French forward Amine Noua is declaring for the 2018 NBA draft, a source told ESPN on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-8, 21-year-old power forward has been a staple of the French national team for the past five years, establishing himself as a starter and leading player at the Under-16 and Under-20 European Championships, as well as the FIBA Under-17 World Cup in 2014, where he averaged 19 points per game. He was called up to the senior national team training camp during the FIBA World Cup qualification this season.
Noua has played club basketball with ASVEL -- a team owned by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker -- since he was 10 years old. He is one of only two draft-eligible players in ProA France starting virtually every game, along with potential first-rounder Elie Okobo. He’s averaging 10.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game, shooting 59 percent from 2 and 34 percent from 3. He also has started in all 15 games the French team played in the EuroCup, a Pan-European competition that draws some of the better non-Euroleague teams on the continent.
Noua has been heavily scouted all season by NBA teams with draft picks in the second round, as many international talent evaluators consider him to be one of the better stash options in the draft. A team might consider picking him and holding his rights while he continues to mature in France. His squad is expected to participate in the Euroleague next season, making it an attractive development situation.
Noua is a versatile power forward who grew up operating strictly around the basket but has developed his jump shot significantly in the past year. He is a Swiss-army-knife-type player who can post up, rebound, push the ball in the open floor and find ways to score without having plays called for him. Defensively, he has multi-positional versatility due to his solid length, quick feet and strong instincts. While not oozing with pure talent or upside, it’s easy to see him developing into a highly productive player in Europe over the next few years and a consistent presence on the French national team, as he is widely lauded for his outstanding intangibles.
He is rated the No. 78 prospect in the ESPN Top 100. As a 1997-born international player, he will have one more opportunity to go through the NBA draft process in 2019 should he elect to withdraw his name at the early-entry deadline on June 11.