There's a little buzz right now about a possible surprise at No. 29 where the Nets pick. If no one meets their criteria, would they draft a European in the first round, knowing he wouldn't be available for year or two or, as in the case of Bojan Bogdanovic, three?
The name to keep in mind in this scenario is Guillermo "Willy" Hernangomez, the workman-like center for Sevilla in the Spanish League, Kristap Porzingis' frontcourt mate who also played for a while with Xavier Thames, the Nets 59th pick last June. At 6'11", and a wingspan just a little longer, Hernangomez is a Nets favorite. Just as they watched a lot of video of Porzingis when they monitored Thames, they saw a lot of Hernangomez as well.
Fred Kerber noted the Nets' interest Wednesday morning in a note...
Another possibility for Nets is center Guillermo Hernangomez — he would be a Euro-stash. He played with Porzingis with Sevilla in Spain. Although, Nets general manager Billy King indicated he is looking for help right off the bat.
DraftExpress likes Hernangomez and in their latest mock, has him at No. 32, going to Houston. So No. 29 is not a stretch in terms of talent. The issue is when he would come over. As DX notes, he has the talent....
Hernangomez is actually the property of Real Madrid and therein lies the problem. He's under contract to them through 2016-17 with a buyout that's unknown ... at least to draftniks. There are advantages to stashing him. He would cost them nothing. He would be playing with one of the world's great sports organizations, in one of the world's great basketball leagues. He would develop with little need for the Nets input. And unless he stays more than three years, the Nets would only have to pay him the rookie scale for 2015-16, making him a real bargain, if he develops as expected, under the TV rights-inflated new salary cap. The disadvantage is obvious: he wouldn't play.
Who are some of the other Euro-Stash candidates? Arturas Gudaitis, a 6'10" Lithuanian PF; Nikola Milutinov, a Serbian 7-footer; and Cedi Osman, a 6'8" swingman out of Turkey. Another European big, whose improvement has impressed scouts, is Mouhammadou Jaiteh, a French seven-footer who unlike the others is ready and willing to come over next season. But of all of them, Hernangomez is seen as the top prospect, by far.