On Sunday night in Oklahoma City, Thunder rookie Josh Giddey surpassed LaMelo Ball by becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double in NBA history. But the pair have more in common than just that record. Both are products of Australia’s NBL.
This poses a common question amongst NBA fans and draft scouts alike – should the league be putting greater stock into international prospects? Over the past few years, there’s been a number of young players from overseas that, in hindsight, were severely underrated during the pre-draft process.
Should the NBA put greater stock in international prospects?
Giddey’s selection at sixth overall came as a surprise to many, even with his stocks gradually rising in the weeks prior to the 2021 draft. But based on early evidence, the Thunder’s choice seems like a savvy one, with the Australian pairing with Shai Gilgeous Alexander to create an exciting young backcourt.
You could also argue that, if a way-too-early re-draft was to take place, Turkish big man Alperun Sengun would go much higher than Houston’s 16th overall selection.
Then we go back to last season with Ball, who despite growing up in California, came into the league with a host of professional experience. After being taken third overall by the Hornets, he’s almost single-handedly altered the trajectory of the franchise.