The Oklahoma City Thunder have been like many teams over the past several years, taking several international prospects in the draft. In the 2022 NBA Draft, international talent might not be the headline of the class near the top, but those prospects do run deep throughout.
Over the past four seasons, international players have won the MVP award every single time. Additionally, rosters from top to bottom are starting to be filled with talent from overseas.
This trend will likely continue, with the 2022 NBA Draft being the next place for teams to land a future star.
Who could be among the first international players taken? Keep in mind, we’re only considering players that played overseas last season, not international players that were in the G League or a college in the United States last season.
Ousmane Dieng (France)
A fast riser on recent draft boards, Dieng is emerging as a potential lottery pick. He had a rough start to last season in the NBL, but finished strong and showed much improvement. With great size, Dieng projects to be extremely versatile at the NBA level.
The one thing that may hold Dieng back early in his career is shooting. He's got solid mechanics, but hasn't been an effective shooter at every level. He also avoids contact and will need to learn to be much more physical on both ends of the floor.
Nikola Jovic (Serbia)
A 6-foot-10 prospect with guard skills, Jovic is a prospect that could go nearly anywhere in this upcoming draft. He's got a solid 3-point shot to go along with his size and is a great passer. Whether he plays on or off the ball at the next level, Jovic seems like he could thrive offensively.
He does lack athleticism and isn't the most physical prospect, but could certainly improve on that with time. Jovic also will need to improve as a defender if he's going to have a major impact in the NBA longterm.
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Yannick Nzosa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Another international prospect, Nzosa has fallen in the eyes of many scouts more recently. After a down season, the 6-foot-11 big could end up being taken in the second round. He does have great size and is mobile, but there's quite a few red flags.
The raw talent is certainly there for the 18-year-old, but he’s still got a lot of work to do. Nzosa feels like a high risk, high reward player that could make it in the right system and be a steal in this class.
Leonard Miller (Canada)
A rising star among Canadian prospects, Miller stands at 6-foot-10. He has the size and length to be the perfect modern forward at the next level, which is why he's started to gain more traction throughout the past several months.
Miller projects to be a solid scorer and passer at his position, but will need to prove himself as a shooter. His mechanics are a bit unorthodox, but his shooting splits haven't been bad to this point. Miller could end up being a prospect that takes time to become an impactful player, but has a ton of upside.
Ismael Kamagate (France)
An elite rim protector and athlete, Kamagate could help an NBA team almost immediately in certain situations. While he's not the greatest rebounder for his size, the defense makes him worth a gamble in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-11 big is already 21 years old, but still has many years ahead of him. He lacks the ability to make plays for himself, but could be a good rotational piece. It'll take the right team, but Kamagate will be a solid pick next month.