The 2022 International Draft class is definitely interesting. There aren’t many future NBA stars, at least at first glance. But the truth is that there are actually a lot of international players who have NBA potential – as role players – which makes this year’s class one of the deepest in recent memory. Without further ado, these are the Top-5 International players for this year’s Draft Class (including two honorable mention).
1. Nikola Jovic (2003, 6-10, F, Mega Soccerbet)
Nikola Jovic (pictured) exploded this season in Adidas Next Generation and in FIBA’s youth World Champioship, forcing scouts to notice him.
Jovic is a talented combo forward with great size and length. Has a well structured body and is an above average athlete (not elite), who is moving like a perimeter player. What’s even more important though is that he is a born leader, who always gives 100% when he steps the floor.
Jovic can do a little bit of everything on the offensive end of the floor, having 3-level scoring potential. He can shoot off the dribble, drive to the basket and Post Up smaller players, while he has shown potential as a passer. His shot isn’t completely there yet and his shooting range should expand, but has a lot to like.
2. Ousmane Dieng (2003, 6-9, SG, New Zealand Breakers)
Ousmane Dieng has been on the NBA radar at least the past 2 years. His decision to follow the footsteps of players like LaMelo Ball and R.J Hampton and go to the NBL route shows he only has the NBA on his mind. And he will have plenty of chances to show to NBA scouts what he can do after a weird past season, when he played only in France’s 3rd Divsion and didn’t participate in any of FIBA’s Youth Tournaments.
Dieng is as intriguing. A 6-9 combo guard, who is comfortable with the ball in his hands and has spent time as a point guard, with a smooth looking jumper and nice passing skills. He still has some flaws, starting with the way he is handling physicality – since he still needs to bulk up – while his shooting and passing selection can be iffy and isn’t always as aggressive as he could and should be. But the NBL is a very interesting League and he will have the chance to improve there.
3. Carlos Alocen (2000, 6-5, PG, Real Madrid)
After an underwhelming first season with Real Madrid, Carlos Alocen will attempt to bounce back in this year. And there is every reason to believe that he will, since he will have an expanded role this season.
Alocen is a typical Spanish point guard. Quick, with great size, a Pick and Roll maestro with great passing skills, instincts and a pass first mentality, who knows how to moves his legs on defense. He has shown potential as a shooter, but he is inconsistent for now, has problems creating his own shot and is not athletic enough to get all the way to the basket. If he manages to become a consistent 3-point shooter this will open his game, making him a really intriguing prospect.
4. Agustin Ubal (2003, 6-6, SG/PG, Barcelona)
A lanky combo guard with great size and length, Ubal has some interesting tools, earning some hype since last season.
Ubal is a quick (not explosive) combo guard. He is a good shooter in Spot Up Situations, but can also put the ball on the floor and create his own shot, while also showing potential as a passer. He needs to bulk up his body – which is still growing – and he is not an elite athlete, which can be a problem at the next level, mainly on the defensive end. But with his shooting and playmaking, the potential is there.
5. [Plkayer: Tristan Vukcevic] (2003, 6-11, PF/C, Real Madrid)
The son of Dusan Vukcevic – former EuroLeague player – found some time last season in a loaded Real Madrid squad due to injuries in the front court, raising the bar for this season, since he is eligible for the NBA Draft. Vukcevic is a new-era big. Not really athletic, but long, he has a great feel for the game. His touch around the basket is very good for a player his size and age and his shooting range already goes all the way out to FIBA’s 3-point line.
At the same time, he has a high basketball I.Q and nice court vision, while on the defensive end he knows the law of verticality when he is defending at the rim. Vukcevic has his issues defensively when he has to guard the Pick and Roll and he needs to bulk up, while he still has to add a more polished Post Up game. But he has shown enough promise already.
Yannick Nzosa (2003, 6-11, C, Unicaja)
There has been a lot of hype around Yannick Nzosa, the 17 year old bigman out of the Congo, for quite some time and if someone manage watch him up close they can understand the reason. Nzosa has flashed a lot of potential with his mobility and long lanky body. He is all arms and legs and a really good athlete, showing the ability to move laterally, similar to former teammate Usman Garuba.
Nzosa is a lefty, which helps his case, since lefties are always intriguing. He is a very good athlete, who can Play the Pick and Roll as the screener at a very good level already, rolling hard to the basket. He plays above the rim and loves to dunk, but also has some finesse. If he can clean up the hitch in his shooting motion, he will be able to potentially extend his range some and increase his offensive upside.
Roko Prkacin (2002, 6-9, PF/SF, Ciboba Zagreb)
There used to be a lot of hype around Roko Prkacin, but during last season his stock dropped significantly. There was never any doubt about his talent and motor, but there is always the fear that he might has hit a plateau, which kind of makes this season a make or break for him, despite the fact that he is still really young.