The NBA Draft is still way ahead but today, I am going to take a first look at it. Every year, there are some players that come out of nowhere and shine in some pre draft camps like the Reebok Euro Camp or the Nike Hoop Summit. In order to give you already a few hints who might be the next “unknown Euro guy”, I have prepared a Top 10 list of European Prospects that you may not know yet.
Of course I could speak here about players like Nicolas Batum, Danilo Gallinari Ricky Rubio or even Donatas Motiejunas and I would be pretty sure that I have found the names that will get drafted in the next years. But the goal of this post is to make you already familiar with some of the names that maybe will pop up on the different Draft websites in the upcoming months or even years.
I also put them into a ranking, but this ranking is not only based on their potential. I also took into account their “hidden” status as well as their age. Of course, some very young kids have not appeared on the top of the scene, that’s why I don’t want to put them too high. The most of these players have not seen any professional minutes so far, let alone Euroleague playing time.
10. Alexander Lindqvist
A 16 year old 2m03 tall guard from Sweden that broke already a backboard during practice. If that’s all, he would not be worth to be mentioned here, but this kid has some good skills for the future. He has the size and he is making good decisions on the floor in a way that is not often seen at this young age.
9. Sasu Salin
Discovered by New Jersey Nets scout Rob Meurs during the B Division European Championship this Summer, Salin was invited to participate in the Adidas Nations Event in New Orleans. He plays now in Finland for the Honka Playboys Senior team and sees more minutes already than Trailblazers draftee Petteri Koponen at the same age.
8. Nika Metreveli
Born in 1991, Metreveli is the one of the youngest guys on the list. The 2m10 tall forward and recent MVP of the NBA Basketball without Borders camp in Paris has been signed to an 8 year contract by the Italian power house Montepaschi Siena and excels there with the different youth teams.
7. Nando de Colo
Not so unknown anymore, in France at least. The 1987 born guard is playing a great season this year with Cholet and he is clearly ahead in the development over the Reebok Camp 2007 sensation from Cholet Rodrigue Beaubois.
6. Hristo Zahariev
Zahariev is one of the most prolific scorers in his age category. He only turned 17 a few weeks ago but managed to be the second best scorer of the U18 tournament this summer. He left Bulgaria after the end of the tournament and was landed by Panathinaikos Athens.
5. Elias Harris
Playing in the third division in Germany is most unlikely not the best place to get scouted. But there was another German that came out of nowhere a few years ago. Harris is nowhere close to Dirk then when it comes to basketball playing style as we have here an undersized PF who will step up and become an extremely talented wing player for the future.
4. Bojan Bogdanovic
The 1989 born Croat saw some minutes with the Senior team of Real Madrid, where he plays now with the youth teams for several years, in the preseason. But that’s it so far. What can we expect of this extremely talented kid. He will most likely pop up on the international scene at earliest next season.
3. Shemen Shashkov
Nicely hidden at the youth teams of CSKA Moscow, Shashkov is considered by Draftexpress as a top 3 talent of the 1989 generation. Extremely inconsistent due to total absence of any high level competition, Shashkov is a total mystery when it comes up to describe his assets as a future star.
2. Alexey Shved
Already a household name to scouting and draft experts, this name does not ring a bell for most of the European fans. However, this athletic guard from Russia has star potential written all over him. He turns only 19 in December but unfortunately, he has no ability to shine as he is the twelfth man of CSKA Euroleague rotation.
1. Giorgi Shermadini
Georgian seven footer with shooting touch and three point range. Officially he is born in 1989 but of course there are some rumors of him being 2 years older. Even then, he is one of the best Center prospects in Europe. He plays actually for Maccabi…Tblissi and has his own Homepage.
I will come up with updates on the development of all this prospects here on BallinEurope and of course in more detail on my specific blog for European Prospects.