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caaprius
06-13-2006, 11:06 AM
maybe anyone could post this: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2006/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=fordeurocamp-01

i know it has nothing to do with Pacers but i find it interesting

Slick Pinkham
06-13-2006, 11:26 AM
here ya go




TREVISO, Italy -- NBA GMs and scouts were complaining incessantly about Orlando last week. The weather was too hot, the seating in the gym wasn't right, the hotels were too spread apart and ... oh yeah, the talent level at the camp was ridiculously low.

In Italy at the 2006 Reebok Eurocamp? Suddenly everything is sunny. The weather? Perfect. The atmosphere? Amazing. The food? Out of this world. The talent? While we've seen better from the camp in the past, there's still more first-round-caliber NBA talent here this year than there was in Orlando.

I've now watched the players for two days and here's a look at six draft-eligible players who have a good shot of getting selected this year. On Wednesday, we'll break down a number of interesting 2007 NBA Draft prospects playing here. (Note: All heights and weights are the official measurements at the Reebok Eurocamp.)




1. Marcus Vinicius ("Marquinos"), F, 6-10, 232, Brazil
The Brazilian has been generating a significant amount of buzz throughout the league this year. He put on 25 pounds of muscle, improved his jump shot and dominated in the Brazilian league before heading over to the U.S. this spring to begin preparing for the draft. Former Cavs assistant coach Bob Donewald coached him in Brazil to get him familiar with NBA sets and then has helped oversee his progress here in the states.

Here's the upside: Marquinos is 6-10 small forward who can handle the ball, shoot the 3 and attack the basket. He's got good athleticism, a burgeoning body and great speed. In drills he's impressed with the elevation he gets on his jumper and his ability to cut and change directions so quickly.

In games it's been more up-and-down. His shot has been streaky, and his decision-making with the basketball has been questionable at times.

There's no question that athletically, the kid has what it takes to be a pro. He's got excellent size for his position and has a nice combination of strength and explosiveness. He also has a scorer's mentality offensively and can shut people down on the defensive end because of his length and physical play.

But from what I can see, he still looks like a bit of a project. He's not used to playing at a real high level of basketball and needs experience.

I don't think that knock, or this camp, will do much to hurt his draft stock. He drew a lot of praise from the Hornets after a workout in New Orleans and could go as high as No. 15. The Bulls at No. 16, the Knicks at No. 20, the Suns at No. 21, the Lakers at No. 26 and the Mavs at No. 28 are all options as well. I don't see him slipping out of the first round.

2. Joel Freeland, F, 6-10, 225, England
Who says there aren't any secrets in scouting anymore? Freeland is definitely the sleeper of the camp -- maybe of the draft. Freeland's name wasn't even on the NBA's early entry list when it was released a few weeks ago. Apparently Freeland applied after the deadline, but was able to show the NBA that he intended to apply in time, so they granted an exception to his agent, Arn Tellem. Not sure exactly what that means, but that's the NBA's story.

What makes Freeland interesting is that almost everyone here believes the reason he snuck into the draft was because he's gotten a second-round promise. But from whom? Speculation centers on the Clippers, the Timberwolves and the Blazers. The Clips have two first-round picks and have been listening closely to their international scout Fabricio Besnati the past few years. The Wolves also have two first-round picks, and Reebok Eurocamp director Pete Philo also happens to be on the staff. The Blazers have picks No. 30 and No. 31 and are also said to be fans.

Why? The kid can play. I couldn't find more than one NBA scout who knew about him when I added him to our Top 100 three weeks ago. Now? They are all in love.

The 19-year-old, slender 6-10 forward from Aldershot, England played in the Spanish "B" league this year for Gran Canaria. He averaged 14.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg in 26 mpg this season.


Freeland reminds me a lot of the Knicks' David Lee. He's actually a little taller and a little longer but plays with the same energy and athleticism. He flies up and down the court and has excellent hops. He's very active defensively and has great shot-blocking timing.


Offensively he has skills. He's got a nice 12-foot jumper, and in drills, he was even sinking the international 3, though not consistently. He's got a pretty good handle and will put the ball on the floor and take his man off the dribble. He gets great elevation on his jump shot, though the form still needs a little work.

But a team is going to draft him for his motor, defense and athleticism. While most of the talk about him centers on the second round, I wouldn't be shocked to see him slip into the late first. A team could draft him and leave him overseas for a year or two to develop. A little more muscle and a little more polish and he could be a big prospect.


3. Yotam Halperin, G, 6-5, 199, Israel
Halperin has the best credentials of anyone in the camp. He started this year for Olimpija in the Euroleague this season and averaged 13.9 ppg and 3.5 apg and shot 46 percent from the field.

Halperin is a 6-5 combo guard. He's an excellent passer and decision-maker who patiently probes the defense looking for the open man. He's a very good jump shooter with NBA 3-point range, but he really makes his living on the midrange jumper.

Halperin has more experience than anyone else here, and it's shown in his first two games. He stays calm, doesn't make mistakes and is a vocal leader both on the floor and in the games. In his second game on Monday, we counted 11 assists in roughly 20 minutes of play.

If there's a knock on him, it's that he's too conservative at times. He hasn't attacked the basket at times when the defense has given him a seam.

Expect teams to look at Halperin starting in the late first round. More likely, he'll go somewhere in the second to team like the Hawks (No. 33), Cavs (No. 42), Pacers (No. 45) or Wizards (No. 48).

4. Ali Traore, PF, 6-10, 247, France
Traore has been one of the most consistently impressive players in the camp. Last year he impressed with his raw physical strength and athleticism around the basket, with a 7-5 wingspan (it was measured in Treviso).


The Ivory Coast native had a good season for Roanne in France, averaging 8.6 ppg and 4.1 rpg on 62 percent shooting in just under 15 mpg.

This year Traore has come back more skilled around the basket. He's now finishing around the rim with both his left and his right hand and he's working on a 10-foot jumper to add to his post game. Still his game is mostly about power. There's no one here at camp who can deal with how physical he is around the basket. He has such a strong body that his banging in the paint usually sends guys flying.

Traore turned 21 in May, and he could still use another year to polish his game and try to make a run at the first round. As it stands now, scouts have him projected in the second round. But given his size and strength, it wouldn't be a shock if he somehow snuck into the first.

The Spurs surprised everyone by taking Ian Mahinmi last year in the late first. This year, the Suns at No. 27, the Knicks at No. 29 or the Blazers at No. 30 could do it again.

5. Lior Eliyahu, F, 6-9, 214, Israel
Eliyahu is coming off a great year in Israel, averaging 16.5 ppg, 6 rpg and 3.5 apg for Hapoel Galil. As we discussed in our blog last month, Eliyahu is the type of player who has a great nose for the ball.

He doesn't show in drills especially well. His shot is a little awkward (he releases it at his forehead and kicks his feet when he shoots) and he's not the most graceful guy on the floor -- more herky-jerky than anything else. But he does know how to play.

Once the ball rolls out and games begin at the camp, Eliyahu is everywhere. He's in the mix for every rebound and every loose ball and can score in a variety of ways -- off jumpers, drives and offensive boards.

He's an excellent athlete for his size and aggressive on both ends of the floor.

Scouts want to see him work on his shooting and want him to bulk up more to play the four in the NBA, but they see a bright future for Eliyahu.

If he stays in the draft, he's a likely second-round project that a team will leave over in Israel for another year or two. However, he might choose to withdraw from the draft, move to a more prominent team next year (either Maccabi Tel Aviv or Hapoel Jerusalem) and show scouts he can do it at a higher level.

Either way, expect him to be in the league someday.

6. Leonardo di Pacce Dos Santos ("Morro"), PF/C, 6-11, 228, Brazil
Morro is a sleeper who played in relative obscurity in Brazil this season. However, his brief experience in front of NBA teams has made an indelible impression. He had a solid workouts in Memphis and New Jersey, giving him a little buzz coming into the camp.

Morro was excellent in workouts on Sunday, showing a lot of energy around the basket. He started off his first game Sunday night in dramatic fashion. By our count he grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots in the first half before landing awkwardly and hyperextending his knee.

The word from doctors here is that Morro is out 7 to 10 days with the injury. It's too bad he won't be able to play more in the camp. Given his size and length (a 7-1 wingspan), he was in a good position to work himself into the second round. Now he's unlikely to recover in enough time to have many workouts before the draft.

Will what scouts saw in his brief stay in the U.S. and here at camp be enough to sneak him in? We'll see.


Others to watch: Michailas Anisimov, C, Ukraine; Daniele Cavaliero, PG, Italy; Victor Sada, G, Spain; Vladen Vukosavljevic, F, Serbia.


Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider