By Hocine LOUKKAF on 5/20/2021
While Sengun has definitely become a candidate for a top 10 pick and Garuba proved that he was more than a defensive specialist, several other international prospects are struggling. In the meantime, a well-known French prospect has overexceeds the hype around him as he will have to wait two more years to enter the draft.
Alperen Sengun, 6-10 C 2002 born Beskitas (Turkey)
Stats : 19pts 9.3rbds 2.7as 1.7bl
With only two games under 10pts this year (8 and 9), Sengun has been as consistent as you can get fom an 18y/o big man. He also had two of his most impressive statlines recently with a season-high 31pts (and 10rbds) against Buyukcekmece and an even more complete 22pts 10rbds as 4st and 2bl against Tofas. All these performances have led the Turkish league to choose him as the MVP of the BSL, a rare feat for such a young player in such a tough league.
Usman Garuba, 6-8 PF 2002 born Real Madrid (Spain)
Stats : 3.9pts 4rbds 0.7bl (Euroleague) 5.5pts 5.3rbds 0.4bl (Spain)
Far from being the most productive stat-wise, Garuba has been more efficient since April 11. Over the last eleven games, he had eight games with 8pts or more including five double-digit scoring games. He also rebounded better with nine games with 5rbds or more including three double-digit rebounding games. Among these games, his best performance was in Euroleague quarter-finals as he recorded 24pts 12rbds against Anadolu Efes from Turkey. The last two months of competition may propell him into lottery discussion.
Josh Giddey, 6-8 PG 2002 born Adelaide (Australia)
Stats : 10.8pts 7.4rbds 7.4as
After a streak of seven double-digit scoring games between early March and April 10 during which Giddey shot 14/33 from three, the Australian prospect has been more inconsistent since then with four of his last nine games under 10pts with a very poor 5/27 from three. Projected now as a lottery pick, Giddey has also hit some kind of rookie wall as he had 5tos or more five times over the last seven games, far more than during the rest of the season (two 6tos games). The talent is undeniable but Giddey has also some red flags he needs to work on.
Roko Prkacin, 6-9 PF 2002 born Cibona (Croatia)
Stats : 13.4pts 6.8rbds 40% 3pt (Adriatic League)
After a nice month of April during which he had his two best scoring games, albeit against weak teams, Prkacin has been cold over the last three games as he had 0, 8 and 5pts while hitting 6/23 from the field in the subpar Croatian championship. A polarizing prospect until now, Prkacin had better prove he has the motor to finish well his season not to drop in the second round.
Juhann Begarin, 6-5 SG 2002 born Paris (France)
Stats : 10.8pts 3.8rbds 2.6as (French 2nd division)
Despite a good game two days ago with 13pts 5as on 3/4 3pt, Begarin had struggled over the previous four games with three games with 4pts or less and and 9/31 FG. The French prospect has all the tools to be an NBA player but has to work on his inconcistency which prevents him from being considering a surefire first rounder.
Could Victor Wembanyama become the best prospect ever over the next two years?
We had already talked about the French unicorn but he’s been once again exceeding the expectations. Indeed, after a first significant appearance in French Jeep Elite in November against Boulogne-Levallois where he scored 6pts and grabbed 6rbds in 16min, the now 7-3 17y/o phenom has once again been launched against the pros as he has played 14min over his last six games, as Nanterre has been struggling to secure its spot in the French top division. During these six games, Wembanyama was not only efficient, but also clutch as he averaged 8.8pts 6.3rbds and 1.8bl in 19min, helping Nanterre win four games in the process. He’s been iniured recently but Nanterre won’t hurry to put its jewel back on the court.
Wembanyama still has two years left to wait before entering the draft but one thing is sure, over the last 20 years, basically since the rise of Tony Parker, we have never seen a player that young being so efficient in French pro A. What is even scarier is that he’s as powerful on defense as a rim protector as he’s impressive on offense due to his length but also his versatility and shooting for such a young man. Over the next two years, if he stays healthy (he has a very good head on his shoulders and the good people around him), he will gain strength, athleticism, improve his skills and probably become a modern version of Ralph Sampson, maybe better.
Click below for our latest mock draft.