The prospect of the Lithuanian duo linking up in the same NBA team is a popular move in Toronto: “I’m all in on drafting Sabonis. For one, he’d be another Lithuanian to pair with Jonas Valančiūnas. For two, we might get Arvydas sightings around Toronto, which, I mean, I can barely contain my excitement. Oh yeah, and the kid also averaged 17.5 points and 11.8 rebounds his sophomore year,” writes Daniel Reynolds at Raptors HQ on SB Nation.
Ironically after moving up to ninth in some mock drafts, the chances of Sabonis going to the Raptors are declining as they have their first pick at 27th in the draft.
For those hoping for a Lithuanian double team in Toronto, his growing popularity as a draft pick among other NBA teams is not a good thing.
“When it comes to big men in this year’s draft Domantas Sabonis is one of the best. Yes we all remember his father Arvydas Sabonis, but Domantas has game that speaks for itself,” writes Drew Edstrom at Chicagonow, of the Chicago Bulls drafting him.
“Sabonis will be 20 years of age when he is eventually drafted on June 26th. The Bulls will be looking for front court help with the expected departures of both Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, Sabonis could be a guy to help fill that void. Last season Sabonis averaged 17.5 PPG and grabbed 11.8 RPG as Gonzaga had a successful season which ended with a loss to Syracuse in the NCAA tournament.”
And it’s not just in Chicago, where there’s interest in Sabonis. He has been described as the most “NBA ready big” in the draft and his rise in mock drafts in the last month is a reflection of the versatility he brings at centre.