Jean Montero is signing with Overtime Elite, as the Dominican Republic native becomes the first international player to join the new American professional basketball league.
Montero, the projected No. 17 pick in ESPN's 2022 mock draft, will be on loan from Spanish ACB team Gran Canaria, where he is still under contract. He will eventually need to be bought out of his contract by an NBA team after he is drafted.
Overtime has been aggressive over the past months, canvassing agents and families of many of the top international prospects in the world, as the league clearly is looking to compete for attention on a global spectrum.
A 6-foot-3, 17-year-old guard, Montero has been a standout from an early age at the international level, first emerging at age 13 playing up several years at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship and then averaging 15 points per game as a 15-year old at the FIBA U17 World Cup. He confirmed his status as one of the best players in his age group at the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Global camp during All-Star Weekend in February 2020, where he was one of the youngest players at the event but had an outstanding showing.
Montero made his debut with the Dominican Republic senior national team in November 2020, scoring seven points in six minutes against Cuba.
He spent this past season splitting time between Gran Canaria's first-division team in the ACB and EuroCup, where he played nine games, and the team's feeder team Gran Canaria II, which plays in the Spanish third division. Montero averaged 18 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.5 steals in 29 minutes over 24 games in the third division.
OTE has raised significant capital in its attempt to become a real alternative for elite high school and international prospects to use as a training program. The league previously announced the signings of five-star prospects Amen and Ausar Thompson in the high school Class of 2022 and Matthew and Ryan Bewley in the Class of 2023. All four players signed two-year contracts.
The league still has quite a bit of work to do to fill out its roster before September, when players are expected to begin training in Atlanta.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.