Young star of Israeli basketball, Deni Avdija, officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft after completing the needed paperwork on Thursday, ESPN cable sports channel reported.
The 19-year-old forward, son of former Serbian-Israeli player and coach Zufer Avdija, is the sixth Israeli to ever enter the draft. Avdija is believed to be one of the most promising players on the draft list.
Avdija is coming off a three-year stint with Maccabi Tel Aviv, at which he averaged 12.3 points per game and 5.9 rebounds.
Avdija's draft stock began climbing as the 2019-20 basketball season progressed. In his most recent mock draft, Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected him as the No. 2 pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
ESPN's Mike Schmitz argued in February that Avdija deserved to be grouped together with the best players in the 2020 class, citing his 2.05 meter, 98 kg frame, flexibility and professional experience.
“First of all, the NBA is the best league in the world. There is a lot to learn over there and a lot of experience there,” Avdija said as he made the announcement.
“It’s going to be great to take my game to the next level. […] I’ll tell you honestly, I don’t like to be compared to anybody. I think each player has his own path, and each player has his own skills and things he does good. And I think I just want to be the best Deni I can be. I just don’t want people to compare me to anybody. I respect everybody, but I just want to be me”, added Avdija.