Several weeks ago, we reported on the rapidly rising draft stock of 18-year-old Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen. Well, now that draft workouts are in full swing, the suave Scandinavian is continuing to impress NBA scouts. Here’s what ESPN Insider and draft guru Chad Ford had to say about Koponen’s recent performance at a two-day, ten-team workout camp in Orlando this week:
Almost every team was shocked at how well Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen handled the workout. Only 18 years old, he was put up against college veterans like Taurean Green, Aaron Brooks and Sean Singletary.
Koponen, according to multiple team sources, stood out with his poise, shooting and ability to adapt his game to the speed of the workout. One executive went so far as to say he saw enough to rank Koponen as the fourth-best point guard in the draft. Others said that he was on par with [Florida point guard Taurean] Green, who also played well in the workout.
Koponen will skip the Reebok Eurocamp to continue individual workouts, and it looks like he may have a good shot at sneaking into the late first round. All of which makes it hard to understand why the Orlando pre-draft camp selection committee excluded him from the camp.
Koponen currently plays for the Honka Espoo Playboys in Finland (really). The 6″4′, 195-pound point guard has the size and strength to make it in the league and despite being only 18 and having no college experience, has been repeatedly described as “polished.” It’s pretty impressive that the Finn can hold his own with the college-tested point guards. Plus, he looks like one of the Hansen brothers. Hooray Suomi!
Workout season requires sorting fact from fiction [ESPN Insider]