Introducing the Top 10 International 2013 NBA Draft Prospects

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 2, 2013

Introducing the Top 10 International 2013 NBA Draft Prospects

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    I've got a feeling it's going to be a big draft year for the international prospects.

    Considering the weak field of American talent, teams will be willing to draft-and-stash rather than waste a roster spot on someone who won't play anyway.

    It's possible we could see five or so international prospects get picked in the first round. We should see at least 10 go between both rounds, with these 10 being the most likely to get called.

10. Alex Abrines, Spain, 6'6'', SG

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    Projected Draft Range: Second round

    Alex Abrines didn't get much playing time this year for Barcelona. He was named MVP of the 2011 U-18 European Championships, and it's kept him in the minds of NBA scouts ever since.

    He's a silky smooth perimeter scorer with a wet jumper and deep range. Watching his tape, you notice he moves well off the ball and consistently sets his feet and rises to fire with balance.

    Abrines is capable of making shots on the move or with defenders in his face, although he's not the most explosive athlete. 

    Abrines projects as a finesse scorer who can spread the floor and knock down shots. He'll be viewed as a draft-and-stash candidate on draft day.

9. Nemanja Nedovic, Serbia, 6'4'', PG/SG

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    Projected Draft Range: Second round

    Nemanja Nedovic's standout quality has been his electric athleticism for a ball-handler.

    Some have even referred to him as the "European Derrick Rose," which gives you an idea of what type of player we're talking about.

    More of a combo guard than a point guard, Nedovic has the physical tools to play either position.

    With the ball in his hands, he has the ability to hit the gap and explode toward the basket. Nedovic seems to be most effective attacking the rim north and south, where he can let his athleticism and springs do most of the talking.

    But creating and facilitating are both considered weaknesses at this point in his career.

    Nedovic has the makeup of an NBA guard, but he still needs to refine his offensive skill set.

8. Mouhammadou Jaiteh, France, 6'11'', C

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    Projected Draft Range: Late first to second round

    Mouhammadou Jaiteh had his way with the competition this year in France's second division.

    Physically, he looks like he could have played a soldier in the movie 300. Jaiteh measures in at 6'11'', 249 pounds with a massive 7'4'' wingspan. His upper body is shredded, and his arms are toned.

    Whether he can play the game or not, his size and strength alone should generate plenty of NBA interest.

    In terms of skills, Jaiteh is fairly raw offensively, although he's capable of scoring down low with an over-the-shoulder jump hook. But most of his buckets come off dump-offs and alley-oops, where nobody can stop him from finishing above the rim.

    Defensively, his appeal is obvious. His presence alone could be worth backup minutes at the center position protecting the paint.

    Jaiteh is unlikely to contribute to an NBA rotation for a few years, but he's worth a look in the late first or second round for a team attempting to beef up its front line.

7. Lucas Nogueira, Brazil, 7'0'', C

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    Projected Draft Range: Late first to second round

    Lucas Nogueira emerged at the 2010 FIBA Americas U-18 Championships as one of the most promising international prospects.

    Since then, Nogueira's development as been somewhat slow; however, his potential remains the same.

    At just under 7'0'' with a wingspan of close to 7'5'', his appeal stems from his size and interior presence. He's a freakishly athletic big man whose offensive games has yet to come around.

    Still raw offensively, Nogueira is pretty much limited to finishing around and above the rim. But he has the size and length to get off shots inside once he improves his fluidity as a low-post scorer.

    Nogueira has obvious appeal as a rim protector but must put some weight on his frame over the next few years.

    He declared in 2011 only to pull his name out before the draft, something you can't do more than once. Expect to hear Nogueira's name called somewhere in the late first or second round based on his top-shelf physical tools.

6. Livio Jean-Charles, France, 6'9'', SF/PF

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    Projected Draft Range: Late first round to second round

    With hundreds of scouts and decision-makers looking on, Livio Jean-Charles went for 27 points and 13 boards against the U.S. team at this year's Nike Hoops Summit.

    This isn't your typical exhibition or McDonald's All-American game. This one is for real, and it pulls a lot of weight during the evaluation process. 

    Enes Kanter went for 34 points and 13 boards at the 2010 Summit. Despite not playing one single game in college because of eligibility issues, he was still taken No. 3 overall based primarily on his performance at this event.

    Jean-Charles was converting every opportunity thrown at him. He has power-forward size and small-forward agility to go along with a very useful 7'2'' wingspan. Finishing on the move and eluding defenders in the air, Jean-Charles was able to turn difficult scoring angles into easy ones.

    He also knocked down a few mid-range jumpers, showing promise as a pick-and-pop or drive-and-dish option.

    Jean-Charles will have to work on his perimeter game, but overall, he looks like someone who can put the ball in the hole for an NBA frontcourt.

5. Dario Saric, Croatia, 6'10'', SF/PF

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    Projected Draft Range: Late first round

    Dario Saric has been a widely recognized name overseas since the 2010 U-16 European Championships. And now at 19 years old, he has placed his name in the 2013 NBA draft pool.

    At 6'10'', Saric can put the ball on the deck and play off the dribble. You just don't see too many athletes that size who can handle the ball, which drives his appeal as an NBA prospect. He has the agility to score on the move and finish over defenders with touch.

    Saric is still a work in progress as a shooter, however. He only made 50 percent of his free throws and 30 percent of his three-pointers this year.

    Still young, he has plenty of offensive promise, and a team willing to wait on it might be rewarded down the road. Saric is a draft-and-stash candidate worth a look in the late first round.

4. Sergey Karasev, Russia, 6'7'', SF

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    Projected Draft Range: Late first round

    Sergey Karasev led Russia's top league in scoring this season and looks like the most poised and polished international prospect on the board.

    He played well at this year's Nike Hoops Summit, showcasing his ability to facilitate from the wing and knock down shots on the perimeter.

    Karasev can put the ball on the floor and pull up on the dime with a clean, balanced release that will be his strongest NBA weapon. His feel and touch are both visible, as he can score in a number of ways in that 10-to-25-foot range.

    Karasev projects as one of those efficient ball-movers who make the right pass and take the right shot. His high basketball IQ, reliable stroke and savvy passing skills should allow him to slide in between scorers and provide a lineup with balance.

3. Giannis Adetokunbo, Greece, 6'9'', SF

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    Projected Draft Range: Mid-to-late first round

    Currently playing in the second division in Greece, Giannis Adetokunbo appeared all over NBA radars in 2013.

    Scouts and executives have traveled to see him, hoping not to miss out on the next hidden gem.

    From the tape I've seen, it's clear why he's so captivating. Adetokunbo is a 6'9'' wing who can handle the ball like a point guard. He has incredible length and massive hands to go with athleticism and spring in his lower body.

    The versatility he can potentially offer is what drives his upside as a prospect.

    He's still very much a work in progress, however. I caught his last game in full, where Adetokunbo was forced off the ball and essentially taken out of his element. He's going to have to learn the natural small-forward position and figure out how to contribute when the ball isn't in his hands.

    But Adetokunbo isn't a short-term solution—he's a long-term project.

    We can paint a picture of what we think he'll look like 10 years from now. And that picture is worth the price of a first-round pick for a team that can afford to risk now for later.

2. Dennis Schröder, Germany, 6'2'', PG

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    Projected Draft Range: Mid-first round

    Dennis Schröder used this year's Nike Hoops Summit as his career-breakthrough platform.

    He created attention for himself during practice sessions and followed through during the main event, where he went for 18 points and six assists in a win over the U.S. team.

    Schröder had been praised throughout the year for his improved maturity as a point guard, and it showed against some of the top young prospects in America.

    He broke down the defense by using his incredible speed and quickness and creating scoring opportunities once he got into the paint. Schröder knocked down shots off the dribble with balance, pulling up before traffic in the mid-range and shooting over screens behind the arc.

    Physically, there's a lot to like. He has the look of an NBA point guard with a long, 6'7'' wingspan and a strong upper body.

    Working on his decision-making and jumper will be atop the priority list moving forward, but Schröder is a name to watch as he makes his push for the pros.

1. Rudy Gobert, France, 7'2'', PF/C

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    Projected Draft Range: Late lottery to mid-first round

    Rudy Gobert generated buzz for himself at last summer's Adidas EUROCAMP and is now considered by many to be the top prospect overseas.

    His measurements are unheard of. Gobert stands at 7'2'' and sports an unprecedented 7'9'' wingspan. To put that in perspective, Anthony Davis' and Kevin Durant's wingspans are closer to 7'5''.

    With this type of height and length, Gobert covers a ton of ground in every direction.

    But what really drive his value are his mobility and athleticism. This isn't some beanpole who just stands in the paint; Gobert can get up and down the floor, fly in for tip-ins, block shots from the weak side and catch off-target passes above the rim.

    Gobert isn't exactly featured in his team's offense overseas and isn't projected to be so in the NBA. He's a guy who's going to make plays off the ball as a finisher, rebounder and rim protector.

    Gobert is raw in terms of generating his own offense, but his feel, motor and absurd physical attributes should be good for a few easy buckets every game.

    The NBA guys love size, length and athleticism, and Gobert has a unique combination of all three. Considering how weak this field is, particularly at the top, Gobert has the potential to crack the lottery with his upside.