Dell Demps was spotted in Istanbul several days ago, taking in a Turkish league game between Darussafaka Dogus and Anadolu Efes. He is expected to bounce around a few European cities before returning to Istanbul to watch the 2017 EuroLeague Final Four from May 19-21.
Scouting players abroad isn’t some new occurrence for the New Orleans Pelicans general manager. Demps has been seen on hand at multiple EuroLeague playoffs in the past, and with overseas additions of Luke Babbitt, Alexis Ajinca, Brian Roberts and Gustavo Ayon on his resume, it’s apparent he’s quite comfortable at finding talent outside of the United States.
Here’s a list of notable players he’s seen or should get a chance to witness play in coming days:
Thomas Heurtel (Anadolu Efes): With Demps reportedly in the building, the Frenchman scored 25 points, dished out seven assists and knocked down five three-pointers. Although he’s in his 13th season and comes off the bench for his current team, he was awarded the EuroLeague MVP for February after averaging 16.7 points and 10.7 assists for the month. Also, it must be noted the 28-year old point guard has an interest in coming to the NBA.
"What I said was that if I were offered this opportunity, if I had serious touches, I would of course study this possibility carefully," he explained in March on the The LNB. "The NBA is still a kid's dream. But that meant, why not? But I will not go there not to play. The minimum is at least that the plan is to use me 10 or 15 minutes per game. I will listen to what I am offered and see. But yes, it remains a kid's dream and it is an experience that I would still dream of knowing."
Brad Wanamaker (Darussafaka Dogus): The 27-year-old professional was selected to the 2017 All-EuroLeague 2nd Team, leading his team to it’s first ever playoff berth. He finished third in the league with 16.7 ppg, second in steals (1.5) and tenth in assists (4.7).
The four-year Pittsburgh alum is on the radar of NBA teams. Admittedly, in watching his ability to get off shots quickly against all types of defenders, his propensity to rain down jumpers does entice. His first step deserves some respect and he never seems to be off balance, gathering himself well each and every time before launching from the perimeter.
Milos Teodosic (CSKA Moscow): In the event Jrue Holiday leaves New Orleans, I listed several free agent point guard targets last month and Teodosic made the list. I’m not going to rehash his appeal — currently the best player in Europe — but I have to mention his odds of winding up in the NBA. According to David Pick in an interview with our fellow SB Nation sister site NetsDaily, Teodosic wants to play for a winner.
“What is Milos looking for. He’s looking for a winning team, he doesn’t take losing very well... The Brooklyn Nets, I just don’t think Milos has time at 30 to start help an organization rebuild.”
The Nets are far from being a highly competitive team and making a postseason. Although the article smartly pointed out the appeal of the Denver Nuggets, I wouldn’t be surprised if Demps tries to lure Milos with Youtube highlights of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins at some point this week. Plus, if the Pelicans were to renounce the cap holds on Holiday and Dante Cunningham, they could meet Teodosic’s potential $10-14 million a year asking price.
Nando de Colo (CSKA Moscow): Despite being a heck of a basketball player, there is little to see here. Nando doesn’t have an NBA buyout clause in his current contract so he’ll be stuck in Moscow until at least 2019.
Anthony Randolph (Real Madrid): If you once played fantasy basketball, followed Don Nelson’s Warriors or were an avid LSU fan some years back, Randolph’s name should be familiar. Unfortunately, Ant-Rand proved to be a mighty tease in the NBA, struggling to become an efficient scorer and developing the requisite IQ. Three years later, though, he has possibly regained some of that luster while in Europe.
Although he has to remain in Europe for another season, an NBA buyout could bypass the final two years of a recently signed extension with Real Madrid. Before 2018-19 rolls around and the Pelicans are fresh of a postseason berth, thereby keeping Alvin Gentry and Demps in town awhile longer, maybe Randolph suddenly makes sense for a roster that hopefully keeps DeMarcus Cousins and loses at least one of Omer Asik/Alexis Ajinca?
Luka Doncic (Real Madrid): This is a name to file away for the 2018 NBA draft. This 18-year-old is a legitimate threat to be selected first overall thanks to averages of 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists in under 20 minutes per game on Europe’s biggest stage!