For those of us in Philadunkia nation who are old enough to remember the NBA Drafts of the late ‘90’s and early 2000s, you will recall Draft nights during that era were filled with general managers rolling the dice on straight out of high school kids and International prospects with impossible to pronounce names.
In 2005 the NBA age limit knocked the high school kids out of the Draft and after enough Darko Millicic’s (No. 2 overall in 2003), Fran Vasquez’s (No. 11 overall in 2005), Mouhamed Sene’ (No. 10 overall in 2006) and Yi Jianlian’s (No. 6 overall in 2007) washed out of the League, GMs cooled on International prospects.
That was until June 28th, 2013 when a record 12 International players were selected in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft and 19 were taken overall – the highest total since 2005.
Well, if you believe all the mock drafts, that International prospect record from 2013 could fall later this month.
Many “experts” and NBA front office types are labeling the 2014 Draft class as the deepest group in 20 years. Allegedly contained in this draft’s tremendous depth is the best group of International talent in the history of the Association.
Australia’s Dante Exum is widely considered the best of the over-seas group and the 76ers may have the opportunity to select the 19 year old with the 3rd pick in Draft14. However, the bulk of the International players that will be hear their names called on June 26th will be taken in the second round. As we all know, the Sixers currently own five 2nd round picks, so I thought we provide you some info on the International ballers who are being linked to the 76ers in the various online mock drafts.
Damien Inglis (6-8; 240 lbs.; 19 years old; France)
DraftExpress says: “Despite being one of the youngest players in the draft, Inglis might be one of the most ready to step on a NBA floor from a physical standpoint. He measured 6-8 ½ in shoes at the Nike Hoop Summit, with an outstanding 7-3 wingspan and 240 pound frame, figures that put him in a class of his own in terms of non-big men prospects historically according to our unique measurement database. He also has huge hands on top of that…Inglis is a unique prospect in terms of the versatility he displays, but his best attribute from a NBA standpoint likely revolves around his defensive potential. He’s got great instincts and fundamentals to compliment his outstanding size, length and strength, making him capable of guarding up to three positions (2-3-4) at the NBA level…Inglis’ ball-handling in the open floor, passing ability and basketball IQ are likely his biggest selling points offensively…With that said, there are some question marks about the role Inglis will play in the NBA offensively, at least in the short term. While he’s incredibly powerful, he’s not what you’d describe as a freakish athlete in terms of his sheer quickness or explosiveness, which can get him into trouble at times when he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the paint in the half-court. Inglis turned the ball over on 24% of his possessions this season, the fourth highest rate of any of the players in our Top-100 rankings”
NBAdraft.net says: He has an astonishing combination of size, physical skills, length and speed … He’s already well developed from the muscular standpoint, especially in the upper body, with long arms and strong hands … His solid body structure allows him to effectively withstand contact, and to attack the basket… e has remarkable passing skills and ball handling abilities … He tends to switch to the PG position on offense, exploiting his ability to beat his direct defender to create for himself and his teammates … He loves to attack the basket in ISO situations, exploiting his physical skills and his speed, with a slashing style of game… is shooting is the biggest flaw and a point of concern… His mechanics in particular needs several adjustments, both from a quickness and release standpoint … His game comprehension and playmaking skills are still rather raw, bad decision making leads to frequent turnovers…”
Marcus J. Spears ay Yahoo Sports says: Inglis, 18, started for the World Team against the United States Junior National Team during the recent Hoop Summit…and averaged 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in 15 minutes while shooting 38.7 percent from 3-point range through 26 games this season for Chorale de Roanne Basket… Several NBA scouts have told Yahoo Sports they are most attracted by Inglis’ defensive ability…Inglis said he has no NBA buyout with Chorale de Roanne Basket…Inglis said if he isn’t comfortable with his potential draft position he might take his name out by the June 16 deadline…“I want to develop my game with a good team who is very interested and focused on me,” Inglis told Yahoo Sports. “I want to play in the league next year but it depends. I don’t really want [to] take my name out.”
Walter Tavares (7-3; 265 lbs.; 22 yrs. old; Cape Verde / Spain ACB)
DraftExpress says: “Walter Tavares hasn’t been playing basketball for very long, but he’s already established himself as one of the top rebounding and shot-blocking big men in the Spanish ACB… Tavares was discovered by a German tourist in 2009 in his home country of Cape Verde , a small island located about 600 miles off the coast of Senegal. The then 7-feet tall 17 year old was working at his mother’s convenience store, and the German tourist, amazed at his height, decided to recommend him to his friends in Gran Canaria, an ACB team with a strong tradition based in the Canary Islands, off the coast of Morocco… His coming out party from a NBA standpoint came in early February in the Spanish Cup (the Copa del Rey), where he posted 16 points and 8 rebounds in a loss to Real Madrid and their star-studded frontcourt… Tavares has fantastic size to go along with a huge wingspan and extremely large hands. He moves well for a player his size, running the floor awkwardly but effectively, showing nice agility in his ability to set screens and dive to the rim, and also being extremely mobile defensively… Tavares’ biggest appeal as a NBA prospect lies in his ability to protect the paint. He blocks shots at a very nice rate, ranking #1 overall in the ACB on a per-game basis and third-best per-minute. He does a great job of hedging pick and rolls and recovering… also an excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor, which is unique considering the work he does as a weak-side shot-blocker… Offensively is where Tavares’ lack of experience and polish shows the most at the moment. He’s not much of a scorer at all…”
NBAdraft.net says: “He’s always active on the floor, showing great progresses from a conditioning standpoint, compared to when he arrived on the Canary Islands … Offensively he’s really effective in pick and roll situations, showing the ability to finish above the rim after the cut with aggressiveness, furthermore his mobility and coordination make him an effective contributor in creating space for his teammates with solid screens, playing a key role in Gran Canarias offense .. Most of his offensive repertoire is based on dunks and put backs after an offensive rebound, but he has shown significant improvements on his hook shot using his right hand… lacks explosiveness and elite athleticism, furthermore as per all the big man of comparable size, the physical and muscular improvement must be developed carefully, in order to avoid back and structural problems … Offensively he’s still rather raw, he lacks post moves and struggles to effectively take position in the painted area … Furthermore his lack of solid ball handling skills makes it difficult for him to create his own shot”
Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA): “Tavares has a gargantuan 7-foot-8 wingspan, which immediately makes scouts foam at the mouth, and he’s a strong 260-pounds with fairly quick feet…With a terrific 96.3 defensive rating, a 20.1 total rebound percentage, and an ACB-leading 7.96 block percentage, Tavares is also producing on the court…When scouting Walter Tavares last year, I thought he’d be an extremely limited offensive player, but there is hope…He slips nearly all of his screens (probably instructed to by coaches), but he rolls hard to rim and finishes well, with a quality 1.238 PPP…Though Tavares isn’t an overly athletic center (like DeAndre Jordan, for example), his long wingspan and aggression allows him to dunk most of his attempts near the rim. If Tavares is producing defensively, he’ll at least need to be a threat to score as the freight train rolling down the middle of the paint.”
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (6-6; 205 lbs.; 21 yrs old; Greece/Del. 87ers)
DraftExpress says: “Thanasis made the unusual decision to join the NBA D-League as an international prospect rather than continue to ply his trade in his home country of Greece. His decision seems to be paying off, as he’s received invaluable exposure to NBA personnel thus far, something that is likely to continue… Thanasis’ terrific physical tools give him plenty of room to grow long term as his basketball IQ, skill-level and fundamentals improve… Will his athleticism, energy, and defensive potential be enough to warrant using a draft pick on the Greek forward in the 2014 NBA Draft?”…
C. Smith of Philadunkia.com says: In 50 games for the Sevens Thanasis averaged 12 points; 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and shot 46.9% from the field. I saw Thanasis play on a number of occasions (live and on the web) last season and he reminded me of a smaller, less experienced Jarvis Varnado. Thanasis owns ridiculous athleticism and a nice ability to finish in traffic. His jump shot is simply broke, but that is because of his lack of basketball experience and it can be fixed. I noted that he was a solid defender, but nothing spectacular…I was told by several NBA scouts/front office types that Thanasis was very impressive at the NBA D-League Showcase. Overall I was impressed with what I saw and I have heard enough good things from others to believe the Sixers would draft him later this month if he is available. Still, I also question how many long, athletic and raw basketball players one franchise can have in the fold?!?
ridiculousupside.com says: “The 6’7″ slasher has an athletic frame and body type of a taller Tony Delk. He is one of the most athletic players in all of the D-League, has good floor vision and can defend a handful of positions. He is still raw as a 21 year old, and needs to develop his offensive game, but has a lot of upside… On the offensive end, he is an inconsistent three-point shooter, as someone who struggles from both corners. Antetokounmpo uses a hard crossover from right to left, creates space well, and finishes effectively with the left hand.”
Moussa Diagne (6-11; 230 lbs; 20 yrs. old; Senegal/Spain ACB)
DraftExpress says: “The intrigue surrounding Diagne is obvious on first glance. Standing a shade under 7-feet tall with an outstanding wingspan, reportedly measuring 7-5, he has terrific size for a center prospect. He’ll need to continue adding strength to his impressive 230 pound frame, but compensates with terrific speed and enough explosiveness to make good use of his length as a finisher and shot blocker…Very active with his feet, Diagne pursues the ball aggressively off the rim with reckless abandon on both ends, averaging a tremendous 12.9 rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted. Despite his lack of strength, Diagne shows good toughness rebounding in traffic, often getting a hand on the ball even after getting boxed out… On the offensive end, Diagne finds the vast majority of his scoring within a few feet of the rim in catch and finish situations. Possessing decent, but not great, hands, Diagne does a nice job cutting and rolling hard to the rim playing off his teammates and generating second chance opportunities crashing the boards”
Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA): “Diagne combines athleticism and a reported 88-inch wingspan to rip down 31.2 percent of defensive rebounds while he’s on the floor, which is second in the ACB. Averaging 13 rebounds per 40 minutes, Diagne consistently looks to box out before doing a good job of grabbing rebounds at the apex…has struggled defensively, allowing 1.037 PPP… his lack of experience often puts him in unfortunate situations, especially in the pick-and-roll…However, Diagne closes out strong to contest perimeter jumpers and battles hard when defending on the post.”
Artem Klimenko (7-1; 228 lbs; 20 yrs old; Russia/Russian 2nd Div)
DraftExpress says: “Klimenko is a long, mobile 7-footer who could be a sleeper international prospect in this year’s draft class. Completely off the radar screen playing in the Russian second division… biggest appeal as a prospect starts with his very impressive physical tools, which put him in a rare and highly coveted class of big men. He has excellent size, having measured just a hair under 7-feet without shoes in at the adidas EuroCamp in 2012, to go along with a superb 7-4 wingspan and 9-4 standing reach… Klimenko is extremely mobile for his size, as he runs the floor like a deer and is capable of playing above the rim thanks to his solid leaping ability… he’s not someone you can really throw the ball to inside the post and ask him to go to work. His best source of offense comes in transition, on the offensive glass or moving off the ball, where his mobility, length and soft hands allow him to be a factor as a finisher around the rim… shows some flashes as a mid-range jump-shooter, something his team likes to showcase at times. He can hit a 15-17 footer with solid mechanics and good touch…On the downside, Klimenko still appears to be in a relatively early stage of his development, as his basketball IQ is average and he makes some fairly questionable decisions at times on the floor. He doesn’t always know his limitations seemingly, and gets taken advantage of a little more than you’d hope defensively when going up against older, more experienced big men…”
NBADraft.net says: “He has a good footwork and lateral speed, which makes him really effective in Pick and Roll situations on both ends of the court … Furthermore his mobility makes him really effective in the open court, being an effective offensive weapon both on primary and secondary transition situations … He has soft hands (ambidextrous) and range also with hook shot, and the ability to hit in catch and shoot situations even from a range … Overall he has remarkable shooting skills for a big man, showing the ability even with the jumper and the floater from outside the paint … He’s still skinny even if he has worked on his muscular structure, there’s still room for improvement, he’ll definitely struggle against standard NBA big man … He lacks elite explosiveness and this affects his offensive effectiveness, with most of his game is below the rim, despite his elite size and length … Even with soft hands, his shooting mechanics are not too efficient, lacking fluidity and quickness on his release … He still needs to work on fundamentals in terms of boxing out, rebounding and defending the low-post, where he struggles the most due to his lack of physical strength, being often bounced back by stronger opponents …”
bleacherreport.com says: “A less-polished Timofey Mozgov…Maybe it’s something about Russians or Eastern Europeans, but Klimenko has a similar skill set and style to that of Mozgov. He’s mobile for his size, can finish short hooks over either shoulder, and works hard for high-percentage opportunities. It took a few years for Mozgov to earn 20-plus minutes per night, and it looks like Klimenko may have a similar career path.”
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