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DraftExpress :: The Daily Word
       
The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Tuesday, June 28, 2005

International Players: Anybody Ready Out There?
By Jonathan Givony

By href=/profile//> Luis href=/profile//> Fernandez

One href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> main href=/profile//> question href=/profile//> marks href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> fans href=/profile//> ask href=/profile//> themselves href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> hear href=/profile//> about href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> interest href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> international href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> never href=/profile//> seen href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> readiness href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> step href=/profile//> onto href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> contribute. href=/profile//> Particularly href=/profile//> since href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> trend href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> drafting href=/profile//> these href=/profile//> promising href=/profile//> guys href=/profile//> every href=/profile//> year href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> young href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> younger href=/profile//> (otherwise href=/profile//> known href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> strip-mining) href=/profile//> reduces href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> chances href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> finding href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> high href=/profile//> potential href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> overseas href=/profile//> that’s href=/profile//> ready href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> contribute href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> years href=/profile//> afterwards. href=/profile//>

Taking href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> look href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> year’s href=/profile//> crop, href=/profile//> we href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> ranked href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> three href=/profile//> guys href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> stand href=/profile//> out href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> ready href=/profile//> players href=/profile//> among href=/profile//> those href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> round href=/profile//> potential. href=/profile//> Keep href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> mind href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> there’s href=/profile//> no href=/profile//> immediate href=/profile//> star href=/profile//> potential href=/profile//> here, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> readiness href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> relative href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> terms href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> international href=/profile//> competition, href=/profile//> meaning href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> all href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> use href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> extra href=/profile//> season href=/profile//> overseas, href=/profile//> preferably href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Euroleague. href=/profile//> So href=/profile//> chances href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> none href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> them href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> making href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> run href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Rookie href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Year href=/profile//> award href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> they href=/profile//> make href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> League href=/profile//> next href=/profile//> season. href=/profile//>

Here href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> our href=/profile//> podium: href=/profile//>

FIRST

Who?: href=/profile//> Fran href=/profile//> Vázquez

Why?: href=/profile//> Because href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> weapons href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> able href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> translate href=/profile//> into href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> thanks href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> decent href=/profile//> strength. href=/profile//> Also href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> 22 href=/profile//> years href=/profile//> old; href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> been href=/profile//> tested href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> best href=/profile//> competition href=/profile//> level href=/profile//> outside href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> NBA, href=/profile//> enjoying href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> starting href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team. href=/profile//>

What href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> expect href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> now?: href=/profile//> An href=/profile//> athletic href=/profile//> presence href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> paint href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> useful href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> ends href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> floor, href=/profile//> probably href=/profile//> coming href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench href=/profile//> unless href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> drafting href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> desperate href=/profile//> need href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> inside href=/profile//> help. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> would href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> secondary, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> reliable href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> threat. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> need href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> teammates href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> set href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> up, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> he’ll href=/profile//> take href=/profile//> care href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> regularly href=/profile//> hitting href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> mid-range href=/profile//> jumpers href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> finishing href=/profile//> strong href=/profile//> near href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rim--if href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> comfortably href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> did href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Spain--consistently href=/profile//> enough. href=/profile//> On href=/profile//> defense, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> intimidation.

Where href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> suffer?: href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> may href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> pushed href=/profile//> around href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> paint. href=/profile//> Vázquez href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> above href=/profile//> average href=/profile//> strength href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> international href=/profile//> player, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> there’s href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> work href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> do href=/profile//> here. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> struggle href=/profile//> defending href=/profile//> skilled href=/profile//> post href=/profile//> players. href=/profile//> Finally, href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> remains href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> seen href=/profile//> where href=/profile//> does href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> fit href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team, href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> power href=/profile//> forward href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> center, href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> consequences href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> lack href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> four href=/profile//> position, href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> lack href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> size href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> strength href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> middle.

SECOND

Who?: href=/profile//> Roko-Leni href=/profile//> Ukic

Why?: href=/profile//> Because href=/profile//> he’s href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> talented href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> physical href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> athletic href=/profile//> profile href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> hold href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> own href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> top href=/profile//> competition. href=/profile//> Although href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> competitive href=/profile//> leagues, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> does href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> quite href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> amount href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> experience href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> nice href=/profile//> level, href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> grown href=/profile//> men, href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> one href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> examples href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> draft href=/profile//> prospects href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> are href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> absolute href=/profile//> leaders href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> their href=/profile//> Euro href=/profile//> squads, href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> Roko’s href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> pretty href=/profile//> weak.

What href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> expect href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> now?: href=/profile//> Valuable href=/profile//> help href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> playmaking href=/profile//> duties href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench, href=/profile//> perhaps href=/profile//> even href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> creative href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> spark href=/profile//> thanks href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> great href=/profile//> slashing href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> passing href=/profile//> skills. href=/profile//> He’s href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> toughest href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> predict, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> right href=/profile//> team, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> right href=/profile//> confidence href=/profile//> given href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> coach, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> might href=/profile//> become href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> serious href=/profile//> contributor href=/profile//> right href=/profile//> away.

Where href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> suffer?: href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> shooting href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> likely href=/profile//> struggle href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> long href=/profile//> range href=/profile//> until href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> gets href=/profile//> used href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> NBA href=/profile//> three-point href=/profile//> line. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> suffer href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> defense, href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> outmuscled href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> certain href=/profile//> situations. href=/profile//> Quickness-wise, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> should href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> able href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> manage href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> displays href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> right href=/profile//> intensity. href=/profile//> Most href=/profile//> important, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> lack href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> consistency href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> game, href=/profile//> taking href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> bold href=/profile//> decisions, href=/profile//> committing href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> turnovers, href=/profile//> so href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> coach href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> patience href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> him.

THIRD

Who?: href=/profile//> Mickaël href=/profile//> Gelabale

Why?: href=/profile//> He’s href=/profile//> already href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> reliable href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> Real href=/profile//> Madrid, href=/profile//> facing href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> competition, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> features href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> athleticism href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> translate href=/profile//> most href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> current href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> next href=/profile//> level. href=/profile//> He’s href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> oldest href=/profile//> group href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Internationals, href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> born href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> 1983.

What href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> you href=/profile//> expect href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> now?: href=/profile//> A href=/profile//> solid href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> unflashy href=/profile//> (dunks href=/profile//> aside) href=/profile//> role href=/profile//> contribution href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> both href=/profile//> ends href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court. href=/profile//> On href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> end, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> take href=/profile//> advantage href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> spaces href=/profile//> created href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> teammates, href=/profile//> whether href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> deliver href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> mid href=/profile//> range href=/profile//> jumper href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> attack href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> rim. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> won’t href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> problems href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> given href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> length href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> athleticism, href=/profile//> unless href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> matchup href=/profile//> plays href=/profile//> really href=/profile//> physical.

Where href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> suffer?: href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> could href=/profile//> get href=/profile//> outmuscled href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> some href=/profile//> defensive href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> rebounding href=/profile//> situations. href=/profile//> His href=/profile//> three-point href=/profile//> shot href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> consistent href=/profile//> enough href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Europe href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> it href=/profile//> would href=/profile//> turn href=/profile//> worse href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> NBA. href=/profile//> If href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> tries href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> escape href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> secondary href=/profile//> role, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> would href=/profile//> likely href=/profile//> struggle href=/profile//> creating href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> own href=/profile//> shot.

 
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