With one week remaining until the 2014 NBA Draft, rumors linking teams to specific players have become more frequent. One such rumor, which Joe Kotoch of Pro Basketball Draft posted Wednesday evening, says the Orlando Magic "are very real players" for Jusuf Nurkić, a seven-foot center who won't turn 20 until August.
In 28 appearances for Cedevita Zagreb of the Croatian League, Nurkić posted per-game averages of 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 0.8 blocked shots in a mere 16.6 minutes, all while shooting 56 percent from the floor and 70.1 percent from the free-throw line. His combination of skill, size--Cedevita lists him at 7-foot-0 and 279 pounds--and youth makes him an attractive NBA Draft prospect.
Nurkić might be available when Orlando selects 12th overall on June 26th. According to Kotoch, the Philadelphia 76ers, who own the 10th pick, could also be interested in Nurkić. Overall, Kotoch expects Nurkić to be selected anywhere from seventh to 19th overall.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Jusuf Nurkić as Croatian. Nurkić is Bosnian, and plays for a Croatian professional team. We regret the error. - ED