feel Vesely could well be the next European number 1 overall draft pick and he should have a better career than Andrea Bargnani in the NBA.
Also in next year’s draft is fellow European Enes Kanter, who’s currently ranked as the number 1 centre in high school this year but is projected as a power forward in the NBA.
Kanter will be playing at Kentucky this September and, like Vesely is a lock to be a lottery pick in 2011. The excellent NBAdraft.net actually has Kanter as the number 2 pick next season and Jan Vesely going at number 5.
–written by Sam Chadwick
Sam Chadwick is an assistant coach for the Solent Kestrels U13 team. He also writes a basketball-centered blog called Hype.