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Looming NBA Lockout Opened Door For European Players In Draft

David Stern and Enes Kanter

David Stern and Enes Kanter (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Mike Stobe)

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(WSCR) Thursday’s NBA Draft introduced a lot of overseas players to NBA fans. While there are usually a few European players drafted, the year’s draft skewed even more in that direction than usual.

“There were some players who stayed in college, who otherwise might have come out this year,” Steve Aschburner, of NBA.com, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “And as a result, that opened up slots.”

This draft was widely considered one of the weaker ones in recent memory, but it’s not as if there wasn’t good draft-eligible talent.

LISTEN: Steve Aschburner On The Mully And Hanley Show

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“[Jared] Sullinger from Ohio State, [Harrison] Barnes, guys who were considered to be legitimate first round picks,” Aschburner said. “And maybe they were going to stay in school anyway, but with the threat of labor strife, the fact that they could be drafted into a big, gapping, you know, hole of a league for a while, they opted to stay with their college teams. And that just, to me, it opened up spots for the Europeans.”