As he tries to solidify his position in Thursday's NBA draft, Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis isn't battling just the other prospects expected to go in the top five. He's also battling the ghosts of past European draft picks whose legacies can be used to cast Porzingis' future in either a positive or negative light, depending on your point of view.
To Porzingis believers, like Insider draft analyst Chad Ford, his game is similar to that of European stars Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki. To doubters, Porzingis is in the line of failed lottery picks who followed Gasol and Nowitzki stateside, like overhyped Darko Milicic and recent washout Jan Vesely.
Which path will Porzingis take? A deeper look at the history of international prospects can't provide the answer, but can offer some necessary context.