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Sport 2021 NBA Draft: Which Australians have declared for this year's draft pool?

23:57  20 june  2021
23:57  20 june  2021 Source:   sportingnews.com

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When the Dallas Mavericks selected Sydney's own Josh Green with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, it snapped a two-year drought of Australians being drafted into the NBA.

In the 2021 NBA Draft, which is set for Friday, July 30, 2021 (AEST), there are only two Aussie prospects, although the country will certainly begin a streak of having countrymen selected with one of the players projected to be picked in the lottery.

Who are the two Australians hoping to be selected on draft night?

Josh Giddey, Adelaide 36ers

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From: Melbourne, Vic.

Position: Guard

Age: 18

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Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 185 lbs.

By now, you know all about the 18-year-old Aussie phenom that is projected to land in the lottery of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Giddey has been one of the country's top prospects for some time, growing through the NBA Academy before bursting on the scene in a stellar debut NBL season that was rewarded with the league's Rookie of the Year trophy.

Giddey posted impressive averages of 10.9 points, 7.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Adelaide 36ers, appearing in 28 games before electing to forgo the remainder of the season to solely prepare for the upcoming NBA Draft.

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The young floor general made history this NBL season, becoming the youngest player since LaMelo Ball to drop a triple-double in a game when he went for 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the New Zealand Breakers. The very next outing, Giddey made history again as the first-ever Australian to record a triple-double in consecutive games, going for 15 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against the Brisbane Bullets.

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Giddey is a gifted playmaker who can do a little bit of everything on the offensive end. He's a pick-and-roll maestro and a flashy passer in the open floor, making every player around him better. An intelligent decision-maker and confident floor general – he'll be a crafty offensive initiator in the NBA.

Makur Maker, Howard

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From: Nairobi, Kenya – Perth, WA

Position: Centre

Age: 20, Freshman

Height: 6-foot-11

Weight: 235 lbs.

Maker made his own version of history when the No. 16-ranked prospect in the high school class of 2020 elected to attend Howard University, becoming the first-ever five-star recruit to choose an HBCU (Historically Black College and University).

It wasn't the freshman season Maker had hoped for, as the star big man went down with a groin injury just two games into the year. In those two games, he averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 50.0 percent from the field, showcasing his ability as a do-it-all-type big man that is more than comfortable playing on the perimeter.

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Maker likely would have been able to return at some point during his freshman season, but Howard only played five games as a team before the university shut down the season because of COVID-19 issues.

While Maker has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft, he will not sign with an agent to keep his remaining college eligibility available.

What about Mojave King?

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The 19-year-old Dunedin, New Zealand native was expected to declare for the 2021 NBA Draft but a quiet rookie NBL season with the Cairns Taipans altered the NBA Academy product's plans.

In a limited role playing just 16.6 minutes per game, King averaged 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 38.7 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range. According to ESPN's Olgun Uluc, King will look toward the 2022 NBA Draft instead.

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