On Wednesday, the Washington Wizards selected Deni Avdija No. 9 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Avdija played most recently for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Liga HaAL (The Premier League) and the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, where he averaged 12.9 points per game in the 2019-20 season in domestic competition and 4 points per game in EuroLeague play where he played fewer minutes by design.
As a 19 year old rookie, Avdija is already very accomplished on the international stage. He already led his native Israel to the 2019 FIBA U20 European Championship tand was named the MVP. You can expect him to be a force for the Israeli senior team in European play for years to come in EuroBasket and beyond while playing on the international stage.
If you haven’t seen him play, here are some highlights.
Deni Avdija finished out his Israeli League season today with a championship win over Rishon while capturing league MVP honors. Before today, Avdija averaged 13.2 PTS, 6.3 REBS, 2.6 AST, 1.0 BLK, 0.9 STL in 27 MIN while shooting 68% from 2, 36% from 3 in 32 Israeli League games. pic.twitter.com/lbzLrxLdWl— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) July 28, 2020
I’m happy with this pick by the Wizards. While Avdija isn’t the “brand name” player with a college resume, making a big impact as a teenager in a major professional basketball league is promising for sure.
Welcome to D.C. Deni!