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NBA Draft Prospects Shine in European Tour
- Updated: January 31, 2024
ESPN’s NBA draft analyst, Jonathan Givony, embarked on a comprehensive 10-day tour across Europe, scouting some of the brightest international prospects set to make waves in the 2024 NBA Draft. Here’s a detailed look at his findings:
Scouting the European Talent
Givony’s journey kicked off in Germany, where he witnessed defending BBL champion Ratiopharm Ulm facing off against Brose Bamberg. The standout prospect from this matchup was 19-year-old Spanish point guard Juan Nunez. Despite a somewhat underwhelming performance, Nunez’s skills as an elite pick-and-roll operator and exceptional passing ability garnered considerable NBA interest. His teammate, 18-year-old French wing Pacome Dadiet, also turned heads, showcasing promising traits despite being in the early stages of development.
Cholet Basket’s Tidjane Salaun Impresses in France
Moving to France, Givony observed Cholet Basket, a familiar ground for NBA scouts. Tidjane Salaun, a rising star standing at 6-11, displayed a dynamic shooting ability and athleticism, making a case for himself with a stellar performance. However, questions about his feel for the game and defensive rebounding abilities surfaced, leaving NBA teams with considerations about his overall readiness for the league.
Belgrade’s Nikola Topic Recovery Update
In Belgrade, the focus shifted to Nikola Topic’s midseason return from Mega MIS to Red Star. Despite a knee injury setback, Topic received optimistic news from his doctor, avoiding the need for surgery. Givony highlighted Topic’s high lottery potential and the impact of his return on Red Star’s EuroLeague campaign.
INSEP Academy and Joventut Badalona Showcase in Paris
A doubleheader in Paris featured INSEP Academy, renowned for nurturing talents like Tony Parker and Evan Fournier. 17-year-old point guard Nolan Traore stole the spotlight with an impressive showing, emphasizing his ball-handling, passing, and scoring abilities. Another prospect, 17-year-old Croatian power forward Michael Ruzic, made waves in a EuroCup game, showcasing remarkable skills for his age.
Zaccharie Risacher Dominates in Thessaloniki
The scouting caravan concluded its journey in Thessaloniki, Greece, witnessing a standout performance by 18-year-old Zaccharie Risacher. The potential No. 1 pick exhibited versatility, making three-pointers, orchestrating plays, and showcasing defensive prowess. Risacher’s youth, confidence, and unprecedented accomplishments at the EuroCup level positioned him as a top candidate for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.
In summary, Givony’s European tour unveiled a rich pool of talent with diverse skill sets, leaving NBA teams with intriguing prospects to consider for the upcoming draft. From seasoned players to rising stars, the international stage promises a draft class that could significantly impact the league’s landscape.
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By- Sahiba Suri