TOP INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTS

BALL HANDLERS & COMBO GUARDS

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I've been a big fan of Jean Montero since I saw him play at Basketball Without Borders All Star weekend in 2020. A lot in the world has changed since that cold February weekend in Chicago, but Montero's ability to put the ball in the bucket has remained the same.

 

If you look at his size and frame, Montero doesn't pass the eye test and he won't wow you with athleticism and explosiveness. But what he may lack in physical tools, he more than makes up for it with his offensive creativity and scoring instincts.

 

Arguably, Montero will be the face of the newly formed Overtime Elite league (that is expected to compete with the NBA G-League and the NCAA for the top NBA prospects) and more than likely will be it's first player to hear his name called by Adam Silver on draft night.

Jean Montero | 2003 | 6'2" 175 | Overtime Elite | Domincan Republic 

Matteo Spagnolo | 2003| 6'4" 185 | Vanoli Cremona (Italy) | Italy

Hugo Besson | 2001 | 6'3" 195 | New Zealand Breakers ( New Zealand) | France 

Juan Nunez | 2004 | 6'3" 180 | Real Madrid (Spain) | Spain

Daryl Doulla | 2004 | 6'4" N/A | Nevezis (Lithuania) | France

Agustin Ubal | 2003 | 6'6" 195 | Barcelona (Spain) | Uruguay

Pavel Savkov |2002 | 6'7" 200 | Iraugri (Spain) | Russia

WINGS

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I had the opportunity to watch Ousmane Dieng play pick up ball this summer in Los Angeles with a group of college players along with former NBA guard John Lucas and Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney. While I only caught the last few games, I couldn't help but notice the lanky baby faced teenager that was holding his own vs older and stronger players. 

 

In June, Dieng made the interesting choice to leave home and turn down offers from the NBA G-League and top NCAA programs to become the first European prospect to play in the NBL's Next Stars program.

 

2 years ago R.J Hampton was a projected lottery pick who's draft stock took a serious hit while playing for the New Zealand Breakers. Dieng, like Hampton, is a streaky shooter that is at his best with the ball in his hands. The Breakers are stacked with ball handlers this season, so Dieng's role will be something to keep an eye on.

Ousmane Dieng | 2003 | 6'9" 185 | New Zealand Breakers ( New Zealand) | France 

Fedor Zugic | 2003 | 6'6" 190 | Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) | Montenegro

Gabriele Procida | 2002 | 6'7" 215 | Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) | Italy

Dyson Daniels | 2003 | 6'6" 180 | G-League Ignite | Australia 

Abramo Canka |2002 | 6'6" 172| Nevezis ( Lithuania) | Italy

Michael Caicedo | 2003 | 6'6" N/A | Barcelona (Spain) | Spain

Gael Bonilla | 2003 | 6'8" 205 | Barcelona (Spain) | Mexico

Mojave King | 2002 | 6'5" 195 | Adelaide (Australia) | New Zealand

Malcolm Cazalon | 2001 | 6'6" 185 | Mega Bemax | France

COMBO FORWARDS

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Nikola Jovic, not to be confused with Nikola Jokic, is one of the more intriguing international prospects heading into the 2022 NBA Draft. 

At 6'10" Jovic, is a swiss army knife that does a little bit of everything and fills up the stat sheet. He's coming off a strong FIBA Under 19 World Cup where he averaged 18.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game on 49/36/65 shooting splits.

One of the things I like most about Jovic, is he is wired to score and is always aggressive. He also has a toughness and edge to his game that some may confuse for an attitude problem. This may sound crazy to some but he a little Jayson Tatum in his game. Now I don't expect him to have a similar role, but he prefers scoring in the same spots as the Celtics All Star and has a tendency to get caught up playing isolation basketball. 

Overall, I believe Jovic has a chance to be the 1st international player selected in June.

Nikola Jovic | 2003 | 6'10" 205 | Mega Bemax (Serbia) | Serbia

Roko Prkacin | 2002 | 6'9" 235 | KK Cibona (Croatia) | Croatia

Eli Ndiaye | 2004 | 6'8" 185 |Real Madrid (Spain) | Senegal

BIGS

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France's Victor Wembanyama has been widely regarded as the top international prospect since Luka Doncic, but some may consider him the best overall prospect since Anthony Davis entered the league in 2012.

Wembanyama had his coming out party this summer at the FIBA Under 19 World Cup where he dominated on the defensive end, averaging a ridiculous 5.7 blocks per game. Although Chet Holmgren took home MVP honors, in my opinion Wembanyama was the best player in the tournament and his 22 point, 8 rebound and 8 block performance in the gold medal game against team USA cemented him as the best prospect in the world.

All eyes will be on the young French prodigy as he takes the big jump to the tough and physical EuroLeague where he'll have the impossible task of being expected to duplicate the success of Luka Donic who won MVP honors in 2018.

Victor Wembanyama | 2004 | 7'2" 210 |ASVEL ( France) | France 

Yannick Nzosa| 2003 | 6'11" 175 | Unicaja ( Spain) | Congo

Henri Veesaar | 2004 | 6'10| N/A | Real Madrid | Estonia

Tristan Vukcevic | 2003 | 6'11 230 | Real Madrid (Spain) | Serbia

James Nnaji | 2004| 6'10 N/A | Barcelona (Spain) | Nigeria