The NBA scouting world comes in force even in a year like this, when the overseas scene will have a microscopic impact on the draft, when some execs have a very quick turnaround, and when the most valuable of information is at least a season away, and maybe longer, from being put to use.
Even in a year like this — that part can be underlined. The three-day adidas Eurocamp begins today in Treviso, Italy, with a good chance that Canada will produce more first-rounders June 28 than all Europe, and with the time-crunch certainty of some front-office representatives going directly Friday night from Chicago and the pre-draft camp with the largest gathering of college prospects to reach northern Italy on Saturday and the Treviso gym by this morning for the largest gathering of international prospects.
With players not yet draft eligible also participating, including under-20 national teams from three countries, the bulk of the information haul in the one-stop shopping may be applied to 2013 and beyond. Europe is a futures market one year after Enes Kanter went third, Jonas Valanciunas fifth, Jan Vesely sixth, Bismack Biyombo seventh and Donatas Motiejunas 20th.
This year, there may not be a single player from outside North America taken in the top 30. And if one is — French small forward Evan Fournier is the leading candidate — it may be with the unique situation of the Celtics having picks 21 and 22 and not wanting to load up on rookies or a team near the end of the first round preferring to keep the pick overseas to dodge a guaranteed contract. (Combo guard Tomas Satoransky from the Czech Republic, with an outside chance, said he is open to coming to the NBA right away or returning to Europe. His current contract in Spain includes an opt-out clause for this summer that turns into a two-year deal with a buyout if he stays in the deal.)
The 10th year of the camp is also a change for the event. For the first time, the skills testing will be identical to methods at the Chicago camp, finally allowing teams to directly compare data from the two locations. Many of the same testers in Illinois a few days ago, in fact, were scheduled to go to Italy.
The next step is one day having the same approach on player physicals. That cannot happen yet because the same level of medical reviews are not allowed at Eurocamp with the NBA league office having a much smaller say compared to Chicago in procedures.
The modifications come at a time when camp officials have held internal discussions about moving the event to Munich, Germany, or Spain. While the current location works well on a number of fronts, from facilities to a central location for western Europe and the Baltics, conversations are expected to continue in the future, amid strong indications that any change would be for the 2014 event at the earliest.
Approximately 45 draft-eligible participants are expected this year, hoping to join the likes of Danilo Gallinari, Andrea Bargnani, Nicolas Batum and Serge Ibaka among Eurocamp products who have gone on to successful careers in the NBA. In all, 75 players have gone to the NBA and 56 have been drafted after being at the showcase.
Arturas Karnisovas, director of scouting for the Rockets, is the new camp director and Timberwolves assistant coach Bill Bayno is the new coaching director. Houston coach Kevin McHale is scheduled to give a big-man clinic, while Trajan Langdon has been added as a special counselor.