With the NBA Draft only a month away (June 23rd), franchises are turning their attention towards the top prospects. There are 58 picks in this draft, as two picks were forfeited. While college players get the vast majority of the public attention, international prospects can be just as desirable. The last four MVP’s were international players (Giannis twice and Jokic twice), and Luka’s success has reinvigorated the market. The following is my ranking of the top international prospects in the 2022 Draft, as well as a scouting report, draft range, and team fit for each. Any players who went from an international league to the G League or Overtime Elite are not included in this ranking. Their scouting reports can be found here.
1. Nikola Jovic | F | 6’11”, 222 lbs | 19-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Jovic is a 6’11” forward who dominates on the offensive end. He’s an excellent shooter who can score off the dribble from any area. Jovic’s off-ball movement and relocation make him a constant headache for defenders. While he is a threat from deep, Jovic also has a solid post up game. He can fade away or pass out of a double-team to the open man. Jovic is a crafty finisher around the rim who uses his length around the basket. Overall, he is a versatile offensive weapon who can be a shooter or secondary playmaker. His mobility for a 6’11” wing is good considering he is not the best athlete. Defensively, he stays vertical on contested shots and plays solid help defense.
Weaknesses: He doesn’t have many flaws on offense, but the biggest one is his first step. It’s not lightning-quick, so he doesn’t project as an elite isolation scorer. His on-ball defense needs work because his lateral quickness isn’t elite. Jovic will never be the best athlete on the court, which is an inherent disadvantage compared to other prospects.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Because of his translatable offensive skills and 6’11” frame, Jovic likely goes in the 14-20 range. The Cavaliers are a great fit for him at the 14th pick. Garland, LeVert, Mobley, and Allen are cemented in the starting lineup, but Cleveland has a hole at small forward. They need shot creation outside of Garland, and Jovic can provide that. Allen is a non-shooter, so the lineup needs perimeter shooters. Mobley and Allen will also cover up Jovic’s defensive weaknesses.
2. Ousmane Dieng | F | 6’9”, 216 lbs | 19-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Dieng is a versatile 6’9” forward who can handle the ball and operate as a secondary playmaker. His 3PT% wasn’t good, but he has a solid shooting form which can translate into solid splits. He can score off the dribble, and he is also a capable driver with a good floater. When Dieng drives, his court vision allows him to find the open man, and his height opens up all passing lanes. He likely won’t be a primary offensive option, but Dieng has massive potential as a do-it-all forward on a contender who can score 18-20 PPG. Defensively, he can stick to players both on and off the ball. His footwork and balance allow him to mirror the opponent’s movements in a cornerback-esque manner. Dieng has the potential to be a plus defender who can fluidly switch.
Weaknesses: Dieng’s shooting numbers are a minor red flag, but I am not too concerned. I trust his form enough where I believe he can be an average to above average shooter. Despite his height, Dieng can get caught on screens. He needs to add strength so that he can push through screens and compete in the paint. Bigger forwards and centers can back him down, but the weight room would fix this. While Dieng can switch on the perimeter, quick guards can blow past him. His length allows him to recover, but he can be beaten occasionally.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Based on his potential, Dieng should go in the 15-20 range. Teams are always looking for a 6’10” forward with guard skills. The Rockets are a great fit for him at the 17th pick because their forward rotation needs an injection of talent. Dieng’s youth and upside fits the timeline of the rebuilding Rockets also.
3. Leonard Miller | F | 6’10”, 211 lbs | 18-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Miller is a 6’10” forward who is comfortable running the pick and roll. He can handle the ball and score off the dribble. Because of his athleticism, frame, and handles, Miller is a transition threat who can attack the basket with cuts and drives. If opponents help inside on his drive, Miller is an adequate passer who can punish them. His shooting form is not pretty, but he has the necessary touch and feel on his shot. Defensively, he projects as an above average defender once he becomes acclimated to the NBA level. He has a high motor, and his defensive instincts are good. Overall, Miller has great potential as a dynamic forward.
Weaknesses: While his potential is outstanding, he’s a raw prospect who needs a couple years to develop. Miller must tighten his handle and could benefit from tweaking his shooting form. Based on his release, it has a higher chance of being blocked, and the shot is a little flat. His floor is lower than other top prospects, so he has more risk than a player like Jovic.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Based on his floor and ceiling, Miller probably lands in the 31-36 range. The Thunder are a good fit at the 34th pick. Sam Presti loves to select high ceiling forwards, and they also have a legitimate need at forward. Oklahoma City can afford to be patient with Miller and let him develop at his own pace.
4. Hugo Besson | G | 6’5”, 180 lbs | 21-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Besson is an exceptional three-point shooter with a quick release who can play both on and off the ball. His versatility as a 6’5” combo guard makes him a clean fit for any team. He has a tight handle, which he uses to create space for his shots. He can run the pick and roll, but he also has experience running off staggered screens on catch and shoot opportunities. When Besson drives, he can hit floaters with either hand or pull up for a mid-range jumper. He is not just a scorer, though, as Besson is a crafty playmaker. His court vision opens up the game for him.
Weaknesses: Besson is prone to taking tough contested shots, so his shot selection needs to improve. His biggest weakness, however, is his defense. Besson can be targeted by opponents. His defensive instincts are mediocre, and he doesn’t have the athleticism to compensate. He will never be an above average NBA defender.
Draft Range & Team Fits: His offense is ideal for today’s NBA, but his defense and age drops his draft stock compared to other prospects. He should go in the 31-36 range, and Toronto makes sense at 33. They have the defensive players to surround Besson, and they desperately need to boost their bench backcourt. Besson can step in Day 1 and be their lead guard off the bench, which is great considering they are trying to contend.
5. Gabriele Procida | G/F | 6’7”, 192 lbs | 20-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Procida is an athletic 6’7” wing who is a plus catch and shoot player from deep. Procida has a high motor and tirelessly moves off-ball to get a clean look. Procida drives effectively in addition to his perimeter shooting. He thrives as a transition scorer because of his athleticism and effort. When a teammate attempts a shot, he crashes the glass and uses his vertical abilities to snag the rebound. Defensively, he has good anticipation and shot blocking potential. He disrupts the passing lanes on the perimeter.
Weaknesses: Procida can play out of control and needs to improve his body control. His finishing around the rim would improve from this change. He would also benefit from being more patient on defense. His off the dribble scoring needs refinement, as it would balance his offensive game. Procida’s playmaking isn’t elite either, so he is not lethal with the ball in his hands.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Procida should go in the 40-45 range because of his three-point shooting, athleticism, and high motor. The Pelicans are a solid fit at the 41st pick. They were 27th in 3PT%, and Procida can aid them in this department. He can be a solid bench player for a promising team.
6. Yannick Nzosa | C | 6’11”, 215 lbs | 18-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Nzosa is a 6’11” mobile center who can run the floor. He will be a factor in transition the moment he enters the NBA because of his speed and effort. Around the rim, Nzosa has shown plenty of feel with his hooks. He is an excellent finisher around the rim, and rolls to the basket well after screening. When he does have the ball in the paint, he attacks the basket with aggression. Nzosa will be a solid contributor in the paint. Defensively, he projects as a good shot blocker because of his length, mobility, and effort. He can become a two-way player if he is given the time to develop,
Weaknesses: Nzosa is an extremely raw prospect who will need plenty of development. His shooting is inconsistent in the mid-range, and he doesn’t have a good three-point shot. His form is decent, so there is hope for radical improvement. Nzosa’s playmaking ability is lacking, which is not optimal. His passing itself isn’t terrible, yet he doesn’t have the internal filter of where to pass the ball and where not to. It often leads to turnovers because he makes risky decisions. It’s a fixable weakness, so it’s not a huge concern.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Because of his upside and youth, Nzosa likely goes in the 45-50 range. He is extremely raw, which will scare a few teams. I think the Pistons makes sense at 46. Their center rotation could use some talent, and Nzosa would provide that. They wouldn’t need to rush his development also, which is perfect for him.
7. Ismael Kamagate | C | 6’11”, 220 lbs | 21-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Kamagate is a 6’11” center who thrives as a screen-setter and roll man. He is a lob threat who has shown some touch in the mid-range. Kamagate crashes the glass and uses his length well. When he is crowded in the paint, he can make the right play and pass out to the perimeter. Defensively, Kamagate is a mobile defender who has the capability to flash out to the perimeter. He can develop into a good shot blocker as well. Overall, Kamagate can become a solid big man off the bench.
Weaknesses: He cannot shoot threes, so his range is limited. His post game revolves around him backing down opponents, which won’t be as successful in the NBA. Kamagate sometimes chases blocks, which leaves him stranded out of position. He needs to improve his strength and positioning in the paint, but those are fixable problems.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Because of his limited ceiling, Kamagate likely lands in the 45-50 range. He has upside as a solid bench big, but he needs a ton of improvement to be starting-caliber. Charlotte should take him if he is available at 45. They need to drastically improve their center rotation, and Kamagate is a step in the right direction.
8. Matteo Spagnolo | G | 6’5”, 196 lbs | 19-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Spagnolo is a 6’5” guard who defines the word entertaining. His crafty ball handling and playmaking ability will allow him to be the main ball handler for a bench unit. He can run the pick and roll well, yet he is also a transition threat. Spagnolo has a good pull up jumper in the mid-range, but he can also shoot very well from three . At 6’5”, he has solid size for a point guard.
Weaknesses: He needs to improve his catch and shoot game, as he is not a great off-ball player. Spagnolo tries to make flashy passes which leads to turnovers occasionally. He doesn’t finish through contact well, and his defensive instincts are mediocre. He likely will never be a two-way player in the NBA.
Draft Range & Team Fits: He should go in the 48-53 range because of his offensive upside. Sacramento is a decent fit with the 49th pick because they can use some infusion of talent on the offensive end. Donte DiVincenzo is likely gone in free agency, so Spagnolo can replace him on the bench.
9. Khalifa Diop | C | 6’11”, 231 lbs | 20-years-old at Draft
Strengths: Diop is a 6’11” center who thrives as a roll man. He sets solid screens that catch opponents. Diop can finish through contact while also being a lob threat. He is a solid offensive rebounder who makes the extra effort. His mobility is solid for his size, so he is not a stiff center. He has the potential to be a solid big man off the bench.
Weaknesses: He is raw defensively, and he often takes bad angles when attempting to contest a shot. His anticipation isn’t great, but his athletic frame can compensate. He has very limited offensive range, so he is more of an opportunistic scorer. He doesn’t project as a starter, so his ceiling isn’t astronomical.
Draft Range & Team Fits: Diop probably is drafted in the 55-58 range because of his limitations. The Trail Blazers are a solid fit at 57 because their center rotation is very thin. Diop wouldn’t help them compete next season, but he can provide some value a couple of years in the future.