For the past five years the Nike Hoops Summit has been in Portland Oregon thanks to the backing of Nike, USA Basketball, and the Portland Trail Blazers. It is the best opportunity for NBA decision-makers to get a peek at the top high school talent for the next draft and more importantly a look at some of the top international talents in this years draft.
This event has opened the doors for Nicolas Batum, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Omri Casspi, Donatas Motiejunas, Nikola Mirotic, Enes Kanter, and more.
With practices open to the media and NBA executives this is a premiere event. Steve Kerr referred to this event as one he would circle on his calendar when he was running the Phoenix Suns a few years ago. The talent level is typically off the charts here and this year has been no exception.
Check out the game tonight at 4 p.m. Arizona Time on ESPN2 to see a potential future Suns player and the best talent for next years loaded draft class.
Here is a full preview I did with notes from practice and observations.
The Suns are right now slotted No. 4, No. 30, and No. 57 in the 2013 NBA Draft and have a lot of reason to be out here in Portland to scout the international prospects and future college talent. Going off the Top 75 Big Board at NBA Draft Insider there are three international prospects that have the potential to be drafted this year.
Lance Blanks has not arrived here for any of the practices and scout Jon Treloar was in attendance for one of the international prospects I attended on Tuesday,
Editors Note: After speaking a Suns representative they have four total scouts in Portland observing the Nike Hoops Summit.
Russian wing Sergey Karasev (No. 13) is a dead-eye shooter that has truly blossomed over the past year and a half into a lottery type talent. He has been impressive this week matching up with Andrew Wiggins in practice being tested with his athleticism and talent.
His range at this point is between 10-20 in the upcoming draft, slightly out of the range of the Suns and they are likely going to be too high in the lottery to consider him there. Karasev would be a nice addition with the 30th pick if he slides.
The other two international prospects that are worth keeping an eye on are Mouhammadou Jaiteh (No. 36) and Dennis Schroder (No. 61).
Jaiteh is a French big man that lacks explosion, but is a physical presence at 6-11 249 lbs. with a 7-4 wingspan. He is not a great offensive player lacking touch around the basket, but has potential on the defensive end at the four or the five.
There is no question that Schroder has been the most impressive prospect on the international roster improving his stock to the point where he declared for the draft a few practices in. He didn't even wait for the game.
Schroder has been terrific with his length (6-7.25 wingspan), athleticism, size (6-2 168 lbs), and ability to get into the paint seemingly at will. The German point guard is lightning quick and can get around his man with ease finishing plays with flash and style. He has been throwing ally-oops and all over the court.
The flair Schroder plays with comes from being a skater kid that got noticed by a coach in Germany while playing pick-up hoops in a park. He is that good of an athlete.
Nearly every team had their General Manager at practice including Danny Ainge (Boston), R.C. Buford (San Antonio), Masai Ujiri (Denver), Darryl Morey (Houston), Sam Presti (Oklahoma City), and many more. Each team had general representatives from scouts, assistant general managers, and etc.
Is there a need to wonder why those specific teams are consistently good?
Again, make sure you check out the game is tonight at 4 p.m. local time on ESPN2.