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Ranking the Top International Prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft

Daniel O'BrienFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

Ranking the Top International Prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft

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    The 2013 NBA draft class features a wide range of international prospects, as Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and Canada are all well-represented.

    Who are the best of these foreign-born ballers?

    This group may not have a Dirk Nowitzki or a Tony Parker in it, but there are a handful of role players that are waiting to make an impact (think Luis Scola, Nicolas Batum or Omer Asik, for comparison's sake).

    International prospects are often the most exciting because they're fresh faces with different styles of play. Find out who tops our foreign food chain as we break down the best young players the world has to offer in 2013.

20. Matthew Dellavedova, PG, Australia

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    Hometown: Maryborough, Australia

    Age: 22

    Height: 6'4"

     

    Although he's a long shot to get drafted, Matthew Dellavedova will likely receive summer league and training camp invites due to his floor general skills and shooting ability.

    With extensive experience on Australia's national team and four years at St. Mary's, he's one of the scrappiest point guards you'll ever find. Dellavedova is brilliant in the pick-and-roll, where his timing, accuracy and decision-making are exemplary.

    If you're waiting to hear his name called on draft night, don't hold your breath. However, he should get some opportunities to crack a roster over the next few months.

19. Augusto Cesar Lima, PF, Brazil

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    Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Age: 21

    Height: 6'10"

     

    Brazilian power forward Augusto Lima isn't among the elite post players in this draft class because he lacks threatening post moves.

    However, he's a superb athlete who can protect the rim and score with authority around the bucket. Lima's profile from NBADraft.net explains his ability to fill an important role:

    He's not a highly technical player, but he has strong and quick hands and a good ability to finish around the basket...While his game is rather remedial, he has an excellent idea of who he is and plays "within himself"

    What he lacks in a jump shot or advanced skills, he makes up for with an NBA-ready body and ample athleticism.

18. Marko Todorovic, C, Montenegro

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    Hometown: Podgorica, Montenegro

    Age: 21

    Height: 6'11"

     

    A team looking to add depth in the post with a late second-round selection might be interested in Marko Todorovic.

    He's not going to blow anyone away with foot speed, agility or ultra-creative moves. Instead, he'll use his size to rebound, shoot off the dribble and hit the occasional outside shot.

    Todorovic could be extremely useful in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations in the NBA if given the chance.

17. Alex Abrines, SG, Spain

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    Hometown: Mallorca, Spain

    Age: 20

    Height: 6'5"

     

    Spanish youngster Alex Abrines has become an NBA prospect because he can shoot the rock with ease.

    But can he do anything else?

    He doesn't quite pass the eye test when it comes to strength, creativity, and explosiveness. It raises doubts as to whether he'll be able to stay in front of opposing shooting guards on defense.

    If Abrines proves that he can get his shot off against NBA-caliber defenders, he'll be a handy reserve scorer.

16. Bojan Dubljevic, (PF/C), Montenegro

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    Hometown: Niksic, Montenegro

    Age: 21

    Height: 6'11"

     

    With a highly productive year in the Spanish ACB league, Bojan Dubljevic is getting NBA attention for his strong low-block presence and good hands.

    His physical play underneath and ability to turn over either shoulder and score led to 55 percent shooting inside the arc in 2012-13. Dubljevic has also demonstrated that he can burn defenses with his outside shot, as he hit 48 percent of his triples in ACB play.

    If he can prove that he can defend NBA bigs, he'll find a place in the Association as a reserve power forward or center.

15. Nemanja Nedovic, PG, Serbia

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    Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia

    Age: 21

    Height: 6'4"

     

    One of the more exciting second-round international prospects, Nemanja Nedovic seems like a less-accurate European version of Jimmer Fredette. He can slash all the way to the cup, pull up and hit difficult mid-range shots, and he can also fire away from deep.

    When watching his game, a big NBA question mark is whether he'll settle in as a wing or become a ball-dominant combo guard.

    His court vision and decision-making might render him a less-than-efficient facilitator, but there's no doubt that he'll create scoring opportunities for himself and others.

14. Myck Kabongo, PG, Canada

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    Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

    Age: 21

    Height: 6'3"

     

    After a couple of roller-coaster seasons at Texas, Myck Kabongo is taking his playmaking talents to the pros.

    The Canadian point guard is adept at using his foot speed to get into the lane and either score or dish. At times, he tries to do too much, which is a court-awareness flaw that makes some executives nervous (he had 3.4 turnovers per game in 2012-13).

    Kabongo must also improve his jump shot consistency because his usefulness is greatly diminished if he doesn't.

    Fortunately, he still has considerable upside, and his athleticism and agility could help him build a solid NBA career.

13. Livio Jean-Charles, PF, France

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    Hometown: Cayenne, French Guiana

    Age: 19

    Height: 6'9"

     

    After gobbling up rebound after rebound at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit, Livio Jean-Charles bolstered his draft stock as a power forward.

    According to DraftExpress.com's Matt Kamalsky, he "did more to help himself over the course of the week than anyone in attendance."

    Jean-Charles' length and athleticism weren't the most impressive aspects of his rebounding and scoring sprees; his exceptional timing and effort were.

    Defending his position, crashing the glass and constantly finding the ball at the rim will give him the best shot at sticking in the league.

12. Mouhammadou Jaiteh, C, France

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    Hometown: Pantin, France

    Age: 18

    Height: 6'11"

     

    He's not a high-flier by any means, but French center Mouhammadou Jaiteh gets the job done with agility and length.

    Jaiteh possesses superb lateral movement in half-court scenarios, along with excellent body control in transition. His offensive repertoire isn't too fancy, but he always knows where he is and executes on simple lay-ins and baby hooks, even in traffic.

    With his height and young age, you would think his stock and upside would be higher. A severe lack of springs limits his potential, though.

11. Lucas Nogueira, C, Brazil

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    Hometown: Sao Goncalo, Brazil

    Age: 20

    Height: 6'11"

     

    Lucas Nogueira has a 7'6" wingspan, and he knows how to use it.

    With some development and polishing on both ends of the floor, he will be a threatening presence in the NBA paint.

    Nogueria has the potential to be a formidable shot-blocker, and he can also finish over crowds and feast off put-backs and alley-oops.

    With some extra bulk and some extra low-post practice, he will be a capable true center.

10. Giannis Adetokunbo, SF, Greece

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    Hometown: Athens, Greece

    Age: 18

    Height: 6'9"

     

    We don't yet know whether he'll be a star or a bust, but it's not too early to get excited about Giannis Adetokunbo.

    He possesses the mobility of a wing and the length of a center, and when you factor in his skills, you get one of the most versatile international prospects in the draft.

    Adetokunbo's jump shot isn't going to scare defenses anytime soon, but his playmaking abilities will. He can slash to the rim acrobatically or distribute the ball to teammates like a point-forward.

    He won't have to wait too long before he hears the phone ring on draft night.

9. Dario Saric, SF, Croatia

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    Hometown: Sibenik, Croatia

    Age: 19

    Height: 6'10"

     

    It's rare to find someone of Dario Saric's age and height who knows how to score within the flow of the offense.

    He's not only a great outside shooter and passer, but he knows how to work without the ball. Saric slides into gaps and drifts to open spaces on the wing, ready to catch and shoot.

    Although he's not completely ready to be a dynamic NBA small forward, he's shown substantial progress as a ball-handler and playmaker.

8. Gorgui Dieng, C, Senegal

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    Hometown: Kebemer, Senegal

    Age: 23

    Height: 6'11"

     

    A 7'3.5" wingspan and gradual skill progression on both ends of the floor have earned Gorgui Dieng first-round buzz in the month leading up to the draft.

    The 2012-13 Louisville Cardinals championship season featured improved passing and shooting efficiency from Dieng, along with greater rebounding skills and an even better defensive approach.

    Dieng isn't bound for superstardom, but he is the type of prospect who could become reliable in all areas of the game. He should contribute immediately yet continue to make strides once he enters the league.

7. Sergey Karasev, SF, Russia

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    Hometown: St. Petersburg, Russia

    Age: 19

    Height: 6'7"

     

    Russian forward Sergey Karasev might be one of the worst athletes selected in the first round, if not the entire draft.

    He makes up for it, though, with terrific outside shooting and a talent for passing that is rarely found in forwards. Karasev can make point guard-like passes off the dribble or while surveying the floor from a stand-still.

    In 11 Eurocup games throughout 2012-13, the Russian star scored 16.1 points and dealt 2.4 assists, while shooting a blistering 49 percent from distance. His rookie-season goal should be to compete defensively and prove that he can operate as a high-level decision-maker on offense.

6. Steven Adams, C, New Zealand

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    Hometown: Rotorua, New Zealand

    Age: 19

    Height: 7'0"

     

    While his freshman statistics at Pittsburgh were less than spectacular, Steven Adams is projected to land in the first round because he's a true seven-footer who's 19 and is still evolving.

    Adams' mobility and hunger on the boards are his two best attributes in addition to his sheer size. At the 2013 draft combine, the ESPNU commentary crew noticed his end-to-end foot speed and stamina compared to other centers in the group.

    Can he continue to develop his jump shot and low-post scoring skills? If he does, he'll be well on his way to earning minutes in the NBA.

5. Kelly Olynyk, C, Canada

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    Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

    Age: 22

    Height: 7'0"

     

    Well-polished Canadian center Kelly Olynyk was one of the main reasons that the Gonzaga Bulldogs decimated WCC opponents and rose to No. 1 in the country at one point in 2013.

    He led the conference in true shooting percentage with a scorching .675 mark, due to his soft touch inside and beyond the arc. Olynyk proved that he could score in a variety of ways, from powerful low-post moves to finesse plays.

    More importantly, the mediocre athlete has a good feel for the game as a teammate. His passing skills and pick-and-roll instincts will serve him well at the next level.

4. Rudy Gobert, PF/C, France

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    Hometown: Saint-Quentin, France

    Age: 20

    Height: 7'2"

     

    If Rudy Gobert enters the Association ready to learn and play aggressively, he could make a huge impact.

    His 7'9" wingspan alone will pose problems for many NBA frontcourts, especially ones that have turned to small ball in recent years.

    Gobert can cover a lot of ground and protect the rim against anyone, and he also moves quickly for a big man.

    Sure, he lacks advanced skills or a sturdy frame. But he's 20, and he'll adjust accordingly.

3. Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany

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    Hometown: Braunschweig, Germany

    Age: 19

    Height: 6'2"

     

    German speedster Dennis Schroeder has catapulted up mock drafts in recent weeks.

    Why? Because we're learning that his ceiling is pretty high, and his dual-threat of scoring and facilitating may suit him well in the NBA.

    He can get past his man and set up teammates or take it all the way to the tin. Combine that with solid outside shooting and enormous defensive potential, and you've got an exciting prospect.

    Schroeder may thrive in the pick-and-roll oriented NBA, and he'll certainly cause mayhem in transition.

2. Alex Len, C, Ukraine

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    Hometown: Antratsit, Ukraine

    Age: 19

    Height: 7'1"

     

    Defensive mobility and shot-blocking prowess made Maryland center Alex Len a notable figure in the ACC.

    A rapidly expanding offensive repertoire made him a notable figure in NBA circles.

    He can score comfortably with either hand, and he is especially comfortable when dunking on opponents. Len doesn't own the smoothest back-to-the-basket attack, but he's a terrific passer out of the post.

    As a face-up scorer, he incorporates jab steps, spin moves and baseline drives to work his defender out of position. He then uses his size to take care of the rest.

1. Anthony Bennett, SF/PF, Canada

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    Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

    Age: 20

    Height: 6'7"

     

    Toronto native and UNLV standout Anthony Bennett is more than just the best foreign player in the draft. He's one of the best prospects, period.

    He can torch defenses with his smooth mid-range jumper, or he can punish them by exploding to the basket. Bennett might look like a football tight end, but he's as agile as a wide receiver.

    The NBA will value his combination of basketball skills and physical tools because he can guard multiple positions, rebound effectively and operate as a key piece offensively.

     

    Follow Dan on Twitter for more NBA Draft coverage: @DanielO_BR

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