In what game as a bit of a surprise to those who knew international basketball, Latvian center Kristaps Porzingis decided to enter the draft.
Porzingis is a talented prospect and has the look of a potential first round pick, but at just 19 years old, many believed he’d have been better off waiting a year or two before he entered the draft. Last season, he averaged 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 14.5 minutes per game this season for Cajasol Banca Civica this season.
So far, it looks like Porzingis may have made the right move and his decision may already be paying off.
According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Thunder have given a “promise” to pick Porzingis in the first round and Ford says this is is the first such promise made thus far.
Did the Thunder give Latvia’s Kristaps Porzingis the 1st “promise” of the 2014 Draft? http://t.co/dhfV6cxfHj (insider)
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 4, 2014
Although the Thunder selected Steven Adams in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft and he looks like he could turn into a solid rotation player, center Kendrick Perkins likely won’t be with the team that much longer (although it does not appear that the Thunder are not planning on waiving him via the amnesty clause) so they could address the position with one of their two first picks (21st and 29th-overall).
Porzingis is ranked as the 23rd-best overall prospect according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.
Should Porzingis, who just turned 19 earlier in April, change his mind, he has until June 16 at 5:00 pm EST to withdraw from the draft.