By now, you’ve read an awful lot about Kristaps Porzingis and Mario Hezonja so we’ve put together the essentials you need to know about the bunch of other Euros who will hear their names called on Thursday night
Going all-in on Porzingis and Hezonja isn’t a bad thing. These are two high profile yet wildly different prospects who are going to be lottery picks. In spite of that, we still hear plenty of use of the word mystery around both players because apparently some NBA scouting departments would like you to think they can’t access the internet. Rob Scott has hammered this point home better than I can but in order to get past the mystery we’ve added two extra stats to each player to make you better informed about them.
We have listed them based on the Draft Express mock draft because, amongst other good things, Jonathan Givony does a really good job at presenting the most important information for anyone who wants to know about a prospect.
Guillermo ‘Willy’ Hernangomez
Current team: Sevilla (on loan from Real Madrid
Draft Express projection: 32 to Houston Rockets
Mystery level: If you watched Porzingis play, you have watched Hernangomez.
Sam Hinkie has…flat out lied if he says this is a mystery prospect
In terms of situations, Hernangomez is coming from a good one. Sevilla may not be the most stable of clubs but it knows how to ensure young players get the right minutes. Working through Real’s youth system will also have been a plus. Defensive rebounding is his big strength at present and where he would likely fare well early in his NBA career if and when he jumps.
Current team: Zalgiris Kaunas
Draft Express projection: 33 to Boston Celtics
Mystery level: The Lithuanian league broadcasts games on YouTube for free.
Sam Hinkie has… probably facetimed him.
Gudaitis has been talked up a lot and he definitely projects as a potentially great player but the eyeball test for me says he is a long way from NBA ready. Gudaitis definitely needs to fill out a bit but he’s getting experience at Euroleague which will at least get him used to the grind of being a 5 as well as anywhere can. Looks like a man who could do with at least one more, if not two, seasons in Europe before jumping.
Current team: Anadolu Efes
Draft Express projection: 44 to Phoenix Suns
Mystery level: Between playing in Euroleague and the Turkish league, both of which are easy to watch online, and a bunch of FIBA tournaments I’m calling this level below zero.
Sam Hinkie has… a subscription to DigiTurk Play and thinks it’s great value
Bonus video that serves no purpose beyond entertainment
A year ago, Cedi looked like a great kid who might take a while to mature. By the end of this season, he had bulked up enough and developed enough confidence in his game to look ready to go right now. He’s about 5 minutes from ready for the NBA and a stint in the Summer League would have done him a world of good. The reality is that Osman will almost certainly spend another two years in Turkey before jumping but at a pick this low, he delivers tremendous value.
Current team: San Sebastian (on loan from Real Madrid)
Draft Express projection: 52 to Dallas Mavericks
Mystery level: The most legitimate here as Spain’s top tier, the ACB, isn’t actually that easy to watch online but like the Sevilla players there are enough full games on YouTube to analyse and he played a heap of minutes
Sam Hinkie has… him pegged as a way to help the rebuild in 2020
If there’s one player on this list most likely to pull a Sergio Llull and hang around in Spain until he hits his peak years and then jump, it’s Diez. He’s in a good situation, his development has come on big time this year, and with the shuffling at Real Madrid he’s likely to get an opportunity to be a factor for Los Blancos sooner or later.
Current team: Cantu
Draft Express projection: 57 to Denver Nuggets
Mystery level: Off the radar for most until this season but you can download all the games from Serie A’s site so roughly zero.
Sam Hinkie has… been all about that Abass that Abass
Of all the second round Euros that are projected to have their names called Abass is either the most or joint-most likely to make the jump right away to try and prove himself because his window of opportunity may not be that wide. Having not even been seriously on the radar of Europe’s power clubs, he’s getting some keen eyes from scouts. It’s going to be a flier for whoever takes him.
Current team: Rishon Le-Zion
Draft Express projection: 58 to Philadelphia 76ers
Mystery level: You can download every game in the Israeli league so, again, zero.
Sam Hinkie has… learnt Hebrew so he can find the games just in case Google Translate ever fails him.
Dawson is another late bloomer and playing in the Israeli league has kept him a touch isolated from the rest of these prospects in terms of attention. At present, he’s getting good minutes with a meh team and projects as an energetic slasher. His timing really couldn’t have been better, saving the best basketball of his career to date until the final months before he became automatically draft eligible. Alongside Abass, I see him at least trying to jump right away.
Current team: Sevilla
Draft Express projection: 59 to Atlanta Hawks
Mystery level: Umm he plays for Sevilla, so between Porzingis and Hernangomez you really should have seen him by now
Sam Hinkie has… a holiday home in Seville that he is looking to let next season.
After a bunch of his countrymen were drafted a year ago, Radicevic is the only Serb projected to hear his name called on Thursday night. In terms of development, between Partizan’s famed youth focus in Belgrade, where he played before jumping to Spain, and his time with Sevilla Radicevic has a great track record. With good vision and solid playmaking ability, he could develop into a bargain pick this low in the draft.