Real Madrid: Matteo Spagnolo heading for 2022 NBA Draft?
According to ESPN, Real Madrid's young Italian star Matteo Spagnolo could be heading to the NBA as a second round pick in the 2022 Draft.
The NBA already has its eyes on the 2022 Draft despite the regular season still being played and a Real Madrid youth player has emerged as one of the names to keep an eye on when the league goes about the business of snapping up the best young talent from around the world this summer. Matteo Spagnolo, a 19-year-old, 6’4” shooting guard is one of the brightest prospects in Italian basketball, making his debut for the national team at the age of 17. Currently on loan at Vanoli Cremona in Serie A after signing a new three-year deal with Madrid last summer, ESPN predicts that Spagnolo will be in the second round at number 43, probably going to the San Antonio Spurs via the LA Lakers.
“He has appeared on the NBA radar this season and he remains a player that the league executives are keeping a close eye on while he continues to produce in Italy,” said Mike Schmitz, ESPN’s draft expert.
Spagnolo on loan at Cremona
Spagnolo is averaging 12 points (with a 48.6% hit rate on three-pointers) and 2.5 assists a game for Cremona, with two stand-out games this season: 23 points against Sassari and 21 against Derthona Basket Tortona. “Spagnolo has dazzled with his off the dribble shooting and creativity in the pick and roll. He's starting to hit step-back threes with more regularity, even at NBA range,” said Schmitz. “Although he is better prepared to score than to pass, he snakes through blocks like a veteran - crediting hours studying point guards like Luka Doncic, Milos Teodosic and Trae Young - while learning little things in his training sessions with Facundo Campazzo at Real Madrid.”
Spagnolo made his Real Madrid debut in March 2021 under Pablo Laso, playing 36 seconds against Casademont Zaragoza. “He is excellent at assisting. He has a great capacity for controlling play and looking for solutions,” the club said at the time.
Spagnolo has always been precocious. He made his debut in the Italian third tier with Stella Azzurra at the age of just 13 and when he made his first appearance for Italy, he became the third-youngest international in the country’s history.