France's Rayan Rupert Signs Contract with New Zealand Breakers of Australian NBL

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2022

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 20: Rayan Rupert, #12 of U18 Pfym Insep Paris in action during the EB Adidas Next Generation Tournament match between U18 PFYM INSEP Paris v U18 Real Madrid at Ranko Zeravica Sports Hall on May 20, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by David Grau/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images)
David Grau/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

French forward Rayan Rupert, who is considered a first-round prospect in the 2023 NBA draft, is reportedly signing a contract with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia's National Basketball League.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news, noting that Rupert is following in the footsteps of Ousmane Dieng, who played for the Breakers last season before entering the 2022 NBA draft.

Orlando Magic guard R.J. Hampton previously played for the Breakers during the 2019-20 season before being taken in the first round of the 2020 draft.

Rupert is currently projected as the No. 21 pick in the 2023 draft by ESPN. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals this season for France's INSEP Academy, which has produced several notable NBA stars, including Tony Parker.

While Rupert could have likely had his pick of top European clubs, it's likely he'll be able to get more extended playing time in the NBL while going against top-flight competition. Should things work out the way he hopes, Rupert could see his name moving up draft boards as the draft process unfolds.

Rupert's combination of length and defensive tenacity will make him attractive to teams, particularly if he's able to develop a more consistent jumper from distance.