In the first ESPN/Draft Express mock draft of the season, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz have the Nets going international once again —their last three picks have been a Bulgarian, a Bosnia and a Latvian— this time taking Frenchman Sekou Doumbouya.
The Nets, of course, currently have their own pick in the 2019 Draft, the first time that’s happened since 2013, as well as Nuggets first (protected 1-12) and the Knicks second, unprotected, both acquired in trades.
So who is Doumbouya ... and who else does DX project as Nets picks (based on ESPN’s current power rankings, it has the Nets picking eighth, 26th and 37th.)
First of all, Doumbouya is a 6’9” small forward who doesn’t turn 18 until December ... and according to reports is still growing. He’s also the top international prospect in the Draft.
“I want to dominate the players I’m going up against in all facets of the game,” Doumbouya has said. “Be dominant for myself and my team, help them win anyway I can.”
He’s just started playing for Limoges in the French A and Eurocup leagues, averaging 5.5 points and 2.8 boards in 15.6 minutes over the first 10 games. Eurobasket.com, a site that tracks international players, describes him this way...
“A young forward with immense athletic skills. Doumbouya seems to be able to dunk over almost everyone, runs the floor extremely well, and puts pressure on the ball ferociously. And notice that he started playing basketball when he was 12 years old.”
Doumbouya came to France from the African nation of Guinea when he was four years old. He’s been compared to a young Carmelo Anthony or Lamar Odom. DX has the Nets taking another international player, Canadian Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a 6’6” combo guard out of Virginia Tech. As a freshman, Alexander-Walker averaged 10.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, hitting almost 40 percent from three.
Finally, at No. 37, the Nets are projected to take another 6’6” shooting guard, Brandon Randolph of Arizona, a Yonkers, N.Y. native. A hyper athlete, he recorded a 46.5” max vertical and is expected to have a larger role with the Wildcats this season after averaging 3.7 points as a freshman.
A number of the players listed in the mock draft worked out for the Nets last spring before dropping out of the 2018 Draft, among them P.J. Washington of Kentucky, Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s, Tyus Battle of Syracuse, and Brian Bowen, who was caught up in the adidas recruiting scandal and is now playing in Sydney, Australia this season.
- NBA mock draft: How to watch our top prospects this month - Jonathan Givony - ESPN/Draft Express