Full disclosure: I love the field of International prospects in this year's draft. If I am in charge of team that needs a point guard and Trey Burke is off the board I take Dennis Schroeder hands down. I absolutely love Dario Saric, but have heard conflicting reports about whether or not he is entering the draft, which probably means that he won't be coming over for at least a year. Maybe because there are so few sure things American college players this year, or maybe because this year I heavily invested in scouting and watching games. Specifically last year's Nike hoop summit. I really think this is the year to draft and stash. My only concern is that Ernie has never drafted a good International player, at least not for the Wizards. So be honest and let me know what you guys think about:
Dario Saric: This guy is a fluid athlete in a legit 6' 10'' frame. Although he gets a lot of minutes at the 4, he projects more as a 3 in the NBA, only playing minutes at the 4 against stretch 4's. This guy has everything: size, athleticism, a jumpshot, and my favorite thing about him is that he knows how to play the game. He runs the floor hard, fights for loose balls, and just knows how to get open. At the hoop summit, he played tremendous defense against the pick and roll, and killed the US team with savvy, and knowledge of the game. Take him in the 2nd, or trade into the late first to take him, I just love this kid.
Rudy Gobert: By now we all know about the measurements, but they proved accurate at the NBA combine. This guy is a legit 7' 2'' with an unreal 7' 9'' wingspan. Shot blocking monster, has a soft touch and showed off a nice hook shot at the combine. If he gets confident with his hook shot it will be unblockable. I like this guy a lot, but to be honest, I think the Wizards pick is a little high to take him, and I wonder why he didn't dominate against lesser competition overseas. I know a lot of European teens get very inconsistent minutes and when he did play he protected the rim, he ran the floor for easy buckets and he scored in the paint. This is what I think he will do his first couple of years, but the sky is the limit if this guy develops his game.
Giannis Adetokoubo: This guy is VERY interesting. At 6' 9'' he gets most of his minutes as a Point Guard playing in Greece. Smooth athlete, that looks fantastic with the ball in his hands. My concern here is that he will probably not be playing Point here and he looks pretty uncomfortable playing off the ball. His level of competition is almost laughable compared to the NBA or even most college teams, but this kid is talented. I say pass, albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Sergey Karasev: I like this guy a lot too. He has definite role player potential and can be fantastic as a complimentary scorer with just about any team. There are no questions about how this guy will fit in as a pro. One of the best shooters in the entire draft, this guy is excellent at coming off screens and finding soft spots in the D for his sweet left-handed jumper. A little quirky with the ball in his hands, like most lefty's, he isn't as great at shooting off the dribble or creating his own shot, but he is one of the only International prospects there are no questions about how his skill set will translate. I'd love to see him slip to the 2nd.
Lucas Nogueira: This guy is a project, but a worthwhile one. He is 7' with a 7'6 wingspan. This guy should be a rim protecter and a lob target for John Wall his first couple of years. I have never seen a guy with better defensive tools, be as bad as he is defensively. He is consistently in the wrong spot, and he doesn't play hard. Can that be corrected with NBA coaching, or is it too ingrained between his ears? This is a BIG question for any execs who want this guy.
Gorgui Dieng, Steven Adams, and Alex Len: Technically these guys are International prospects even though they played college ball last year, so I lumped them together. I think Dieng projects as a Serge Ibaka type player. He blocks shots at a high level, hits the midrange jumper and runs the floor for easy buckets. I don't know if he can develop the instincts Serge has developed for blocking shots, but he will be an excellent role player. Steven Adams is a guy with all the tools, but I watched a lot of tape on him and boy is he raw. Watched some interviews and came away less than impressed. He seemed aloof and uncaring at best, dumb and immature at worst. I thought he was an ok 2nd round guy. Then the combine happend and this dude killed it. Blocked everything in sight, knocked down some great looking jumpers and and interviewed extremely well. I think the jumpers are a little bit of a mirage, because he barely shot 44% from the charity stripe at Pittsburgh. Alex Len: This is the guy Washington should draft. Big, mobile, soft touch. I am a huge fan. I don't think the injury is indicative of future problems. This guy has it all. Watch the tape of Len dominating everybody Kentucky tried to play on him if you have any questions. His numbers weren't great after that game, because he was constantly doubled. That won't happen in DC with Wall and Beal. If he is on the clock, Len should be a Wizard.