The idea that the Sixers may consider an international player at 10 or in that immediate area is a cause for concern. Why I am nervous about taking an international player. People talk about letting these players mature overseas, but I must question the wisdom of saying a 20 year old European needs time to mature while 20 year old ncaa players are typically seen as a bust.
It seems to me that more often than not that international players simply don’t work out especially in the lottery. No international all star starter has been selected in the lottery since 2001. That is a pretty long drought! Perhaps if the Sixers trade back into the late first round (hello OKC, I see you there) I would be a bit more comfortable. But let’s take a look at the history of international lottery picks.
Interestingly the quality of lottery international players seems to have gotten worse over time. Perhaps there is some selection bias here (I’m not a stat geek) and teams do not use high picks on players they are not confident will come over immediately. In more recent years, 2010 and 2012, there were no international lottery picks. The only international player with a real chance to make the lottery this year is Dario Saric (Croatia), although Kristaps Porzinqis (Latvia), Vasilje Micic (Serbia) and Clint Capela (Switzerland) have been mentioned as first round possibilities.
*note, I have excluded from this analysis foreign players who played at least one year of NCAA ball. They are subjected to a different level of scrutiny and familiarity. Thus guys like Enes Kanter are not listed below.
#9 – Dirk Nowitzki – Certified stud
#12 – Vladimir Radmanovic – ehhh
#3 – Pau Gasol – Certified stud
#7 – Nene Hilario – serviceable
#5 – Nikoloz Tskitishvili – bust
#11 – Micheal Pietrus – serviceable
#2 – Darko Milicic – alltime bust
#11 – Andris Bierdins – ehhh
#12 – Yaroslav Korolev – 34 games played
#13 – Thabo Sefolosha (actually a sixers pick and then traded) – serviceable
#10 – Saer Sene – 47 games played
#1 – Andrea Bargnani – bust
#6 – Yi Jianlian – beware of guys posting up chairs, this guy was a beast (I searched for video of him posting up a chair, which I swear exists, but I couldn't find it).
#6 – Danilo Gallinari – decent but can’t seem to stay healthy
#7 – Bismack Biyombo – the Congolese Shawn Bradley
#6 – Jan Vesley – averaged 4.4 ppg last season
#5 – Jonas Valanciunas – nice piece, currently under indictment for drunk driving
#12 – Steven Adams – too early to tell, but seems pretty average