Dario Saric Wallpaper

Draft and Stash: International Prospects Awaiting the NBA

Dario Saric WallpaperThere are inherent risks when selecting any prospect in the NBA Draft.

Those risks significantly increase when teams select players on professional contracts overseas.

Sometimes there are significant repercussions for choosing international players, such as the sixth overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft Jan Vesely, being run out of the league in just three years.

Vesely was dealt to Denver midway though his third season, lasted just 21 games and then agreed to play in Turkey.

Orlando used the 11th overall pick of the 2005 Draft to select Fran Vazquez, hoping he would pair with Dwight Howard in the front court.

The Magic are still waiting for Vazquez to make his NBA debut. A year later, Orlando used a second round pick, the 44th overall, on Lior Eliyahu only to immediately sell his rights to the Rockets.

Like Vazquez, Eliyahu has yet to play an NBA game.

It took the Magic nearly a decade to select an international prospect, until it chose Croatian guard Mario Hezonja with the fifth overall pick last June.

Orlando immediately reached a buyout with Barcelona, but often teams aren’t so fortunate when dealing with international players.

A few more will be joining Hezonja as overseas players making their NBA debut, while other teams are negotiating buyouts, or awaiting a contract to expire before playing in the United States.

Check out five of the most prominent players chosen in the draft, but have yet to make an appearance in the NBA.

Dario SaricDario Saric– Philadelphia 76ers

For at least one more season, the 12th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft will remain in Turkey. Three days prior to being selected by Orlando — then immediately dealt to the 76ers for the rights to point guard Elfrid Payton — Saric agreed to a three year contract extension with Anadolu Efes, keeping him in Turkey through at least this upcoming season. Saric has an opt out clause in his contract after this season, but Philadelphia has reportedly engaged in negotiations to buyout his contract from Anadolu Efes. Reports indicate the buyout would be $2 million, with the 76ers only able to contribute $600,000, then Saric would have to pay the rest.


Tibor PleissTibor Pleiss– Utah Jazz

A year after French center Rudy Gobert emerged as one of the most lethal shot blockers in the NBA, the Jazz are hoping the addition of Pleiss solidifies the front court rotation. The 7-foot-3 center out of Germany has reached a three-year deal with Utah and will hope to exploit his long range shooting capabilities. Pleiss impressed the Jazz coaching staff by converting 66-of-90 attempts from 3-point range during a shooting drill in Salt Lake City this summer.


Livio Jean-CharlesLivio Jean-Charles– San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio received a close-up look of Jean-Charles at the 2015 NBA Summer League tournament in Utah and he immediately impressed. The 6-foot-9 forward rejected five shots in his Summer League debut, including an impressive rejection of Jahlil Okafor, the third overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. In five appearances, Jean-Charles averaged 3.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, but will spend next season in France with Asvel Basket.


Tomas SatoranskyTomas Satoransky– Washington Wizards

As Washington continues to cycle through backup point guards, being unable to find a consistent performer behind All-Star John Wall, the absence of Satoransky grows larger. The Wizards selected the Czech guard with the 32nd overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, but he has chosen to remain in Spain. The 6-foot-7 guard appeared for Washington in Las Vegas as the 2012 NBA Summer League, but has chosen to remain playing for FC Barcelona on a more lucrative deal than he would receive in the NBA under the rookie scale.


Damien InglisDamien Inglis– Milwaukee Bucks

Inglis was selected with the 31st overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, the first of the second round, but he remained with Chorale Roanne in France last year. The 6-foot-8 forward played for Milwaukee at the Las Vegas Summer League last month, his first competitive action in over a year after undergoing two surgeries on a broken right ankle. During four appearances, he averaged 3.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and an assist per game. The Bucks have 16 players signed to contracts for next season and will need to cut at least one, potentially sending Inglis to the NBA Developmental League to start to the 2015-16 season.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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