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Donatas Motiejunas, Likely Lottery Pick, Pulls Out Of NBA Draft

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Donatas Motiejunas, Likely Lottery Pick, Pulls Out Of NBA Draft

After years of international players flooding the NBA Draft, it's possible that there could only be a single foreign-born player taken in the first-round this year. Indeed, Draft Express reports that sure-fire first-rounder, and possible lottery pick, Donatas Motiejunas is withdrawing from the draft, leaving the field of international prospects very thin. Draft Express had him ranked as the 14th-best prospect in the class.

The 19-year old Motiejunas is a 7-footer who hails from Lithuania, and played the last season for Benneton Treviso in the Italian league. While he struggled for playing time early last year, he came on as the season progressed, displaying the prodigious skill level and face-up game that makes NBA scouts salivate. Still, he's rail-thin for his size, meaning that he's likely a few years away from bulking up enough to handle the rigors of playing down low in the NBA. His agent indicated that Montiejunas was planning on staying in Europe precisely for that reason: trying to develop more strength, while still getting the playing time to improve his all-around game that continuing to suit up for Benneton will give him.

Another likely consideration for Motiejunas is that nearly every top American prospect has declared for this year's draft out of fear of a possible lockout next season, meaning next year's draft pool should be much weaker. If Motiejunas can add some muscle to his frame and improve his numbers in the Italian league, he could have a decent shot at being in the first ten picks, if not higher.

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