By Adrian Wojnarowski
One of the world’s most intriguing teenage centers – Brazilian 7-footer Lucas Nogueira – has entered his name into the June 23 NBA draft, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Nogueira’s representatives informed the NBA in a letter sent on Friday. They plan to use the predraft workout process with teams to gauge how far into the first round Nogueira could climb this year.
Prospects have until June 14th to pull out of the draft.
After an impressive performance at the under-18 FIBA championships in July in San Antonio, Nogueira became an intriguing prospect for NBA executives. With a 7-foot-6 wingspan, he’s shown the potential to be a dominant force on the defensive end. Nogueira is still working to add strength to his 220-pound frame.
Nogueira is DraftExpress.com’s fourth-rated 18-year-old international prospect behind three players expected to be taken in the 2011 lottery – Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo and Enes Kanter. Nogueira plays for Estudiantes of the Spanish League.
While Nogueira isn’t close to becoming an impact player in the NBA at 18 years old, he could be especially appealing to contending teams picking later in the first round or teams with multiple picks. Those teams will have a chance to develop him without the expectation of him contributing immediately.