Giannis Adetokunbo, an 18-year-old forward from Greece who stands 6'9 with a 7'3 wingspan and has skyrocketed up draft boards in recent weeks, is apparently scaring away lottery teams in the 2013 NBA Draft with his latest demands. Adetokunbo is a raw prospect who never played against FIBA-level competition as a young athlete and only put up modest numbers for his professional team last year. But he's now telling teams that he wants to come to the NBA right away and has no interest in being stashed overseas to develop his game, according to Chad Ford of ESPN and Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
Adetokunbo has been compared to Nicolas Batum and Thabo Sefolosha, but he badly needs to add strength and his skills have never really been tested against top competition. Fran Fraschilla of ESPN recently suggested that he is several years away from contributing to an NBA team, so if Adetokunbo wants to come to the NBA right away, it becomes a difficult gamble for franchises picking in the lottery. They could play him in the NBA D-League to refine his skills, but doing so would start the clock on his NBA contract. Meanwhile, an extended stay in Europe would allow for development time without chipping away at his draft rights.
Here's an excerpt from the SB Nation scouting report:
Realistically, he's at least two years away from coming over. He will play in Spain next season. If Greece is A or AA ball, Spain is AAA. At that point, when he is a 20- or 21-year old with years of competition against high-level talent under his best, gauging his ceiling will be easier.
He may top out as a secondary ball-handler and an extremely long 3+D wing, but that's still worth a high pick for a team that can wait.
SB Nation NBA has created a mock draft round up from draft sites around the Internet, and Adetokunbo is currently projected to go in the 12-18 range. Could this new demand depress his draft stock at the last minute? With the NBA Draft, you never know.