By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
Only four European players and just two straight from Europe were picked in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft.
The Orlando Magic selected German forward Franz Wagner, the younger brother of center Moritz Wagner, who played last season in Michigan. He was the highest pick out of Europe followed by Turkish big man Alperen Sengun at 16 and Spanish national team member Usman Garuba at 23 who were both picked by the Houston Rockets.
However, while Sengun is leaving Besiktas with the permitted according to the NBA CBA buy-out of just $777.000, Garumba will have to negotiate a monster buy-out with Real Madrid of 3 million euros.
Spaniard Santi Aldama of Loyola Maryland was a surprise pick at no. 30 by Memphis, which got the rights to the young center.
In the second round, the Knicks selected Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis at no. 34, who recently signed with Barcelona, and he is expected to stay in Spain. The Sacramento Kings selected Portuguese Neemias Queta with the 39th overall pick, Boston got at no.45 French guard Juhann Begarin, the Sixers drafted Serb big man Filip Petrusev at 50, the Bucks picked Georgian power forward Sandro Mamukelashvili at 54, and Greek guard George Kalaitzakis at 60, while the Pistons at 57 got Serb center Balsa Koprivica.
In total, eleven European players are selected in the 2021 NBA draft, three more compared to last year, but only five of them – Sengun, Garuba, Jokubaitis, Begarin, Kalaitzakis – didn’t play in the NCAA.
Cade Cunningham was the top overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft for the Detroit Pistons.