Alperen Sengun (02′, 6-9, PF/C, Besiktas)
Whenever a teenager averages 20 points and 10 rebounds in one of the best Leagues in Europe, it’s impossible to ignore him. Alperen Sengun fits that category.
The Turkish prospect has always been productive at FIBA’s junior level tournaments, but the way this has translated in the Turkish League is just amazing.
Sengun doesn’t pass the eye test at first. Undersized, not overly athletic, has problems on Pick and Roll defense if he doesn’t play drop. But still, he averages 21.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in just under 29 minutes per game for a really young team. He is clever, he shoots above 80% from the free throw line, he has nice footwork in the post. Sengun has taken the Turkish League by storm and nobody should be sleeping on him any longer.
Filip Petrusev (00′, 6-11, C, Mega Soccerbet)
Looking like a late second rounder a few months ago when he played for Gonzaga, Petrusev decided to leave college and play one season with Mega Soccerbet, the team that introduced to the world to players like Jokic, Zubac and Bitadze. And it looks like he made the right call.
Being part of a system that iallows players to showcase their abilities, and play to their strengths, Petrusev has blossomed and has become one of the most productive bigs in Europe. Fairly athletic, with a nice feel around the basket and a high basketball IQ, but with a questionable motor, the Serbian center has raised his stock and if he continues like that he can continue to climb draft boards.
Rokas Jokubaitis (00′, 6-3, PG, Zalgiris)
The lefty guard decided to withdraw his name at the last moment before the NBA Draft 2020 and it seems like he made the right decision. After cracking the rotation last season, Jokubaitis is now playing almost 20 minutes per game at the highest level in EuroLeague and taking advantage of every minute of it to raise his stock.
The Lithuanian prospect has nice size and length, can run Pick and Rolls for days, he is a good passer and he is fearless when he attacks the basket. If he continues like this, he could cement his name as a first rounder in this year’s NBA Draft.
Usman Garuba (02′, 6-8, F/C, Real Madrid)
The Spanish big has been under the NBA microscope for quite some time and he is finally eligible for the NBA Draft. What’s even better for scouts is that he actually has earned a spot in the rotation of Real Madrid playing in both frontcourt positions, making it easier to evaluate him.
Garuba has been a beast at the junior level, which made some scouts skeptical because of the fear that he hit a plateau. The truth though is that he has already shown there are aspects of his game that can translate to the next level, with his defensive potential being the most obvious one. Garuba is a mobile big, who hustles, runs like a deer and isn’t afraid to bang bodies on both ends of the floor. He has the athleticism and potential to become an elite defender and a great rebounder. What will determine his ceiling is how much improvement he can make on the offensive end of the floor, since he is more of an energy player for now, who plays through instinct. Interestingly enough he has started shooting from 3-point range, having some really good moments from time to time in Spot Up situations. If he manages to add this to his arsenal consistently, then he can completely change his outlook as a pro in the future.
Roko Prkacin (02′, 6-9, SF/PF, Cibona)
Another productive teenager, who has been heavily scouted the last two years is Roko Prkacin, who has made a name for himself in FIBA’s games and is seeing consistent minutes this year in ABA-Liga.
Prkacin is a really interesting prospect. Good but not elite athlete, has great feel for the game and has all the necessary tools to become a point forward in the future. He has a very nice body, he is long (7-0 wingpan) and generally goes full speed at all times, attacking the rim ferociously, and looking for contact. His 3-point shot is iffy for now and is more of a power forward than a small forward, but if he manages to improve as a shooter then he could level up a notch.
Josh Giddey (02, 6-8. PG/SF, Adelaide 36ers)
The Australian prospect has gained some steam over the last couple of months. And the NBL hasn’t even started yet, which says a lot.
Giddey is a 6-8 point guard/forward with nice level of mobility and athleticism, who likes to drive to the basket and has very good court vision. His shooting needs some polishing and is probably what worries most the scouts, other than his thin frame. he also lacks elite speed but he, along with King, are considered by many as the best Australian prospect of their generation and it’s more than sure that a lot of people will have their eyes on him.
Mojave King (02′, 6-5, SG, Cairns Taipans)
Mojave King has drawn a lot of interest after his performances in NBA Global Academy and his decision to reject several NCAA colleges and turn pro this season.
King has a really strong frame and nice length. Shooting is the calling card for the Australian/New Zealand wing, who has shown the ability to knock down shots from all over the floor, while at the same time can put the ball on the floor and make good decisions. He is not an elite athlete, has the tendency to force things on offense and has some problems finishing around the basket, but he is intriguing and has a full season in NBL ahead of him to convince scouts about his potential.
Ariel Hukporti (02′, 7-1, C, Nevezis)
The German prospect hasn’t been able to make his debut in the Lithuanian League just yet, but he is still someone to keep an eye on.
Hukporti has been on the NBA radar for quite some time. He is big, he is athletic and has shown a lot potential He is a lefty (which always intrigues), can play the Pick and Roll at a solid level and likes to finish strong at the rim, while having a basic back to the basket game. He has to improve his shooting range and feel for the game (the later could come over time, since bigs generally mature later than guards) and improve as a post player, but his potential is undeniable.
Abramo Canka (02′, 6-6, G, Nevezis)
Nevezis is really trying to become the Lithuanian version of Mega Soccerbet, betting on young prospects with NBA potential. Abramo Canka looks like the player to watch this season, taking the torch from Giorgos Kalaitzakis who was the best prospect on the team one year ago.
Canka is definitely interesting. He has great size for a combo guard, he is bouncy and has shown potential as a 3-point shooter. He still has ways to go as a playmaker and must improve his shot selection and the way he reads the game, but he certainly has potential.
Tom Digbeu (01′, 6-5, G, Prienai)
After a two year span of ups and downs, Tom Digbeu looks like he finally has found his footing. And all he had to do was to sign with Prienai, so that he could have the necessary time he needed to show his talent, having a consistent role within the rotation, with some mixed results.
Digbeu is very good athlete, with two-way potential. He has great wingspan and a very good body, he does most of his damage in transition and has shown potential as a ball handler in Pick and Roll situations because of his passing instincts. His shooting needs work, but in reality what he needs to improve is his concentration, which leads to inconsistency. If he manages to improve upon that, a lot can change regarding the way scouts view him.
Mario Nakic (01′, 6-7, SG/SF, Oostende)
Nakic had his ups and downs in Real Madrid’s program, so he decided to go to Belgium and play for Ooestende, hoping to find consistent playing time. Until now, this playing time kind of comes and goes, since the teanager guard/forward is mostly playing in Belgium, and having a lesser role in Basketball Champions League.
Nakic was always considered a scorer. He has shown the ability to score from everywhere on the floor and can draw fouls like a magnet, while at the same time has been used in Pick and Roll situations with mixed results. He is an average athlete by NBA standards though, has a lot of ups and downs even in the same game and is more of a streaky 3-point shooter for now, so it’s imprtant for him to find consistency.
Carlos Alocen (00′, 6-5, PG, Real Madrid)
The Spanish guard had an excellent campaign in 2019/20 playing on loan from Real Madrid to Zaragoza, where he made his first steps. Going to Real Madrid, he kind of had a reality check this year, realizing that playing for one of the best clubs in Europe is no easy task. Alocen is the last guard in the rotation, even having some games in which he doesn’t even get playing time, since he has a lot of veterans in front of him. He has more opportunities playing in ACB, but he surely doesn’t have as much freedom as he had until last season.
Alocen is a classic Spanish guard. He has elite size, he is quick and is a great pass-first point guard who can see the floor and play good defense, but he is just an average shooter.
Mert Akay (00′, 6-6, PG, Dynamic BG Beograd)
The Turkish prospect took a lot of people by surprise last year when he decided to leave an established team like Darussafaka and sign with Dyamik Beograd of the Serbian League. After a solid first season, he exploded this season, averaging almost 15 points and 10 assists, looking better and better by the day. There are a lot who might think that the level of competition isn’t really high in the Serbian League, but still averaging 15 and 10 as a 20 year old point guard isn’t exactly an easy task.
Akay has made strides in areas like consistency and confidence, which looked like his two major problems. A floor general with great size which gives him the ability to play every perimeter position, Akay is at his best in the open floor. He is great in Pick and Roll situations as the ball handler thanks to his passing instincts, while he likes to drive to the basket and Post Up smaller defenders, taking advantage of his size. Finishing around the rim and 3-point shooting are his major problems at the moment.
Nikita Mikhailovsky (00′, 6-7, SF, Avtodor)
The Russian prospect is already in his 3rd professional season, gaining consistent playing time, once again, in a very competitive League as the VTB League. And has really taken a step forward from last season, looking more consistent.
A gifted shooter and scorer, Nikita Mikhailovsky has 3-level scoring potential. He has great size, he is a good athlete and his 3-point shooting looks like his most translatable skill on the next level, since he is shooting above 40% for the 2nd season in a row. He has even shown some playmaking ability at FIBA’s junior level tournaments, but he hasn’t had the chance to show this at the senior level. At the same time though, for some reason Mikhailivsky has lost the hype that surrounded him two years ago. A come and go motor and inconsistent performances were the main reasons for that, which kind of makes this season a “make or break” one for him. It’s up to him to prove the doubters wrong.
Ismael Kamagate (01′, 6-11, C, Paris Basketball)
The French prospect has put his name on the map the last couple of years thanks to his great size, length and and athleticism. This year is actually just the second season he has gained consistent playing time in the French second division, but it’s the first time he is playing more than 20 minutes, with good results, although the level of competition isn’t really high.
Kamagate is a late bloomer. Still pretty raw on the offensive end and needs a lot of work. But it’s difficult to not take notice of his potential, which is mostly based on his physical profile. He is projected to become a rim runner and a lob target, who also protects the rim at a high level. If he manages to show enough improvement, he could climb up draft boards.
Amar Sylla (01′, 6-9, F, Oostende)
After a so-so 2019/20 season that forced him to never actually consider declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft, Amar Sylla will… run it again with Oostende in the Belgium League, hoping for different results. Thus far, he hasn’t really showed any progress though, having a below average season against medium level competition.
Sylla is a lefty combo forward, who looks more and more like a power forward because of his playing style and lack of perimeter skill set. He is long, athletic, excels on the open floor, is a great rebounder, and has shown some promise as a Spot Up shooter and has a lot of potential on the defensive end. But he is still raw, has to bulk up, his offensive game and feel for the game needs polishing and is an inconsistent shooter. He has to improve in a lot of areas to win the scouts over again.
Arturs Zagars (00′, 6-3, PG, Joventut)
Many scouts are still considering Arturs Zagars the best point guard of his generation in Europe. But the season he is having in Joventut right now has really hurt his stock, since he barely plays after a season when he played sparingly because of injuries. Being on the floor for less than 5 minutes per game surely doesn’t help him to make a case.
The Latvian prospect is a Pick and Roll maestro. He has a fearless approach and can score in a variety of ways (Off the dribble, driving to the basket), while he is a creative passer and a pest on the defensive end. Since he doesn’t have enough playing time to demonstrate all these things, it’s difficult for him to make a case for himself.
Arturs Kurucs (00′, 6-4 SG/PG Baskonia)
Another Latvian prospect, and another player with little to no playing time. After a solid season in Latvia with VEF Riga, Arturs Kurucs returned to Baskonia and unfortunately hasn’t been able to crack the rotation of his team.
Kurucs is a bucket getter. He has a nice body, an excellent first step and has a very nice pull up game, while can play the Pick and Roll at a good level because he is a good passer when he wants to. He is still more of a shooting guard than a point guard and his shooting selection can be erratic – which explains why he can’t get consistent playing time in a team full of veterans – but has potential.
Georgios Kalaitzakis (99′, 6-7, G, Panathinaikos)
After a pretty good season in Nevezis where he played on loan from Panathinaikos, Giorgos Kalaitzakis returned to Panathinaikos and the result has been as expected: Little to no playing time in EuroLeague and little playing time in the Greek Basketball League.
Kalaitzakis has a really interesting skillset. He is long, a fairly good athlete and can play all perimeter positions and create his own shot with ease, while also showing good passing instincts and, when motivated, is a good one-on-one defender.