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2020 NBA Draft

Amherstcavsfan

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17-year-old Usman Garuba made his debut for Real Madrid yesterday, tallying 5 points, 2 boards, and a block in 13 minutes off the bench. He's not quite as precocious as Doncic, but he'll enjoy two full seasons of elite pro basketball before the 2021 draft, which should give him the inside lane to a top-5 pick.
Just curious:

I know Euroleague is the biggest, but how does La Liga and whatever League Deni plays in for Maccabi compare?

Further, is Deni's production anything close to Doncic levels? Where would you rate him as an international prospect?
 

Nathan S

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Just curious:

I know Euroleague is the biggest, but how does La Liga and whatever League Deni plays in for Maccabi compare?

Further, is Deni's production anything close to Doncic levels? Where would you rate him as an international prospect?
This article is a little out of date (in particular, I think European clubs have leached away some top D-League players, significantly weakening the D-League and modestly strengthening most international leagues), but still a good guide: https://fansided.com/2015/11/06/deep-dives-measuring-level-of-competition-around-the-world/

Basically, Euroleague is the second-toughest league in the world, with the Spanish ACB pretty close behind. A significant notch below is the D-League, Eurocup (second-tier international behind Euroleague), major-conference NCAA basketball and top domestic leagues. This year we'll see Avdija and Maledon in Euroleague as well as in their respective domestic leagues (French, Israeli). We'll also see Killian Hayes in Eurocup and in the German domestic league. Finally, we'll see Ball and Hampton in the Australian domestic league.

Avdija is a significantly worse prospect than Doncic, and we can see that by the fact that he only tallied 51 total Euroleague minutes in his age 17-18 campaign. Doncic was far more advanced, playing about 700 minutes and starting several games in his age 17-18 season. Even if Deni makes a big leap, he won't reach the heights Doncic reached in his final Euro season (e.g. Euroleague MVP). That's not to say he isn't a top-10 pick, but there's no evidence that he's a generational superstar kind of prospect.

It'd hard to rank these guys right now because none of them have played a lot of minutes against serious competition. I think all of them have very real potential to go top-10 though.

I'll also mention Garuba again, even though he's a 2021 guy, since you ask about Doncic comparisons. He's obviously a different type of player, but like Doncic, he's starting for possibly the 31st-best basketball team in the world at 17 years old. That's rare, unprecedented before Doncic really. Unlike the 2019 international prospects, he's on a #1-pick kind of trajectory so far in his career.
 

Nathan S

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First Euroleague game of the season for Deni yesterday, who went scoreless in 10 minutes off the bench but did chip in with three dimes and two blocks. He'll hope to supplant Yovel Zoosman (who we saw in summer league) in the starting lineup in order to stay on track for a lottery pick. 2021 prospect Garuba, meanwhile, was DNP-CD in Real's heavyweight matchup against Fenerbahce. Maledon will make his Euroleague debut later today against Olympiacos.

EDIT: Maledon managed just 1 rebound and 1 assist in 9 minutes. I had pretty modest expectations given the level of competition, but these are still disappointing debuts from Avdija and Maledon, and suggest that they're at least a half-step behind Hayes, Hampton, and Ball among internationals this year.
 
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Amherstcavsfan

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Does anyone have a good place to watch Euroleague or the Australian League?
 

Nathan S

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No action for Deni in the first half against Real Madrid. Maledon, meanwhile, has injured his shoulder and is out for at least a month. Hayes meanwhile has racked up 16 assists to just 4 turnovers in two games at the lower Eurocup level, but has gone just 6/20 from the field. None of the Euro guys really charging out of the gate, to sum it up. I'd have Hayes late lottery, Avdija and Maledon both mid first.

Hampton meanwhile is in the US with the New Zealand Breakers, enjoying experiencing some preseason action against NBA teams. He had a rough time against the Grizzlies, managing just 2 points on 1/8 shooting. Ball will play his second Australian League game tomorrow after a decent debut last week in which he struggled a bit with his shot, going 0/5 from 3, but filled out the box score with 8 boards, 4 dimes, and 4 steals. I'd have Ball mid lottery, Hampton mid first at the moment.
 
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Nathan S

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If the draft was done today Ball would go top 5
Bit of a knee-jerk reaction to put him top-5, I think. Though two games he has some very apparent strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, he's sitting at 40% true shooting, and his team is 0-2 with the second-worst offense and the worst defense in the league. On the other hand, he's filling out the rest of the box score quite nicely with 5 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, and just 2 turnovers per game.

Fairly or not, his scoring ability will go under the microscope as teams try to see if he really has a higher ceiling than his brother. If he's shooting under 30% from 3 and under 40% from the field at the end of the season, I think his floor is somewhere in the teens or early 20's. If on the other hand he improves significantly as a scorer, there's almost no limit to how high he could go. I decided to split the difference between these outcomes and call him mid-lottery for now.
 

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Bit of a knee-jerk reaction to put him top-5, I think. Though two games he has some very apparent strengths and weaknesses. On one hand, he's sitting at 40% true shooting, and his team is 0-2 with the second-worst offense and the worst defense in the league. On the other hand, he's filling out the rest of the box score quite nicely with 5 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, and just 2 turnovers per game.

Fairly or not, his scoring ability will go under the microscope as teams try to see if he really has a higher ceiling than his brother. If he's shooting under 30% from 3 and under 40% from the field at the end of the season, I think his floor is somewhere in the teens or early 20's. If on the other hand he improves significantly as a scorer, there's almost no limit to how high he could go. I decided to split the difference between these outcomes and call him mid-lottery for now.
Not knee jerk at all, he has performed in an pro league while the others havent even played college yet.
His team record is not fair to place on him, his team is bad and got smashed by the reigning champs who very rarely lose at home + have league MVP Bryce Cotton who is clearly a cut above the league.
From his own team: Aaron Brooks is washed and looks like he wont even start, Boone is washed, their Australian players are mainly young guys or washed vets... so they have a combination of weak imports + Australians that are either just starting to get minutes in the NBL or at the end of their careers.
LaMelo will either lead the league in assists or come second behind Machado, its a two horse race.
No doubt in my mind he would go top 5 right now
His team is comfortably worse than Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, SEM Phoenix. Probably worse than NZ and Brisbane. Should be better than Adelaide and Cairns.
 

Nathan S

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Not knee jerk at all, he has performed in an pro league while the others havent even played college yet.
That's exactly what makes it knee jerk...his season started before NCAA players' seasons, so he's getting disproportionate attention and his stock is skyrocketing as a result. His level of play hasn't been particularly impressive; he's just the only show in town.
 
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cabs

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That's exactly what makes it knee jerk...his season started before NCAA players' seasons, so he's getting disproportionate attention and his stock is skyrocketing as a result. His level of play hasn't been particularly impressive; he's just the only show in town.
well not really, he is a top prospect that is more proven...
 

Nathan S

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One Euro sleeper to keep an eye on is 3-point specialist big Aleksej Pokusevski. Starting at center for Olympiacos, he went 3/9 from deep in their Greek League season opener last week. Needless to say, you don't normally see a teenage center jacking up that many 3's in a game. He still needs to improve his body and show he can defend the position, but if he shows progress in those areas, he could be a lottery prospect. He's the youngest prospect eligible for the draft (as far as I'm aware), turning 18 on December 26.

TheStepien wrote about him last spring:

 

Sir'Dom Pointer

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One Euro sleeper to keep an eye on is 3-point specialist big Aleksej Pokusevski. Starting at center for Olympiacos, he went 3/9 from deep in their Greek League season opener last week. Needless to say, you don't normally see a teenage center jacking up that many 3's in a game. He still needs to improve his body and show he can defend the position, but if he shows progress in those areas, he could be a lottery prospect. He's the youngest prospect eligible for the draft (as far as I'm aware), turning 18 on December 26.

TheStepien wrote about him last spring:

Cavs need some late 1st , early 2nds to fill the squad with role players, shooters , stretch 4s

With the lottery pick we need a C I feel like
 

Nathan S

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Cavs need some late 1st , early 2nds to fill the squad with role players, shooters , stretch 4s

With the lottery pick we need a C I feel like
I agree, but I'm kind of worried it's Wiseman or bust if we want a franchise center. Isaiah Stewart seems like TT 2.0 and I'm not into it. What do you think?
 

Sir'Dom Pointer

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I agree, but I'm kind of worried it's Wiseman or bust if we want a franchise center. Isaiah Stewart seems like TT 2.0 and I'm not into it. What do you think?
Not convinced by any of them yet. It's tough.. any big sleepers?
We need a two way center.. Hows the 2021 draft? I just dont want to sick another tear and the c position us our most glaring weakness by far.
 

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