France's Rayan Rupert -- one of the most promising young wing players in the world -- is signing a deal to join the New Zealand Breakers of the Australian national basketball league next season, sources told ESPN.
Rupert, who is 6-foot-7 with a 7-3 wingspan, is projected to be the 21st pick in ESPN's 2023 NBA Mock Draft. Another French forward, Ousmane Dieng, a projected first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft, made the leap to the Breakers last season.
Rupert, who just turned 18, has drawn comparisons to Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges because of the defensive versatility that comes with his wingspan, his ability to get into the passing lanes and the intensity with which he plays on defense.
Rupert has an intriguing family history in basketball. His sister, Iliana, was the 12th overall pick by the Las Vegas Aces in the 2021 WNBA draft. His father, Thierry, was a EuroLeague player and captain of the French national team. He died in 2013 after a heart-related emergency.
Rupert graduated from the INSEP Academy in France, which also trained Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 27 games this season.