NBA Draft 2013: Breaking Down Most Intriguing International Prospects

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMay 11, 2013

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Teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves have had success finding international talent in the NBA draft throughout the years.

While the 2013 draft class isn't spectacular overall compared to years past, there are some very intriguing international prospects who could do big things in the NBA down the road.

This year may be one of those years where NBA teams look at prospects with high ceilings instead of settling for "safe" prospects.

Here's a look at my favorite international prospects of the 2013 NBA draft class.


3. Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia

Sergey Karasev is a sharpshooter. That's the first thing you need to know.

The 19-year-old shot 49 percent from beyond the arc in Eurocup play last season, displaying a shoot touch that could make a team like the Chicago Bulls drool.

But it's not just Karasev's shooting ability that has opened eyes. He's a smart player who can play multiple positions, and he also is an efficient slasher. He's not the most dynamic athlete, but he brings a lot of skills to the table. His outside shooting ability pushes him ahead of Croatia's Dario Saric for me.


2. Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece

Warning: Video NSFW (language)

Giannis Adetokunbo may have played against poor competition in Greece, but you can tell from his game tape that his skills translate nicely to the NBA.

I'm very high on this kid, as is Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, who currently projects him to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 17 overall. 

Adetokunbo's skill set has been compared to that of Scottie Pippen's. In my mind, that's a great comparison. Obviously, no one is saying Adetokunbo is going to be the next Pippen, but his vision and passing skills, along with his fluidity driving to the hoop, make it a legitimate comparison.

Adetokunbo is also just 18 years old. He's not going to be ready right away, but if you work with him, he has the potential to be a difference-maker in the NBA. His biggest weakness is his jump shot, but he's already an adept slasher.


1. Rudy Gobert, PF, France

Most draft experts have Rudy Gobert as one of the first international players selected in the draft. 

The first thing you notice about Gobert is his eye-opening athleticism, explosiveness and length at 7'1", 220 pounds. He has an incredible 7'9" wingspan. Combined with his leaping ability and rebounding skills, some believe he could become a star in the NBA.

Of course, there are those who look at his numbers in the French League (8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds) and wonder if he will develop enough in the coming years.

To me, I think this is a prospect you have to work with. If he lands with someone like, say, the San Antonio Spurs, he could mature into a big-time player in the pros. If he lands with a team that doesn't have a lot of structure, I could see him languishing in the NBA and eventually flopping.

One thing's for sure: Rudy Gobert has the look of an NBA star. Whether he becomes one depends on whether he learns the intricacies of the game. That's on him, as well as the coaching staff that brings him on.


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