NBA PM: How Good are the Europeans?
How Good are These Euros?
The misguided perception concerning European NBA prospects is that once the dam burst, they’d regularly be among the top players chosen in every draft.
Back in the early 2000s, Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakovic were setting the league on fire while big men like Pau Gasol, Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Darko Milicic were becoming early lottery picks. The conventional wisdom at the time was that this trend would continue indefinitely.
The truth, we found out, is that the European leagues are a lot of America’s NCAA: Draft classes tend to vary from year to year.
So is this an up year or a down year for the Europeans?
“It’s a down cycle right now for foreign players,” ESPN analyst and former New Mexico head coach Fran Fraschilla told HOOPSWORLD. “While there still will be five or six that are drafted in the second round, the likelihood is there’s not a lot of foreign-born kids to be excited about—even in a draft-and-stash mode.”
The truth is, outside of Evan Fournier, the 19-year-old Poitiers swingman, there are only a handful of European prospects and all of them will be picked in the second round if they’re selected at all.
There has been a tendency by certain NBA teams to draft Europeans in the second round and stash them overseas until they’re ready to make it in the NBA, but as Fraschilla said, even that strategy is too optimistic for this year’s bunch.
However, there are a few names worth remembering:
Tomas Satoransky: A native of Prague, Satoransky was solid if unspectacular with Banca Civica Sevilla in 2011-2012, averaging 4.8 points and 1.4 assists in 17.3 minutes per game. At 6-7, he could play either point guard or shooting guard. “He burst on to the scene as a 17-year-old at the Reebok Euro Camp,” Fraschilla said. “He’s a kid scouts are still trying to project his NBA position. Some see him a point guard. He’s a below-average shooter and not someone who can instantly help a team right now. He’s a good bargain in the respect that, he’ll stay in Europe.”
Kostas Papanikolaou: The 6-8 Olympiakos forward is a decent defender, but still rough offensively. He had a big impact in the Euroleague semifinals and finals. The question now is, can he turn his athleticism and energy into an NBA career?
Leon Radosevic: A 6-10 power forward with a 7-0 wingspan, Radosevic looks like an NBA player. However, he was used infrequently with Armani Milano (just 10.5 mpg in the Italian league) so there’s not a lot to go on with him. He is a good shooter inside of the arc (62.8 percent on two-point field goals in the Italian league) and is a candidate to add a significant amount of muscle to his 238-pound frame.
Furkan Aldemir: A 6-9 forward with long arms and modest athleticism, Aldemir is a good rebounder and an improving defender for Istanbul’s Galatasaray. He’s still young enough to develop into a center, so scouts are paying close attention to what he’s doing in the weight room. If he can add to his 220-pound frame, he’d have a much brighter future stateside.
Is Golden State Moving Up or Down?
All rumors concerning the Golden State Warriors over the last several days had the team trading down in the draft with the idea that they’d be unable with land their small forward of the future with the seventh-overall pick. Both North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes and Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are expected to be off the board by that point, and since the Warriors already have starters at point guard (Stephen Curry), shooting guard (Klay Thompson), power forward (David Lee) and center (Andrew Bogut, and if he’s not healthy, Andris Biedrins), the logical next thought was for Golden State to trade down.
But the Warriors aren’t in a rush to make any decision. Instead, general manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob have flown to New York City to watch Barnes and Connecticut center Andre Drummond work out, sources told Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com.
It’s pretty obvious why Drummond and Barnes have yet to work out for the Warriors: It’s been assumed that they’ll both be off the board within the first six picks. Drummond is a potential candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 6 and Barnes could be picked anywhere from second to fifth.
So the fact that Myers and Lacob have made the trip to New York suggests that they don’t think anything is written in stone. The Blazers could very well take Duke shooting guard Austin Rivers, as HOOPSWORLD’s Steve Kyler suggested, or Weber State point guard Damian Lillard, and that could free up the Warriors to take Drummond.
Another alternative is that the Warriors are actually considering trading up in the draft, which is what many teams are trying to do at the moment. The question is, what assets can they offer?
Currently the Warriors have the San Antonio Spurs’ first-round pick as well as the Brooklyn Nets’ and Atlanta Hawks’ second-round picks. They also have long-term project Jeremy Tyler, who looked solid in five D-League games (15.6 ppg), but failed to make much of an impact in the NBA (his best performance happened in the season finale, where he scored 16 points and added nine boards).
Amar’e Stoudemire Fined
Predictably, Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire has been fined $50,000 for the league for an offensive tweet, the league announced today.
Rockets Interested in Smith?
If the Rockets cannot land Dwight Howard in a trade, ESPN’s Marc Stein wrote on Twitter, they could turn their attention to Hawks forward Josh Smith.
“Trade story add: Dwight obviously Rockets’ dream target but sources say they’ll pursue Atlanta’s Josh Smith (and others) if ORL won’t budge.”
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