NBA draft-and-stash players: Where are they now?

NBA draft-and-stash players: Where are they now?


NBA draft-and-stash players: Where are they now?

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For the first time this century, the Top 40 picks of the most recent draft will play in the NBA without being stashed somewhere for development. That’s not the case for many others. Almost every franchise will have an eye overseas following players whose NBA rights they own. Some will never make it to the league while others will play knowing a strong performance overseas can get them a guaranteed contract Stateside.

From Australia to Canada to Argentina to Japan, this is the current situation of every active draft-and-stash player.


Cenk Akyol (No. 59 pick in the 2005 draft; Bakirkoy, Turkey): The veteran guard, who’s been involved in quite a few minor trades over the years, will play in the Turkish second division this season. The NBA is light years away for him at this point.

Marcus Eriksson (No. 50 pick in the 2015 draft; Gran Canaria, Spain): A meniscus injury will delay his return to Euroleague after shooting 54.9 percent from deep in the last Eurocup. At age 24, he still has time to make the jump to the NBA if he fully recovers.

Alpha Kaba (No. 60 pick in the 2017 draft; ASVEL Villeurbanne, France): 2017’s Mr. Irrelevant will stay in France after a less than impressive season and summer league. Lots to prove still for the 21-year-old big man.


Juan Pablo Vaulet (No. 39 pick in the 2015 draft; Bahia Basket, Argentina): Ankle injuries have stalled the career of one of the surprises of the 2015 draft. For a player who relies so much on athleticism, that’s a not a minor issue. He’s currently taking a leave of absence from his team.

Isaia Cordinier (No. 44 pick in the 2016 draft; Antibes, France): After missing a year due to a knee injury, the French shooting guard hopes to bounce back next season. Staying healthy should be his main goal before thinking of giving the NBA a try.

Aleksandar Vezenkov (No. 57 pick in the 2017 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): The Bulgarian forward left Barcelona after two nightmare seasons, moving to another powerhouse: Olympiacos. Still has the potential to be one of the best scorers in Europe.


Arnoldas Kulboka (No. 55 pick in the 2018 draft; Brose Bamberg, Germany): Drafted last June, the Lithuanian sharpshooter will wait at least a year to move to Charlotte. In Germany, he can work on adding more layers to his game besides shooting.


Tadija Dragicevic (No. 53 pick in the 2008 draft; Free Agent): A stretch four with a decent shooting touch who has been a role player on teams all over Europe. At age 32, he’s close to the end of his career without setting foot in the NBA.


Edin Bavcic (No. 56 pick in the 2006 draft; Free Agent): The NBA rights for the 34-year-old Bosnian forward have been traded four times since the Raptors selected him in the 2006 draft. His last experience was in the Austrian league, pretty far from the European top competitions.

 Renaldas Seibutis (No. 50 pick in the 2007 draft; Zaragoza, Spain): The Lithuanian guard has enjoyed a long and successful career in Europe. He’s returning to Spain at 33. His NBA rights are nothing more than a throw-in in trades.

Sergiy Gladyr (No. 49 pick in the 2009 draft; Free Agent): Injuries hindered the potential of the now 29-year-old Ukranian wing. An athletic slasher when the Hawks drafted him eight years ago, he has been a solid shooting specialist in the French league the last few seasons.

Milan Macvan (No. 54 pick in the 2011 draft; Bayern Munich, Germany): After winning the German League title last season, the Serbian center will be back Euroleague this season with Bayern Munich. Doesn’t look like he will cross paths with the Cavs any time soon.

Chukwudiebere Maduabum (No. 56 pick in the 2011 draft; Yamagata, Japan): Still only 27, ‘Chu Chu” has had probably the most exotic career among recent draftees. Iceland, Finland, Mongolia and Japen have seen him on their basketball courts. It doesn’t look like the NBA will feature him anytime soon.

Ilkan Karaman. No. 57 pick in the 2012 draft, Karsiyaka, Turkey): Once considered one of the best Turkish prospects, knee injuries have derailed his career. At this point, he’s more like a solid role player for mid-level Turkish teams than an NBA hopeful.

Arturas Gudaitis (No. 47 pick in the 2015 draft; Olimpia Milano, Italy): At age 25, the Lithuanian center is enjoying star status for the best team in Italy. While the NBA is still reachable for him, he looks pretty comfortable in Europe.

Sir’Dominic Pointer (No. 53 pick in the 2015 draft; Panionios, Greece): Recently signed in Greece after playing in the Israeli second division,  Lebanon and Hungary the last two seasons. Not exactly strong competitions to showcase NBA potential.


Petteri Koponen (No. 30 pick in the 2007 draft; Bayern Munich, Germany): One of those rare cases of first rounders who never made the jump to the NBA… and perhaps never will. After leaving Barcelona, he’s looking to become the franchise player for the ambitious Bayern Munich in the Euroleague.

Satnam Singh Bhamara (No. 52 pick in the 2015 draft; St. John’s Edge, Canada): Mavs took a gamble on him three years ago to reach the Indian market. The 7-2 center never showed any NBA potential in the Development League. He’ll play away from the Mavs’ orbit for the first time in the Canadian League next season.


Izzet Turkyilmaz (No. 50 pick in the 2012 draft; Sakarya, Turkey): His career has gone sideways since getting drafted six years ago. After a stint in the Turkish second division, he will be back to the top-tier league next year with one of the weakest teams in the competition.

Nikola Radicevic (No. 57 pick in the 2015 draft; Trento, Italy): A nasty hip injury only let him play two games in 2015-16. After playing in three different teams in the last two years, he’ll try to get some stability in Italy.

Petr Cornelie (No. 53 pick in the 2016 draft; Le Mans, France): The athletic forward has played a couple of unimpressive seasons in France since getting drafted. He’ll return to French champion Le Mans after a year on loan with Levallois.

Vlatko Cancar (No. 49 pick in the 2017 draft; Burgos, Spain): The Nuggets’ sensation at the 2018 Vegas Summer League will likely stay one more year in Spain. Hard to picture him there for much longer.


Axel Hervelle (No. 52 pick in the 2005 draft; Spirou Charleroi): After 14 years playing in Spain, he returned to his native Belgium at age 35. Could have Hervelle been a nice role player in the States? We’ll never know.

Brad Newley (No. 54 pick in the 2007 draft; Sydney Kings, Australia): Was a solid swingman in Europe for many years and is now enjoying his last days as a player in his native Australia.

Maarty Leunen (No. 54 pick in the 2008 draft; Fortitudo Bologna, Italy): A former Oregon standout, Leunen will play in the Italian second divison next season. His draft rights have changed hands twice this summer in minor trades.

Sergio Llull (No. 34 pick in the 2009 draft; Real Madrid, Spain): Probably the best European player who hasn’t played in the NBA in the last decade. Still a star in Spain despite tearing his ACL last season. He may stick with Real Madrid for the rest of his career.

Jon Diebler (No. 51 pick in the 2011 draft; Darussafaka, Turkey): The former Ohio State sharpshooter will play for his fifth different Turkish team next season. After turning 30 in June, being a reliable shooter in Euroleague looks like his ceiling.

Marko Todorovic (No. 45 pick in the 2013 draft; Joventut, Spain): The forward has returned to his first professional team in Spain after a disappointing Euroleague season with Khimki. Still young at age 26, he needs stability to be an important player in Europe.

Alessandro Gentile (No. 54 pick in the 2013 draft; Free Agent): An injury prevented him from joining the Rockets training camp this season. The Italian forward may make the move at some point, but for now he’s without a team after a solid year with Virtus Bologna.


Vladimir Veremeenko (No. 48 pick in the 2006 draft; Free Agent): The only Belarusian-born player to ever get drafted is a free agent after more than a decade bringing toughness to European clubs.

David Michineau (No. 39 pick in the 2016 draft; Levallois, France): The surprising 2016 Clippers’ pick is switching teams in France after two ho-hum years in Cholet. Don’t expect him to move to L.A. for now.


Chinemelu Elonu (No. 59 pick in the 2009 draft; Reggiana, Italy): The Nigerian center has made a name for himself overseas as a dependable rebounder and rim protector. He’ll play in Italy after being a key player to win the last Puerto Rican championship, but at 31 we’re unlikely to see him in the NBA.


Wang Zhelin (No. 57 pick in the 2016 draft; Fujian, China): A surprising draft pick by the Grizzlies two years ago, the Chinese center has been a consistent scorer in China, but his defensive shortcomings would be an issue in the NBA.

Tyler Harvey (No. 51 pick in the 2015 draft; Free Agent): His NBA rights were acquired last summer by Memphis from Orlando. The 25-year-old guard is a free agent after playing in Italy and France the last two seasons.


Lior Eliyahu (No. 44 pick in the 2006 draft; Hapoel Jerusalem, Israel): The second-best Israeli player for a few years (behind Omri Casspi) has lost his dominant role lately. About to turn 33, his NBA rights barely hold any value.

Henk Norel (No. 47 pick in the 2009 draft; Breogan, Spain): The Dutch center is having quite a career in Spain, even making the All-ACB 1st Team last season. He’s been a go-to guy in the paint for rank-and-file teams. He hasn’t played at Euroleague level since 2009.

Bojan Dubljevic (No. 59 pick in the 2013 draft; Valencia Basket, Spain): One of the best stretch big men overseas, he’s played for the same Spanish club six years in a row and recently extended his contract till 2020. Not in a rush to give the NBA a try.

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Latavious Williams (No. 48 pick in the 2010 draft; Free Agent): The first player to get drafted after skipping the NCAA for the G League hasn’t made it yet to the NBA. A tibial stress fracture ruined his 2017-18 season in Spain and he is currently without a team.

Tony Carr (No. 51 pick in the 2018 draft; Torino, Italy): The former Penn State PG will play for Larry Brown in Italy along with ex NBA player Carlos Delfino. Interesting experience for one of the few NCAA draft-and-stash players this season.

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Louis Labeyrie (No. 57 pick in the 2014 draft; Valencia Basket, Spain): A fan favorite thanks to his energy on the court and his impossible hairdo, the French PF will play outside his home country for the first time with Spanish club Valencia Basket.

Ognjen Jaramaz (No. 58 pick in the 2017 draft; Burgos, Spain): Drafted by Phil Jackson a couple of years ago, the Serbian point guard will play in Spain this season. Good chance to prove his potential NBA value in the best overseas domestic league.

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Sofoklis Schortsanitis (No. 34 pick in the 2003 draft; Free Agent): Big Sofo was a key player for Greece in Team USA’s last defeat with NBA players. After a successful European career, he’s spending his last years in secondary teams back in Greece.

Szymon Szewczyk (No. 35 pick in the 2003 draft; Anwil Wloclawek, Poland): The big man had a solid career in second-tier European teams for more than a decade. At age 35, he’s finishing his career as a respected veteran in his native Poland.

Devon Hall (No. 54 pick in the 2018 draft: Cairns Taipans, Australia): A versatile guard for Virginia during the last four seasons, Hall will start his pro career in the Australian League. Thunder fans will probably watch him play in the G League during the last months of the season.

Kevin Hervey (No. 57 pick in the 2018 draft: Free Agent): Another of the OKC second-round picks from the last draft. Though there’s nothing official yet, looks like he may take the Josh Huestis and Dakari Johnson route and get stashed in the G League.


Fran Vazquez (No. 11 pick in the 2005 draft; Zaragoza, Spain): The highest-drafted active player never to play in the NBA is still one of the best rim protectors in Spain at 35. Small consolation for Orlando fans who will never see him play live.

Janis Timma (No. 60 pick in the 2013 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): Another talent out of the Latvian pipeline, he’s joining Olympiacos after a strong season in Spain. His steady progress could lead him to the NBA as a 3-and-D player at some point.

Justin Jackson (No. 43 in the 2018 draft; Lakeland, G League): The Canadian forward will be stashed in the Magic G League affiliate next season. After playing only 11 games in his last NCAA year due to a shoulder injury, he’ll get some run in his attempt to earn an NBA spot.


Vasilije Micic (No. 52 pick in the 2014 draft; Anadolu Efes, Turkey): One of the best passers in the Euroleague, the Serbian point guard switched teams to play for the rebuilding Anadolu Efes. At 24, still a young player for the 76ers to keep an eye on.

Anzejs Pasecniks (No. 25 pick in the 2017 draft; Gran Canaria, Spain): The Latvian giant had a disappointing season in Spain after being a first-round pick, being used mostly a third-string center. He’s up for a big challenge in 2018-19 making his Euroleague debut.

Mathias Lessort (No. 50 pick in the 2017 draft; Unicaja, Spain). The French big man moved to one of the top teams in Spain this summer. An undersized but strong center who can still find his way to the NBA.


Milovan Rakovic (No. 60 pick in the 2007 draft; Free Agent): Currently without a team after playing last season in the weak Swiss League.

Dani Diez (No. 54 pick in the 2015 draft; Unicaja, Spain): His name was called three drafts ago after a breakthrough year in the ACB, but he’s been unimpressive ever since. Probably a decent role player for an elite European team at best.


Alex Oriakhi (No. 57 pick in the 2013 draft; Free Agent): Better known for being the player Sacramento acquired in exchange for Isaiah Thomas four years ago. He’s carving himself a Latin American career with stops in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Mexico.

Dimitrios Agravanis (No. 59 pick in the 2015 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): He had some NBA stretch four potential when he was drafted three years ago, but his shot is still far from reliable. Will come back next season after missing most of 2017-18 due to a torn meniscus.

Luka Mitrovic (No. 60 pick in the 2015 draft; Free Agent): The 25-year-old power forward is without a team after being parting ways by Brose Bamberg last summer. He may not be NBA talent, but still a very interesting player for the European market.

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Sergei Karaulov (No. 57 pick in the 2004 draft; Free Agent). The 36-year-old big man has played in the Russian second division the last five seasons. So we guess no Uzbeks in the NBA for now… unless you want to count Ersan Ilyasova.

Viktor Sanikidze (No. 42 pick in the 2004 draft; Free Agent): He hasn’t officially retired, but the Georgian forward hasn’t played an official game since 2016. In any case, he had a good career in Europe as a role player.

Erazem Lorbek (No. 46 pick in the 2005 draft; Free Agent): He emerged from semi retirement to return to play in his native Ljubljana last season. The Slovenian power forward was maybe the most skilled big men in Europe until injuries got the best of him.

Georgios Printezis (No. 58 pick in the 2007 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): A strong competitor who has consistently been among the best big men in Europe for years. Had some chances in the past to make the jump to the States. At age 33, that now appears highly unlikely.

Adam Hanga (No. 59 pick in the 2011 draft; FC Barcelona, Spain): One of the toughest and most explosive wings in Europe. His suspect jump shot has prevented him from becoming a legit NBA player so far. Already 29, his window of opportunity may soon close.

Nemanja Dangubic (No. 54 pick in the 2014 draft; Bayern Munich, Germany): He’ll play for the first time outside of his native Serbia. He can be an elite shooter in Europe, hitting 46.8 percent of his from deep in the last Euroleague. His toolbox is too limited to be a sure shot NBA player.

Nikola Milutinov (No. 26 pick in the 2015 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): One of the late first-round gambles by the Spurs that hasn’t panned out as expected. Skilled offensive player in the paint, but not much of a rim protector or a threat from deep.

Cady Lalanne (No. 55 pick in the 2015 draft; Manresa, Spain): The Spanish league will be his sixth competition since getting drafted three years ago. A strong but one-dimensional presence in the paint.


Emir Preldzic (No. 57 pick in the 2009 draft; Bahcesehir, Turkey): An intriguing point forward a few years ago who has been in a steady decline the last few seasons. Still a good player in Turkey, but definitely not an NBA prospect anymore.


Ante Tomic (No. 44 pick in the 2008 draft; Barcelona, Spain): One of the best finishers in Europe for almost a decade. Has made top money in Europe during his prime years and never pursued NBA opportunities hard enough. He’s 31 already.

Nigel Williams-Goss (No. 55 pick in the 2017 draft; Olympiacos, Greece): The former Gonzaga standout had a good rookie year in Serbia, which led to a contract with Olympiacos. A good season should be a stepping stone to earn an NBA deal.


Aaron White (No. 49 pick in the 2015 draft; Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania): The former Iowa forward is staying one more year in Lithuania after helping his team reach the Euroleague Final Four. Could be an interesting role player in the NBA at some point.

Issuf Sanon (No. 44 pick in the 2018 draft; Olimpija Ljubljana, Slovenia): The Ukranian playmaker is expected to play one more year in Europe, especially after a poor showing in summer league. A long-term project for the NBA.

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