Euro Backlash?

by June 24, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

With The Draft a mere two days away, Dave D’Alessandro has a long and fascinating piece today about the draftability (sure, that’s a word!) of the species known as the European basketball player.

Basically, we learn that these days, it might no longer be so hot to draft a guy hailing from across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Gallinari is a pretty good player, and deserves to be a lottery pick,” one Eastern Conference executive said after requesting anonymity so as not to influence the draft. “But I would say this to anyone who drafts a European player that high: Understand that what you’re doing is counterintuitive.

“You are drafting a 19-year-old guy at a time when a top-10 pick implies instantaneous results, but you have to be very patient. It generally doesn’t always work out. Unless you are really lucky, it will take a big adjustment — to the speed of the game, the zone rules, the longer 3. And those adjustments typically take all the player’s spontaneity away for at least a while.”

The League execs who were interviewed for the article seem to be in agreement that the international market for ballplayers is in a down time.

But, what do you guys think? Should teams continue to aggressively scout players outside of North America? I mean, Chad Ford’s gotta keep busy somehow, right?