On Sunday I mentioned Donatas Motiejunas in passing, then lo' and behold ESPN.com's draft Guru Chad Ford lists him as one of the players whose draft stock is on the rise. He said:
"Donatas Motiejunas, F, Lithuania
Every year NBA GMs fly around the world looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki. There have been lots of pretenders -- from Nikoloz Tskitishvilli to Vladimir Radmanovic to Andrea Bargnani (who actually looks pretty good this season) to Danilo Gallinari -- but the next Nowitzki has proven to be pretty elusive. This year's Dirk wannabe is Motiejunas -- a 7-foot, 215-pound forward who, you guessed it, runs the floor, has a pretty jumper and can play multiple positions.
Motiejunas has many of the same red flags as those other guys. Scouts say he is soft, needs to add a lot of strength and is playing against watered down competition in Lithuania. However, he's averaging more than 20 points and shooting around 50 percent from 3-point territory -- that's not bad for an 18-year-old in any league in Europe. While it's highly likely he stays in Europe for another season, a couple of international scouts are telling me there are rumblings he might leave.
Said one NBA executive who watched Motiejunas this year: "He's the closest kid I've seen to Dirk coming out of Europe. Honestly. I know what you're thinking. But this kid could be really good."
Somewhere, Bill Simmons is licking his chops for the third round of our annual draft debate." (Ford, ESPN.com, 2008)
I still don't want the Jazz to get interested in this guy, and thankfully, he does not appear to be in draft range of where we'll be picking. Yet . . . this was a pretty cool co-incidence that I blog about a guy, and a few days later, ESPN mentions that guy.