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Sunday, June 15, 2014
Kristaps Porzingis pulls out of draft

By Chad Ford
ESPN.com

Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis withdrew from the 2014 NBA draft on Sunday, his agent, Andy Miller, told ESPN.

Porzingis, an athletic 7-footer who can stretch defenses with his shooting ability, was one of the hot names in the draft in recent weeks, with teams in the late lottery to mid-first round seriously considering drafting him and leaving him overseas for a year or two to develop.

Teams as high as the Orlando Magic at No. 12 had traveled to Europe to spend days scouting Porzingis. Sources said the Oklahoma City Thunder had promised to take him with the 21st pick if he stayed in the draft.

However, Miller said that Porzingis was concerned he wasn't ready to make the transition to the NBA, wanted to return to Sevilla in Spain to continue developing and was confident he could go even higher in the 2015 NBA draft.

"He's very talented. He wasn't ready, but we would've seriously considered drafting him anyway," one NBA general manager told ESPN. "If he continues to develop his game, get more minutes and his body develops, I think he could be a top-five pick in 2015. He has that kind of talent."

Players have until 5 p.m. ET on Monday to withdraw their names from the draft. Several other high-profile international players, including Croatia's Dario Saric (ranked No. 9 on ESPN's Big Board) and Switzerland's Clint Capela (No. 26), are still making decisions about whether they will stay in the draft or return to Europe for another year.