French teen Sekou Doumbouya, a 6-9 forward projected by many to be a first-round pick and potentially a stretch lottery selection, has submitted paperwork to the NBA to make himself eligible for the 2019 draft, his agent told ESPN.
Doumbouya — who was born in Guinea but has lived in France since he was an infant — currently plays for Limoges in the French Pro A league and the EuroCup, averaging 6.7 points and 3.0 rebounds. But he put himself squarely on NBA teams’ radars with his length and athleticism at the FIBA U-18 European Championship in 2016, helping France win gold and being named to the all-tournament team despite having just turned 16 only a few days earlier.
At 18, he is the youngest player eligible for the 2019 draft. If Doumbouya, who turns 19 on Dec. 23, makes his NBA debut in the fall, he would be the youngest player to make his league debut since the NBA instituted an age requirement in 2005. Bucks star and MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo turned 19 on Dec. 6, 2013, of his rookie year.
If Doumbouya goes early in Round 1, it would be based on his sizable upside, since he is still learning the game, most scouting reports note.
And while there isn’t a consensus on where Doumbouya will be picked, there is about his talent.
Per NBADraft.net, Doumbouya is a “prototypical new age, two-way combo forward with great defensive upside,” adding that he is “one of the most intriguing international prospects of the last couple of years.”
NBA Draft Room says Doumbouya appears to be “a bigger and more advanced version of OG Anunoby with a slice of Jabari Parker mixed in.
A thicker Pascal Siakam.”
“His athletic ability, defensive versatility and budding perimeter skill set make him an ideal fit for today’s NBA,” ESPN.com noted.
Doumbouya’s Limoges team is fighting for a Pro A playoff spot, but he should have time for in-person pre-draft workouts for NBA teams once his French season is finished.