Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 2:25 pm  |  59 responses

Video: Is Ryan Richards NBA Material?

The international man of mystery?

Ryan Richards presents a problem.

Reports from the NBA Draft Combine heaped praise on the 19-year-old center, after two days of strong workouts. ESPN’s Chad Ford reported that he “shot the ball well, was very fluid running up and down the court and showed a sound basketball IQ.” His measurements were just as impressive — he’s the third-tallest prospect at 6-11¾, and has a lithe frame that could comfortably carry another 20 pounds. Richards also turned 19 years old on April 24, making him the youngest player in the 2010 Draft. He’s aggressive and intense, something European players are not known for.

His potential is huge, but so is his enigma.

Richards first landed on NBA radars in 2007 when he became the youngest player to play in the Nike Hoop Summit at the age of 15. Yet, Richards does not play for the Great Britain national team, and spent last season with BBC Monthey in a Swiss Division 2 league. In the six games he played before dislocating his shoulder, Richards averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.2 rpg while shooting 56 percent and a beyond-impressive 91.3 percent (21-23) from the free-throw line. What’s more, it seems as though Richards will not attend the adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, where most European prospects look to solidify their stock before the Draft.

Clearly, there are question marks over the advice he’s taken.

As for what Richards feels he brings, “I’m 6-11, versatile, can play inside or outside, can shoot the ball pretty well, put it on the floor, spread the floor,” he said. “Guys like Dirk Nowitzki are really changing the game. I’m very comfortable facing the basket. I like to watch a lot of Chris Bosh, Lamar Odom, Rasheed Wallace — how they can spread the floor. They are the type of guys I follow.”

Despite his time in the wilderness, Richards’ size, range, guard-like agility, youth, and intensity give him the look of an NBA first round pick. But why don’t you make a decision for yourself? Thanks to Hoopsfix, we have fresh highlights from Richards’ past season with BBC Monthey and the 2009 England Under 18s.

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  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I can’t watch the video cause I’m at work, but I caught a glimpse of him on the (terrible) broadcasting of the Draft Combine the worldwide follower aired, and I think he’ll just be too intriguing, some team will want him. Will he be any good? Who knows?

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL

    @Enigmatic, your handle describes him too well…

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Is he actually in this draft class? How come I can’t find him on some mock drafts?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    He’ll be on the mocks very soon, I bet. I like this dude’s game.

  • http://albayanos.com LeoneL
  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    nasty dude. i’d take him late 1st round. 7 footer with a j and handles. any day of the week.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @LeoneL – LOL yeah it does.

  • Sam Guelil

    No doubt about it…this kid can go. Good player and getting better. Still very raw and doesn’t have bad habits. You can’t teach size. Plus with his ability to shoot, handle, and run the floor, he’ll be on an NBA roster either next year or the one after that. I can see him getting drafted and being stashed in Europe for another year…

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    He said he doesn’t want to go back to Europe, which I think is a good thing. He’d rather develop in the D-League. Nothin’ wrong with that.

  • http://upandfresh.fr frednetick

    This guy has more hoops than many american player and let’s say more than a lot of europeans too. I won’t say he’s raw..let’s say not a dancer !

  • http://slamonline.com JL

    wow he looks impressive. too bad it’s against inferior competition. why isn’t he playing in a higher level league or like the article says playing in some of the Eurocamp or the likes of it? i would draft him tho… 7 footer who’s quick and has a shot off the dribble. don’t see that very often.

  • JD

    Naaa the Video didnt work, but im british so ive known nout this guy 4 years and hes got what it takes been a while since British players been drafted

  • The Philosopher

    Mikki Moore Jr.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    ^ What?

  • David

    He is a British phenom, known about him for a while was tearing up the british leagues at the age of 15!

    He played in the Gran Canaria and Real Madrid (ACB) youth team and would of played at senior level but they could only sign 1 foreign EU player a year. Had a few colleges after him but he decided to turn pro

  • B.C.

    This player is a mixture of dirk, lebron, and dwight. You cna’t tell me he’s not.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Lucas Shapiro

    Um… what’s not to like? Seems to be a hidden talent. At 6’11″ and shooting like a shooting guard… He has no ceilings..

  • Yesse

    He looks good, but the level he plays against looks weak.

  • ddj

    dwight howard with a jump shot…

  • The Philosopher

    @Ryne Nelson: I mean, I don’t know, the people he’s playing against on the video looks like high school guys. I’m not saying I’m Jerry West, or anything, but…

  • The Philosopher

    He has nice touch, maybe more like a Chris Bosh. I’m Being generous on that one, though. You never know.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    If you can play.. you can play. This kid can.

  • Will

    wow. only 19 too

  • connorw

    he’s got another highlight reel from one or two years ago here


  • Cyrus4444

    He reminds of what micheal beasley was back in high school…. dnt yu think?

  • MuffinMan

    Followed Ryan in the UK as a junior. Massive potential and good skills at his size – BUT he has got through 3 or 4 clubs in the past couple of years and has yet to have a significant run at a top level. All depends on whether a coach from the league feels they can take him on and tame him quickly

  • MuffinMan

    Just to add: – he spent a season with D League Coach of year / GB International Coach Chris Finch, in Belgium league 08/09

  • Toni Kukoc


    and please GTFO with the rebounding ‘highlights’…

  • mike

    legit 7footer that moves like a sf. nice combination. work ethic and iq?

  • bnets

    Da kid is a Lefty with a jumpshot, NBA 6`11 ready body. Steal of da draft or send him to da D-League and he`ll be number 1 pick next year

  • james

    celtics should take him with their pick. could do with the length. although he might be a bit weak on d and is clearly playing against scrubs in these highlights

  • Shem

    Looks more like a SF then C. Reminds me of Anthony Randolph

  • T-Money

    He’s a legit 4. He’s go the size and the frame. The level of comp is irrelevant, the skills are plain to see. That jumpshot can’t be taught, perfect balance, perfect follow through, real smooth. A smart, veteran team will take him in the late 1st.

  • http://slamonline.com Rodger Bohn

    @ThePhilosopher- You’re right, those are HS age guys in the vid. That’s from the European U-18′s. Those guys happen to be the best HS age guys in all of Europe though…

  • PlanetAsia14

    Dang. I like this dude. Being that good for his age, the sky’s the limit for this kid.

  • The Philosopher

    @Rodger Bohn: Well, I do like his potential, though. If he has the intangibles, there is no reason why Ryan Richards can’t make The League, and be a good player. You know, get his weight up, get quicker. He is already better than a few guys in The League. We’ll see what happens.

  • e

    wow this good and fluid at 19 and he was 18 in most of the clips and to the people saying he is playing against highschool kids so was john wall at this time last year at the age of 18 and that didnt stop yall from giving props

  • Kendrick is God


  • Pingback: Ryan Richards NBA Pre-Draft Timeline: What the Web is Saying

  • David

    If you want to show me hes talented spare me the rebounding/ dunk highlights they say nothing to me when you’re 6’11. In the league he will face superior competition, if you showed me some of his post game and footwork i would then consider drafting him.

  • http://Dsdfkjlsa.com Jukai

    Wasn’t sold until I saw his age. Verrrrry intriguing.

  • Lazarus

    joel freeland v2.

    mind u when is freeland coming into the league? dude can ball.

  • Swiss fan

    I have seen Ryan playing in Switzerland for my team… he was so impressive !

    I know Swiss basketball is not gret, but he was so much better than everyone! For his second game (just 4 days after he arrived) he scored 20 points/11 reb in 25 minutes and allowed my team to win… Everyone in the attence was impressed by his ability to shoot, drive, and rebound, not to mention his passing !

    I really think he can make it ! He is also a great guy, hard worker, and very motivated !

  • aa

    HOW CAN anyone tell if this guy is any good when is playing against complete amateurs – the Swiss league is ranked 23!!!!!!!! in europe.

  • The Philosopher

    ^^ That’s why I called him Mikki Moore at first… he has to play against some real guys.

  • The Philosopher

    He still has enough talent, though.

  • Larry B.

    Looks like the kids got real game; he can play.

    BUT, if he’s going to bang with the bigs in the NBA, he’s going to have add a few pounds of muscle. He moves well, and appears to be relatively quick for a big fella.

    AND, we have to see him play against somebody. His highlight reel looks good, but who’s he playing?

  • lb1

    @Cyrus4444 i agree,yea reminds me of michael beasley.hands down a beast for his age..draft him

  • http://www.twiter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Yes the competition is inferior, but you can look at things like handle, shooting form and touch, leaping ability and see that the kid has skills. You think Mikki Moore could be out there doing crossovers and shooting 3s off the dribble, even if he’s playing against bums? No. So I think that comparison is a little bogus. The Michael Beasely one is a lot better.

  • The Philosopher

    The New Jersey Nets version of Mikki Moore WAS shooting top of the key shots off the dribble. The shots Richards was taking were not NBA 3′s. Against high school players, yes, Mikki Moore would look like that.

  • T-Money

    Stats and level of comp is irrelevant for this guy. A) because he’s a big and he’s athletic. It’s not like trying to see if a 5-10 pg can really make it. For that, you absolutely need to see them play against better competition. In a game like this, there would be no difference between Jameer Nelson and Travis Diener (sp?) B) His shooting form is flawless. Of course, he could be another Dre Blatche or Darko if he doesn’t apply himself.

  • The Philosopher

    The game is so much quicker at the top, (League) though. He’ll have guys in his face from the time he touches the ball if they respect him. He REALLY DOES have talent, though.

  • http://www.euroleagueadventures.com Nick Gibson

    He’ll get drafted. All it takes is one infatuated GM, and there will be at least a handful.


    he looks as though he’d get tired hell quick…

  • pdoubleog

    20th overall to San Antonio.

  • MBRH

    The Michael Beasely comparison was what I first thought of, and if he were in an american high school he looks like he would be a top ten prospect, every one just doubts guys from europe.

  • http://counterkicks.com Q-Tip

    He’s got a real nice handle and J but the fact that he hasn’t played against legit comp does mean something. I think he’ll go mid 2nd round

  • costas

    Swiss second division????????? hahahahaha

    Just in case you aren’t too familiar with European basketball, thats like playing for a 3rd division college team, probably worse! Most teams bigs in this division would be around 6’8-6’9, MAXIMUM!!!

    Even the Swiss first division is a joke! They’ve never had a single team play in the Euroleague EVER!. You dont have to be that good to play in the Euroleague. A loser team has a wage budget of more or less 5-6 million euro…

    If he was NBA material, i dont understand why he would play there. Not a very good career move! Why not a place like Spain or Italy? Im sure most of his teammates have another job, these people are complete amateurs!!

  • Jeff

    If the Spurs FO picked him then obviously they see potential for their future. They did with Tony Parker. And he was 19. I think this kid has just as much game at 19 as Tony did. Hopefully they’ll develop him as soon as he can get out of England’s grasp.