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Giddey, Sengun, Garuba amongst worldwide NBA prospects

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It wasn’t that way back 6-foot-8 Australian level guard Josh Giddey’s goal was to play within the NBL — not the NBA.

The Melbourne native had his nation’s Nationwide Basketball League in thoughts when it got here to profession targets, however his recreation saved bettering — and ultimately so did his targets.

“I used to be good at basketball however I simply did not suppose I’d be within the place I’m now,” Giddey mentioned. “My aim was to be a very good NBL participant. The NBA was at all times a dream, but it surely didn’t develop into a actuality till in all probability six to 12 months in the past.”


The 18-year-old Giddey is amongst one other crop of intriguing worldwide prospects anticipated to listen to their names referred to as within the NBA draft on Thursday. Different projected first-round alternatives are Usman Garuba, a middle/energy ahead from Spain, and Alperen Sengun, a middle from Turkey.

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Some NBA followers could not know their names but, as was the case with another gems which have come from the worldwide pool of gamers in recent times like Luka Doncic (third total choose in 2018), Nikola Jokic (forty first total in 2014) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (fifteenth total in 2013).

Giddey, thought of among the best passers within the draft, had turned down faculty provides and as an alternative selected to play this previous season for the Adelaide 36ers.

It is trying prefer it was a very good determination.

In 28 video games, he averaged 10.9 factors, 7.4 rebounds, a league-leading 7.6 assists, and three.3 turnovers per recreation.

“Taking part in in opposition to grown males at an early age I believed would fast-track my growth,” Giddey mentioned in a pre-draft media session on-line.

He additionally credit the NBA World Academy with growing his recreation and placing him on the radar with scouts.

Right here’s a have a look at a few of the high worldwide prospects:



With the ball in his arms, he at all times appears to be beneath management and makes nice choices.

STRENGTHS: He is a lanky 205 kilos and never tremendous explosive like different prospects, however makes up for it with, as they are saying, a excessive basketball IQ. “I’m not an enormous spotlight reel sort of man. I’m a team-first playmaking guard,” he mentioned. “My recreation is sort of as you see it. Passing is my greatest energy … within the NBA as a result of the court docket is a lot extra spaced and unfold out — it’s going to permit me to get into the paint and make some extra reads, whether or not that’s scoring on the learn myself or hitting teammates.”

CONCERNS: A knock on Giddey is his capturing, which is a piece in progress. He shot 43% total and simply 29.3% from the 3-point line in a reasonably small pattern measurement (29 of 99 from lengthy vary). He admits he had a sluggish begin to the NBL season.

“It took me a short time to seek out my ft,” he mentioned “I believe the capturing factor about me is a bit exaggerated. I began the 12 months so unhealthy it was laborious for me to catch up percentage-wise.”


Giddey did not make it to Japan for the Olympics, however Usman Garuba is enjoying within the Tokyo Video games for Spain alongside Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio and firm.

STRENGTHS: Along with his 6-foot-8, 230-pound body, protection is considered one of Garuba’s calling playing cards. The Actual Madrid energy/ahead middle solely turned 19 in March and already has two full seasons beneath his belt within the extremely revered Spanish home league and the EuroLeague,

CONCERNS: He averaged 5.6 factors and 5.3 rebounds per recreation within the Spanish league final season, with barely decrease averages within the EuroLeague. He averaged 7.2 rebounds per recreation within the EuroLeague playoffs. However he has proven regular enchancment. His EuroLeague averages final season have been 4 factors, 4 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 0.6 steals in simply over 16 minutes per recreation — adequate to win the “rising star” award as voted by coaches.

“To me, that was some of the spectacular issues — watching what he was doing within the EuroLeague playoffs in opposition to Efes — switching out on these guards, it’s difficult,” mentioned Will Voigt, who coached in Germany final season with Bonn. “He not solely held his personal, however was making performs. To see these flashes at that age, at that degree, is fairly spectacular. He can guard 1 by way of 5.”


Alperen Sengun is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound “old-fashioned” middle/energy ahead. He fashions his recreation after Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal, in addition to present bigs Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, he mentioned.

STRENGTHS: His upside. He simply turned 19 on Sunday, which suggests he was all of 18 years {old} when he gained the MVP award of the Turkish league final season with Besiktas. He averaged 18.6 factors, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 34 video games in 2020-21. Sengun has nice footwork, an array of low-post strikes, finishes deftly with each arms, and is an efficient passer.

CONCERNS: He isn’t a very good long-distance shooter and lacks quickness, particularly defensively. “I’ve to enhance my pick-and-roll protection and my switching protection,” he mentioned by way of a translator in a pre-draft media session Monday.


Belgium is a hotspot for waffles — not often for NBA prospects. Vrenz Bleijenbergh and Amar Sylla hope to vary that. Bleijenbergh had flown a bit beneath the radar, however not anymore. The 6-foot-10 playmaker has been posting on his social media accounts about his pre-draft exercises — greater than a dozen. For Antwerp final season, the 20-year-old averaged 9.5 factors, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists per recreation and shot 33.5% from distance. In tweets Saturday, he cited draft day and indicated a shock was in retailer, posting: “I can’t anticipate the day that I show all the folks that doubted me unsuitable.” Sylla is one other Belgium-based prospect that might discover his method onto an NBA roster. The 6-foot-9 energy ahead is a Senegal native and performed for Oostende final season.

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