The 2012 NBA Draft has the potential to be one of the strongest drafts of the last few years, mostly due to the number of talented American college players.
Not so much with the internationals.
While the 2011 draft had several top-level European players including Jonas Valanciunas, Nikola Mirotec and Jan Vesley, this year’s crop is significantly weaker.
While there may be several NBA caliber players coming out this year, it is looking very likely that there will be no European players in this year’s lottery. Obviously, things can change drastically between now and June, but it would be hard to confidently say that any European prospect truly is a surefire first-round pick in the new ye,,ar. It is very likely that we will see several prospects break out in the second half of the season, but this year’s international crop has been a bit of a letdown so far this season.
It may be a less overwhelming international class than in years past, but there are still a few players who can be contributors down the road. Here is a look at 10 of the best international prospects who are likely to enter the 2012 draft.
1. Furkan Aldemir, PF, 6-10, 220, 1991, Team: Galatasaray (Turkey), Nationality: Turkey
Euroleague -G-12, MPG-14.8, PPG-6.8, 2PT%-53.8%, FT%-78.8%, RPG-4.9
Turkish League- G-10 MPG-17.1, PPG-8.0, 2PT%-59.6%, FT%-51.4%, RPG-4.9
During his time with Galatasaray, Aldemir has shown an ability to hold his own in the paint against top-level competition. While most European fours are very similar to NBA threes, Aldemir is a true power forward who finishes around the rim and crashes the boards. Aldemir may not be a surefire prospect like Valanciunas or other top Euro big men of years past, but after proving himself as a solid Euroleague player at 20 years old, he likely will get a long look as a first-rounder.