Barcelona tried to tank Rodions Kurucs' draft stock so he wouldn't go to the NBA. Now he could be the biggest 2018 draft steal.
I came across an interesting story about Brooklyn Nets rookie Rodions Kurucs and how his pre-draft club FC Barcelona wouldn't give him minutes with the A-team and made extensive efforts so that he wouldn't be seen by NBA scouts, in order to keep him on the team. In the 2017-18 season, he played only 43 minutes in the top-flight Spanish league (Luka Doncic played nearly 900 minutes, and even Barcelona product Mario Hezonja played over 582 in their final seasons). He also only played 20 minutes per game through 16 games in the second-division Spanish league.
Currently, Kurucs is averaging 9 points and 4 rebounds per game (13/5/1 through 6 starts) and ranks third among rookies in true shooting percentage, at 61.1%, despite being a 40th overall pick. His 24-point game vs. the Indiana Pacers on Dec. 21 is the most he has ever scored in a professional basketball game. His 16-10 game vs. the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 23 was also his first double-double in a pro game. He recently fired shots at Barcelona, "After three years, I’m finally enjoying playing basketball."