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Friday, May 02, 2014

Another Unnecessarily Exhaustive Guide To The NBA Prospects Of The Unsigned NBA Draft Picks, Part One

If your NBA team drafts a player, and yet never signs him, the chances are that they'll still own his draft rights. The presence of those draft rights means that that player can sign only with the right-holding NBA team, and not with any others. Such draft rights can also be traded, either to a recipient team who values the player and thus gives something of value for them, or as arbitrary filler obliging the NBA's rule that all partners in a trade must trade something outbound, however menial.

In theory, there exists multiple uses for these draft rights, both as players and trade pieces. In practice, however, they are often of no use whatsoever. They exist as technicalities, for use in trades or for no use at all. Unless you actually want the player concerned, of course. The chances of that being the case are what this post seeks to document. If only it was something we could bet on. In fact, sportsbooks around the nation too watch these developments closely. It impacts the NBA Betting odds for the teams at play, not so much from a game to game perspective but in regards to a team's chances come playoff time.

This is something of an update to the previous such list, now three years old and in need of sprucing up. A quick check of that link will find much more detail about the player's career to date than this one will contain - such is the needs of the update format. Additionally, a breakdown of the usage of these rights in trades can be found here, a link which also contains a much shorter-handed version of this list). The update of the whereabouts of the players concerned follows this picture of Kevin Garnett.




Atlanta


Alain Digbeu (50th pick, 1997)

- Since the last update, Digbeu has retired. He now lives in Turkey and is now a development coach at Galatasaray. That's a no to an NBA career, then.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%



Sofoklis Schortsanitis (34th pick, 2003)

- Nothing has changed about Sofo. He still puts up ridiculous per-minute scoring numbers on Garret Siler-level field goal percentages, along with weak rebounding, no defense, bad foul shooting, and astronomic foul and turnover rates. You cannot stop him when he gets into the paint, but he cannot stop you at all. And if a defender flops, it will usually work. Without having developed his game in the last seven years, Schortsanitis's window has surely shut.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 2%


Sergiy Gladyr (49th pick, 2009)

- Gladyr has gone to France after four years in Spain, signing with Nanterre. In French league play, he is averaging 10.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25 minutes per game, shooting 40% on the three pointers that make up the vast majority of his game. However, he was badly exposed in his brief Euroleague stint, has done little to ever expand his game, and thus remains limited. He is a good shooter, but has done nothing to distance himself from others. If a reasonably sized unathletic shooting specialist is going to make it in the league, they'll likely need Jon Diebler's efficiency.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 2%


Lucas Noguiera (16th pick, 2013)

- Noguiera's most notable news since being drafted was the three months of this season he missed with semi-serious knee tendinitis, certainly something worrying to hear about one so young. Nevertheless, he's back now, and averaging 6.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 fouls in 16 minutes per game. He is young, sprightly, bouncy, way too thin and raw as bacon. All of which could once have been said of Gorgui Dieng. And look at him now.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 95%



Boston:


Colton Iverson (53rd pick, 2013)

- Iverson had an offer from the Celtics last summer, but turned it down in favour of a well paid gig in Turkey with Besiktas, for whom he has averaged 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 16.6 minutes of Turkish league play. He did however struggle with the quicker pace of the Eurocup, averaging 2.9 points in 20 minutes per contest. Iverson has not exactly been developing new facets to his game overseas - still turnover prone, not a rim protector and a 50% foul shooter, he sticks to that which he does well, which is get in the way, play tough, crash the boards, and drop some short hook shots. It's a limited skill set and one not especially conducive to the modern NBA, but there's nevertheless money in it.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 30%



Brooklyn:


Christian Drejer (51st pick, 2004)

- Long since retired due to injury, Drejer is now a partner in his wife's interior design company.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%



Edin Bavcic (56th pick, 2006)

- Bavcic has spent much of the last few years in Greece, a league where the standard of play has tapered off markedly. This season he has averaged 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 fouls in 26 minutes per game. A finesse power forward without that high of a skill level, Bavcic is an open door defensively and has never added consistent three point range (25.4% this season) to the 19 foot jumpshots he makes his living off. Put it this way - he's no Uros Slokar, and Uros Slokar wasn't good enough.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 1%



Bojan Bogdanovic (31st pick, 2011)

- Bogdanovic will surely one day play in the NBA. He damn near did last summer, and he certainly the ability to. A versatile and talented all-around wing player, Bogdanovic still needs consistent range on his jumpshot - last year's 40% three point shooting was an aberration, and he's back slightly below 30% again this year. But there's clearcut NBA talent here, if he wants it.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 75%



Ilkan Karaman (57th pick, 2012)

- In his first season of significant Euroleague minutes, Karaman struggled. In 12 minutes per game, he recorded only an inefficient 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, numbers far down on his 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in the same minutes in Turkish league play. Karaman remains athletic and intriguing, but turns 24 in a fortnight and needs to start delivering on this promise very soon.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 40%



Chicago:


Vladimir Veremeenko (48th pick, 2006)

- Veremeenko is playing his sixth season with Unics Kazan in Russia, thereby remaining on the fringes of the Euroleague and firmly in the Eurocup this whole time. As he has aged, he has put away the attempts at perimeter play and made himself into a frighteningly efficient big forward role player. In the VTB United League, the Meenks averages 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 fouls in 18.7 minutes per game, shooting 74.6% from the field and 85.2% from the line. And in the Eurocup, he has averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 rebounds, shooting 75.3% from the field and 79.6% from the line. Veremeenko has a few roles to fill, and plays accordingly - he is in to offensive rebound, finish around the rim, occasionally post or do a long slow drive to the rim, defend ruggedly, protect the rim slightly, and foul anyone who gets in his way. He is doing what he should be where he should be doing it. But the projectable combo forward as of his draft time isn't going.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0.5%


Nikola Mirotic (23rd pick, 2011)

- Will surely join, but it's complicated. Sufficiently so to merit its own post, which it will get later.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 100%



Cleveland:


Ejike Ugboaja (55th pick, 2006)

- Ugboaja has dropped down to the Turkish second division. He is starring in it, averaging 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game for ITU, alongside a new and nice 48% three point shooting. Yet he has not NBA skills save for his body type and rebounding effort. And he is surely by now never going to.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0.2%


Sasha Kaun (56th pick, 2008)

- Kaun is well settled into his Russian career, enjoying his sixth season with CSKA Moscow, and an unstoppable force in the VTB United league. Having by now long since proven himself at the Euroleague level, Kaun has done enough to come over to the NBA one day, and says he is still open to the possibility. However, turning 29 next week, this summer might have to be the one.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 20%


Milan Macvan (54th pick, 2011)

- Macvan is having an amazingly efficient year. He shot a 58% true shooting percentage in Euroleague play with Galatasaray, and is shooting a 66% TS in Turkish league play, shooting from all ranges. He also has what is close to a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio on the season. He still cannot and will not defend consistently, however, which is frustating because he can do it.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 10%



Dallas:


Steve Logan (30th pick, 2002)

- Logan has been out of the sport for many years. College was his career.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%



Petteri Koponen (30th pick, 2007)

- In the second year of a three year deal with Russian team Khimky, Koponen has nearly doubled his minutes and his numbers from last year. No longer bound by the rookie scale, Koponen could conceivably join the Mavericks for the minimum salary, though there is no real need for either side to do it.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 5%



Renaldas Seibutis (50th pick, 2007)

- Ronny is back home, having spent the three years since the last update with Lietuvos Rytas. He is in his element here, playing high quality ball on a high quality team, a high IQ combo guard role player fitting any role the team needs. He is exactly where he should be.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 3%



Tadija Dragicevic (53rd pick, 2008)

- Smooth and skilled, Dragicevic looked the part when he was drafted, a big forward not entirely unlike Mirza Teletovic albeit without quite as good of a stroke. However, Drago seemed to stop improving the day he was drafted, and is now a mere role player. He is back with Red Star, the same team he was with when drafted, but when he was drafted, he'd just averaged 20.5 points per game in Adriatic League play. This year, he is averaging only 6.4. And it's not because Red Star got better.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%



Denver:


Sani Becirovic (46th pick, 2003)

- The story at the time that Becirovic was drafted was that the dodgy knees he had suffered from in previous seasons threatened his career longevity and robbed him of his effectiveness. And perhaps he never did hit a height he could otherwise have done, we'll never know. However, 13 years after being drafted, Becirovic is still going. He has dropped down in standard a bit - now a bit-part 16mpg player with Krka, an Adriatic League team but also only a EuroChallenge one - yet this is the 19th season of his professional career, and Becirovic is still a highly effective combo guard, slasher and playmaker. The NBA window is long since closed, which this post is concerned with, yet we hereby take the opportunity to send a little love Becirovic's way.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 1%



Xue Yuyang (57th pick, 2003)

- Yuyang is still playing, averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds in his third season with Qingdao. But it means nothing. He never did at this level. Couldn't defend, too thin, not much of a scorer, couldn't rebound, couldn't handle physical play......couldn't do much of anything, really, except look fairly fluid with the ball on the perimeter for one so tall. Didn't even make good decisions. It was destined to never work out. And it hasn't.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: -1000000%



Chukwudiebere Maduabum (56th pick, 2011)

- Put it this way - Chu Chu recently signed in Mongolia. So that hasn't really worked out. Mind you, there's video.



I wonder if they licensed that intro music.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0.1%



Izzet Turkyilmaz (50th pick, 2012)

- It is hard to gauge Turk's projection on account of how little he plays - only 44 Euroleague minutes all season, 26 of which were in the final dead rubber match. From what little is known, he remains thin, offensively raw (a more complimentary phrasing than unskilled), and certainly not built to handle NBA play at this point.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 6%



Erick Green (46th pick, 2013)

- Green is playing reasonably well if highly inconsistently on the falling giant that is Siena, if second place can ever be considered a fall. He is averaging 11.5 points in 23 minutes per game in Italian league play, and is still a dynamic and explosive driver, but has shown little sign of expanding his game outside of this. He is probably in the right place for his development.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 15%



Joffrey Lauvergne (55th pick, 2013)

- Lauvergne continues to earn big time minutes on a Partizan team that, while they may be smaller budget these days, have been having a fine season. He averaged 31.8 minutes in 24 Euroleague games, recording 11.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, with 265 points on 197 shots. His averages in the highly challenging Adriatic League are so similar to this as to be not worth repeating. Lauvergne has challenged the best players outside the NBA, and more often than not succeeded. There are some ill-advised three point attempts to tidy up still, and he projects as a poor defender at the NBA level should he make it, but he is effective enough elsewhere that he might

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 25%




Golden State:



Mladen Sekularac (55th pick, 2002)

- Sekularac hasn't played in years, and isn't about to. He hasn't played since a career ending injury in November 2008 and has sinced moved into coaching. Golden State has themselves mere trade filler.

Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 0%

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