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NBA Draft a Path to Globalization?

Courtesy: Union Olimpija
Courtesy: Union Olimpija

When the Nets ended the season, the roster featured three international players --Sasha Vujacic of Slovenia, Dan Gadzuric of the Netherlands and Johan Petro of France-- and Ben Uzoh, an American whose Nigerian heritage makes him eligible for the African country's team at this summer's FIBA Africa tournament.

That's hardly going to attract many international fans to the Nets as part of Mikhail Prokhorov's globalization plan. Even if the Nets sign Andrei Kirilenko, which looks increasingly likely, the team will need to add other international players.  That's where this year's draft comes in.  Ben Couch of the Nets suggests this could be "draft and stash" affair, where the Nets take a foreign player but keep him overseas while retaining his rights.

Couch looks at the "Euro-Stash" possibilities in the draft.  One, Davis Bertans, a sweet shooting 6'10" forward out of Latvia, has been penciled in as the Nets choice by a number of mock drafts. By Couch's count, Bertans is now the consensus choice at #27, where the Nets pick.He's also the youngest player in the draft.  He won't turn 19 till November.