Jan Vesely has already made a name for himself in Europe by his powerful dunks. The 20-year-old versatile Czech forward led Partizan last season to Euroleague Final Four by shocking entire continent. Will he be making highlights on the other side of the pond next season? According to many experts, the chances are good that the answer is ‘Yes’.
The most promising European bigs are attracting the interest of many NBA teams that would like to see them in their roster for the next season. NBA fans are betting the NBA Spread trying to guess which team will get the first pick but there are lots of talented players projected to get drafted high too.
According to nbadraft.net, there should be four Europeans drafted among the first 11 picks this year. Jan Vesely is ranked highest among international players and is expected to be the 3rd pick by Washington Wizards. DraftExpress.com expects Vesely to picked 9th by Milwaukee Bucks. Either way the Czech prodigy should be among the most wanted players in the draft.
Enes Kanter dominated youth championships of different age groups leading Turkey to success. The 18-year-old center is expected to open NBA door next season. Kanter left home to have an opportunity to play NCAA and is projected to be among the top ten NBA Draft 2011 picks. NBADraft.net ranks him 4th overall.
If the predictions are correct, there should be two Lithuanians selected among the top ten picks. DraftExpress.com predicts Jonas Valanciunas to be the 3rd pick by Washington Wizards while NBADraft.net sees Donatas Motiejunas as 7th overall pick by Detroit Pistons. 18-year-old Valanciunas has been playing in regional league just a couple of years ago but this season he has been a starter for Lietuvos Rytas in Euroleague. The young center still needs to work on his game but he’s showing promise to be a dominant force in the near future.
Donatas Motiejunas has been labelled as the next Nowitzki and could have been drafted in previous years. However, he chose to mature as a player and take the most of the opportunity to go to NBA. Motiejunas is currently spending his second season abroad in Italy with Benetton Treviso and is becoming an important part of his team.
Bojan Bogdanovic of Cibona, Nikola Mirotic of Real Madrid and Robin Benzing of Ratiopharm Ulm are also expected to be drafted this year.