The 2011 NBA Draft is creeping closer, but the rumors around it haven't exactly been heating up as most of the top-ranking NBA executives are still over in Treviso wrapping things up following the adidas Eurocamp. With Monday being the withdrawal deadline for the European early-entrants, however, there is some news that will interest the Ridiculous Upside readers.
Lucas Nogueira, the 7-foot Brazilian big man who is probably more Hassan Whiteside than Marcus Camby, has wisely decided to keep his name out of the Draft after not receiving a first-round promise according to ESPN's Chad Ford. That isn't all bad, however, as he'll only be 19 at the time of next year's draft and should be able to develop into more than really long, really raw prospect.
"Nogueira came and did his thing. He was long, active and blocked shots and rebounded in the one game he played here," Ford wrote. "He had five boards and four blocks but shot just 1-for-6 from the field."
"He was better Saturday against the under-19 Serbian teams scoring 11 points and grabbing five boards and four steals," Ford continued. "True to his scouting report, his effort was often inconsistent all day. A leg cramp forced him to shut things down Sunday afternoon and he skipped his team's game."
It might only be me, but I tend to wonder things like "Hey, what if Nogueira was amazing on Sunday and David Kahn drafted him with his first round pick!?"
While losing Nogueira was disappointing to the D-League aficionado in me, Davis Bertans ended up deciding to stay in the draft after previously indicating otherwise according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. Bertans wasn't one of the European prospects getting much buzz up to this point, but after watching a quick video of him working out over the weekend and seeing his worst-case comparison is Steve Novak, I'm delightfully intrigued.
Clicking on the headline, people were probably wondering why they never heard of Rich Cho as an NBA draft prospect. That's because he's not, but he does matter to the draft as the Charlotte Bobcats hired him to be the team's general manager after being fired by the Trail Blazers last month.
Cho is probably best known for being a part of the front office that built the current Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that seems to be full of young players that were acquired through the draft.
Last, but not least, Michael Levin (on a jet plane) is credentialed to cover the draft as soon as the date of June 23 rolls around. Mikey used to write here and then abandoned ship when I abandoned ship to cover the D-League for FanHouse.