It's early—like, 14 hours after the draft, and we empirically don't know how any of the players chosen will perform in the NBA—but I think we have already a winner for the trollingest post-draft column. To be fair to the Denver Post's Mark Kiszla, his job is to stir up shit. But this is something special. After a year in which the Western Conference finalists got major contributions from five different international players, and the Nuggets made the playoffs with a roster with three international players (not including Nene, who was traded in March), Kiszla's thesis is this: Denver shouldn't have drafted Evan Fournier because he's not American.
I have only one question for the Nuggets' first-round draft choice: Où est la bibliothèque?
Because it's highly unlikely Fournier will see any time on the court.
That's actually the only substance of this column. Taking Fournier 20th overall is "a slap in the face to made-in-America basketball." France's Pro A league is "seldom mistaken for the Big Ten Conference." Kiszla cites Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Darko Milicic as evidence that drafting foreign guys doesn't work, which would probably be insulting to Danilo Gallinari and Rudy Fernandez, if Kiszla thought they could read English.
There are plenty of reasons to like, or dislike Fournier based on his skills. DraftExpress says "he possesses ideal physical attributes for a NBA wing at 6-7 with a strong frame, and has the ability to create his own shot very effectively thanks to his excellent size [and] strength." Chad Ford warns "he is a below-average outside shooter" and "not armed with great ball-handling skills." Because that's what you're supposed to do for post-draft analysis. Watch some game footage. Check the player's stats. Talk to someone who's scouted him, ask how you think he'll handle the transition to the highest level. Anything beyond repeatedly citing his birth certificate. Kiszla's column is lazy and reactionary at best, xenophobic at worst, and should not be relied upon in any circumstance for Nuggets fans wanting to actually learn more about their team.
Denver Nuggets' draft an international disaster [Denver Post]