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Is French wing lobbying the Nets to take him in NBA Draft?

Sean Marks traveled 10,000 miles to scout Rayan Rupert in January. Now the 6’7” French wing is returning the favor.

NBL Semi Final Series: Game 2 - Tasmania v New Zealand Photo by Simon Sturzaker/Getty Images

Back in late January, before the Nets roster went all kerflooey, Sean Marks flew all the way to Australia and New Zealand to take a look at a 6’7” 18-year-old wing with a 7’3” wingspan named Rayan Rupert, Marks presence got some attention.

According to NZ Stuff report on the game in Auckland, New Zealand, coincidentally or not Marks hometown, the Nets GM appeared quite interesting:

Marks is keen to look closely at the Breakers’ French import Rayan Rupert, who is expected to be selected in midway through the first round of this year’s NBA draft, and he also went to see him in the Breakers’ win in Brisbane on Thursday.

Two and a half months later, Rupert (pronounced “Roo-PAIR.”) is projected at around No. 15 through 20, just ahead of the Nets two first rounders at No. 21 and 22.

On Wednesday, Rupert confirmed the rumors that he is declaring the the 2023 Draft.

“My dream has always been to play in the NBA,” Rupert told Jonathan Givony of ESPN. “I’m ready to take the next step in my career.”

Rupert, who’s working out with Tim Martin in Texas (who is also Nic Claxton’s trainer), then noted — apparently without being asked — that he’s been watching a lot of Nets because his favorite player plays in Brooklyn.

“I’m watching a lot of Nets games. My favorite player is Mikal Bridges,” he said. “He plays with great energy and can do everything on the court. He used to be a ‘3-and-D player’ like me, but now he is a franchise player. I love everything about him.”

Rupert would be a long-term development bet if the Nets were able to move up and pick him or he drops. He doesn’t turn 19 till May 31 and obviously, the Nets have a number of wings. But when you’re rebuilding, you take the best player available. Rupert’s big calling card is defense...

“I can bring now a lot of things to an NBA team,” he said. “I can change the game with my defense.”

The Draft is June 22 at Barclays Center.