Forecasting the NBA careers of recently drafted international players

Originally Published: June 29, 2007
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
We've been focusing mostly on the collegians in this draft, as it was an unusually strong class of college players and a relatively weak one for foreign talent.

Nonetheless, there were a few first-rounders who came from overseas in Thursday's draft, and several more could be arriving on our shores via free agency this summer. Thus, it's time for me to bust out my system of Euroleague translations.

There's a very predictable relationship between a player's stats in Europe and what they'll be in the NBA, one that shows surprisingly little variation between players. Those who make the jump from the Euroleague (the highest level of European basketball) to the NBA can expect the following:

• their scoring rate to decrease by 25 percent;
• their rebound rate to increase by 18 percent (there are more missed shots to grab over here);
• their assist rate to increase by 31 percent (their scorers are stingy on assists);
• their shooting percentage to drop by 12 percent; and
• overall, their PER drops by 30 percent.

So knowing that, here's some translated stats from the key foreigners in the draft, and then those from free agency. And before we start, note that several draft picks -- Yi Jianlian, Petteri Koponen, Kyrylo Fesenko, Sun Yue, Giorgos Printezis, Renaldas Seibutis, Brad Newley, Milovan Rakovic and Stanko "Obama" Barac -- didn't play in the Euroleague last year, so I have no numbers for them.


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