Washington Wizards 2020 NBA Draft: Deni Avdija profile

Washington Wizards Deni Avdija (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Deni Avdija (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Washington Wizards Deni Avdija
Washington Wizards Deni Avdija (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Should the Washington Wizards look overseas for their first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft?

Washington, DC, is an international city. And the city’s international flavor is not lost on the Washington Wizards’ roster. Last year, the roster included two Latvians (Davis Bertans and Anzejs Pasecniks), a Frenchman (Ian Mahinmi), a couple of Germans (Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga), and the Japanese Jumpman, Rui Hachimura.

With the ninth pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Wizards could add even more foreign flair to the team by picking Deni Avdija out of Israel. Avdija, who holds dual Israeli and Serbian citizenship, will become Israel’s first NBA player once he is drafted. The question is, which team will take a chance on him?

Who is Deni Avdija?

Despite being just 19 years old, Deni Avdija has already conquered the Israeli Premier League. He turned pro at 16, and since making his debut with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Avdija has won three Israeli League championships. After averaging 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game during the 2019-20 season — his final season with Tel Aviv last — Avdija became the youngest MVP in league history.

But he isn’t just hooping with Tel Aviv. Avdija has also gotten it done on the international stage. Avdija led the Israeli national team to back to back gold medals at the 2018 and 2019 FIBA U20 European Championships. After averaging 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game in the 2019 tournament, Avdija was named MVP despite being the second-youngest player competing.

Avdija has dominated in Israel and has been victorious against his FIBA foes. Now, it’s time to see if he has what it takes to hang in the best basketball league in the world.