French guard Theo Maledon to enter 2020 NBA Draft

April 5 (UPI) -- French point guard Theo Maledon announced Sunday on social media that he has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.

"I want to thank my family, teammates, coaches, people of ASVEL and especially [former NBA guard and ASVEL majority owner] Tony Parker, who has been a big inspiration for me as a professional," Maledon said on Instagram. "Sadly, COVID-19 has sent all of us home, but I will not let that stop me from doing all I can to reach my goal in the game I love."


Maledon played in the EuroLeague and French LNB for ASVEL Basket this past season, averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 assists in 17 minutes per game. He is the leading candidate to earn the EuroLeague Rising Star award after becoming the second 18-year-old player in the last decade -- along with Luka Doncic -- to start the majority of his team's EuroLeague games.

Maledon, listed at 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, also won a gold medal at the U16 European Championship and served as captain of the French junior national team that won a silver medal at the FIBA U17 World Cup.

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ESPN lists Maledon as the No. 15 prospect in the upcoming draft, while Sports Illustrated ranks him as the 11th-best talent in the class.

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