The NBA Draft has some sort of knack for devaluing players based on where they get drafted. 2nd round players will never be as good as 1st-rounder. Lottery picks are guaranteed to improve your squad immediately.
These are just fallacies that coaches, scouts and front office big-shots fall into, as well as the youngsters looking for their shot at the big time. I’m only a 2nd-rounder? Guess I have no shot then.
But let’s put those thoughts aside, shall we? After all, the NBA, just as any other league, has seen its fair share of rags-to-riches success stories coming from lottery slides, late first-rounders, second-rounders and even undrafted free agents. Paulo Prestes, odds are, will never formulate that famous American success story, but he is indeed the most interesting prospect the Wolves probably have overseas. (Rubio’s bound to be here next season, right?)
Prestes’ selection in the 2010 NBA Draft was obviously clouded by other story lines: The trade talk, Demarcus Cousins, the un-ending desire for Evan Turner to be a T-Wolf. But his selection isn’t one to get completely lost in the smog of 2010. There’s actually a decent chance he could be in a Wolves uniform next season, which is why it’s important you ought to get to know him.
Over the course of the next few days, Kahn hilariously decided to bring in an odd group of free agents to get a gauge on who he wants to spend big bucks on come the time to. Included in this list and in no particular order are the likes of Paulo Prestes, J.R. Giddens, Matt Janning, Steven Hunter, Quincy Douby, Darius Washington Jr. (Come on, keep guessing who these chumps are without Googling them) James Singleton, Matt Bouldin, Deshawn Sims and more. As you can tell there really isn’t much of substance, leaving fans puzzled as to why Kahn is holding these tryouts for players who likely don’t belong in the NBA instead of gauging where to draft newcomers come June 23rd. But I digress.
Clearly the most intriguing name mentioned above is that of Prestes. Last season Prestes played for CB Muria in Spain and averaged 9.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 24 minutes a game. He’s shown the ability to dominate games like against Granada where he had 16 points (7-7 shooting) and 11 rebounds. He’s known as yet another belligerent bruiser and at 6′-11″, 270, he ought to be.
Prestes is similar to Nikola Pekovic in the way they play the game but the two are very different also. Prestes has been compared to Kendrick Perkins, the Oklahoma City’s starting center. He’s a big body underneath that is difficult to move and box out. Prestes has a bit of a mean streak in the way he plays, which could be helpful to add to the team. And although his game needs some more fine-tuning, especially on offense and his low-post moves, Prestes’ time could very well be now. And with Pekovic looking an awful lot like a bust and Darko Milicic already proving a total bust, Prestes could come over this year, sit a year out, perhaps work with the D-League a bit and really learn the NBA style of play. He is only 22 after all and has the time to grow into his game.
So, although Prestes may never be a shining star — neither will any of the others Kahn is bringing in this week, — his physical presence may be helpful down the line this season as well as many more to come. And who knows, whenever talents come overseas such as him, they sometimes have a knack for immediately showing what you’re going to get long-term. Prestes could be a great contributor off the bench and he’s definitely a name to keep in mind for the future.