2011 NBA Draft: Top 5 Foreign Prospects You Need to Know

Colin KirschnerContributor IIMarch 16, 2011

2011 NBA Draft: Top 5 Foreign Prospects You Need to Know

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The NBA draft always has a select few of foreign prospects.  Unfortunately most of the non-American players are hard to come by, due to the lack of talent over seas, in result this leaves us with a select few of top foreign players.

    It can be extremely hard evaluating most foreign players because they play over seas and their competition comes nowhere close to the NBA.

    Dirk Nowitzki's photo is included for this article largely because he is the model for most European players.

    So who are the top foreign players that could make an impact in the NBA?

5. SG, Bojan Bogdanovic, Crotia

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 195 pounds

    Birth: 4/18/1989

    Bojan Bogdanovic runs the floor very well and loves to shoot the three.  It's not a bad thing he is so trigger happy on the perimeter, as he is very consistent from long range.

    He is most comfortable off the catch and shoot rather than creating his own shot.

    In order to be effective in the NBA he will need to become a better ball handler and  be able to create space for himself.

4. SF/PF, Nikola Mirotic, Montenegro

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    Height: 6'10"

    Weight: 225 pounds

    Birth: 2/11/1991

    Nikola Mirotic is a very long big man who isn't afraid to go after the ball.  He has extremely slow feet, but it's understandable for someone his size.  

    He constantly stays on the perimeter where he loves to jack up three's.  In addition to his perimeter play, he uses the ball fake extremely well and gets by his defender.

    Along with his fakes, he is a solid ball handler for his height and an above average passer.

    To be effective in the NBA he needs to get stronger and become a better rebounder for his size.  This could be due to the fact he lacks any explosiveness what so ever, an area he must improve upon.

3. C, Jonas Valaciunas, Lithuania

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 240 pounds

    Birth: 5/6/1992

    He is a very young and raw offensive big man.  On the plus side, he is extremely long and is active around the basket with nice footwork for his size.  He can be a solid rebounder who can only get better with more experience.

    However, he needs to work on his defense, time and time again, he finds himself piling up stupid fouls.

    In addition to this, he must work on his effectiveness underneath the basket.  This can be an issue due to his lack of strength.

    If he wants to be effective in the NBA, he must get stronger and gain an arsenal of offensive moves.

2. PF, Dontas Motiejunas, Lithuania

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    Height: 7'0"

    Weight: 224 pounds

    Birth: 9/20/1990

    A very similar player to Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers.  He is an extremely long and effective shooter who rises over his defenders.

    Adding to his strengths, he's surprisingly a solid ball handler for his size and does a great job running the floor.

    He plays with a finesse game that is very smooth and fluid with an end result of getting his defender in the air.

    However, to become a solid name in the NBA, he will need to get stronger or he won't be able to bang with the premier players inside.

1. SF/PF, Jan Vesely, Czech Republic

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    Height: 6'11"

    Weight: 230 pounds

    Birth: 4/24/1990

    A very big forward who has excellent size, strength and quickness for his frame and loves running the floor.  He seems to be comfortable on the block or on the perimeter.

    His jumper is very effective due in part to his elevation over his defenders.  In addition to his shooting, he is very quick laterally for his size. His explosiveness allows him to be an extremely good slasher who can finish at will around the rim.

    If he wants to have an impact on an NBA team, he will need to become a better rebounder and add some consistency to his game.