Every year, it seems as though an international player comes out of the shadows a couple months before NBA Draft night and catches the eyes of scouts everywhere.
Last year, it was Giannis Antetokounmpo. At just 19 years old, the guy is a gem. Could Clint Capela be the next potential diamond in the rough worth mentioning?
He has been on the radar of NBA scouts for couple of years now, but most recently, he's shown some improvement and the promise of a future return seems more real now than ever before.
Capela just turned 20 years old and spent last season playing with Chalon in the French Pro A league. His minutes were inconsistent at the beginning of the year, but a mid-season coaching change brought along more playing time for the young gun.
In 2013-14 (which combines stats from the French Pro A and EuroLeague), Capela played 42 games and started 26 of those. Though only averaged 21.4 minutes per night, he still managed to post decent numbers of 9.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
In those respective contests, Capela logged nine double-doubles and shot an astounding 66% percent from the floor. One of his early knocks, however, is that he shoots too many jumpers for a 6'11" power forward. Still, such a shooting percentage shows that he was either putting up less this season, or simply proved to be much more efficient when he did shoot outside of the paint.
Per 36 minute numbers can be deceiving, but Capela's are stellar: 16.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. He certainly has all the promise of a budding defensive star in the NBA, but still has room to improve..
Having said that, one aspect of Capela's game that has executives salivating is the defensive impact he can make on the NBA game. Capela seems to have a natural feel for the game on the defensive end, but still needs to improve upon his awareness on the other end of the floor.
He sometimes looks lost or confused with the ball in his hands, but offensive instincts, are of course, something that can be improved given proper time, attention, and development. Draft Express has Capela going No. 19 to the Chicago Bulls, but other outlets ranking him as high as 15 and as low as 27. One thing seems to be certain -- Capela is a first round talent who will probably take a couple years to truly develop into a legitimate starter (a la Serge Ibaka).