Its way too risky to draft a European with a top 3 pick
I thought that most teams would understand this from all the history of international players coming out of the draft, and what the full potential of these players are.
Rule: You don't use a top 3 pick on a european player
Here are just a couple of reasons why
- Poor defenders
I'm going to go as far as to say all euro players are poor defenders. From Toni Kukoc to Sasha Danilovic to Slava Medvenko... there has never been a euro player to come out as an "elite defender". The best defenders of all time, as sad as this sounds, are Pau Gasol, a guy notoriously known as being soft when it really mattered, and Vlade Divac, the all time king of flopping.
I don't know if its genetics or what... but no euro player has ever had a muscular build, or legit athleticism where they were one of the fastest players, or highest jumpers. Although this doesn't take away from a players skill... as there have been many skilled euro players, I truly believe it takes away from a player's ceiling. Most of the time European players either get in their first 2 years... or they don't. I've never seen any of these guys evolve their game and adjust it to the NBA to a strong degree. Most of the time their play is consistent.
- May opt to stay in Europe
This situation with Rubio is not the first time a player disliked the team they were drafted to. There isn't a long history of it... but I'd think it's enough to scare some GMs.
- Rookie contract.... then gone
As in the case of Carlos Delfino, Nenad Kristic... and I'm sure many to follow in the next few years... a player may play his contract obligation as a rookie, and although they are still a restricted FA, may high tail it back to Europe for more money since their stock has likely risen.
IMHO the Top 4-10 picks are fine, but I just think its too risky for a top 3 pick.