Commentary

Draft Watch: Fewer big names among latest international draft prospects

Originally Published: June 13, 2008
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com
Danilo GallinariAP Photo/Ariel SchalitItaly's Danilo Gallinari is the most highly regarded international draft prospect.

In 2002, Yao Ming became the first international player to go No. 1 in the NBA draft. Yao's arrival -- combined with the emerging games of young international players like Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol -- held the promise of the league being flooded with international prospects from around the world.

In 2003, NBA teams drafted a record eight international players in the first round and another 12 in the second round. Fueled by Euro fever, Darko Milicic was taken ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Mickael Pietrus and Zarko Cabarkapa went ahead of David West. Of the 2003 group, only two players -- Boris Diaw (21) and Leandro Barbosa (28) -- have had a significant impact in the league.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider