Forgot the Hawks drafted Alain Digbeu in 1997? What about Sofoklis Schortsanitis in 2003? Well Mark Deek's of ShamSports.com is rounding up all of the unsigned draft picks of NBA teams and updating their presant day whereabouts. So if you are interested to see what happened to Digbeu or Schortsanitis or what 2009 second round pick Sergiy Gladyr is up to then click through and read Deek's article.
The player I wanted to focus on for this article is the Atlanta Hawks' 2013 first round pick Lucas Nogueira who we have been following throughout the season. Many pundits aren't sure what to make of Nogueira. He's young and he sat out a large portion of this season with a severe case of knee tendinitis. However, Deeks is still high on him and gives him a 95 percent chance as being an NBA player.
Noguiera's most notable news since being drafted was the three months of this season he missed with semi-serious knee tendinitis, certainly something worrying to hear about one so young. Nevertheless, he's back now, and averaging 6.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 fouls in 16 minutes per game. He is young, sprightly, bouncy, way too thin and raw as bacon. All of which could once have been said of Gorgui Dieng. And look at him now.
Deeks points to Nogueira being thin as a weakness but thinks that his talent can win that over. He absolutely will have to bulk up to play in the NBA but his length and athleticism casts him well as a shot blocker.
Dieng is an interesting comparison. He averaged 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds as a rookie for the Timberwolves this season. He was little more than an afterthought for much of the season but saw his role increase at the end and averaged a double-double with 11.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in April. The biggest difference is Dieng is already 24 years old and played in the U.S. in college at Louisville. Nogueira will be 22 in July and has played abroad in his brief career.
Nogueira is expected to participate with the Atlanta Hawks during summer league but it's anyone's guess whether or not he is in the team's plans for next season. Reports indicated his desire to not return to Spain this season and his injuries led to a reduced role with Estudiantes which has likely affected his development. Will the Hawks send him back to Spain for more seasoning next season or will they keep him where they can oversee his development and progress?