Grading a team’s draft selection is an annual tradition in the sports world. This year, Vietnam Basketball Association hosted its first ever draft for the Viet Kieu players (Vietnamese abroad) that wanted to play professional basketball in Vietnam. We graded each team and players by the local talent roster they currently have, the information we have researched about the players online, talking to some of the players and with the limited videos of each players online.
CAN THO CATFISH
No. 6 Sang Dinh (PG):
The Dinh brothers are back to play for the second season of the VBA. “To continue with the trend of continuity, the Can Tho Catfish should be using the 6th overall pick of the VBA draft on Sang Dinh” said TK (Tones & Definition) from our mock draft collaboration. Sang will have to prove to others that he improved during the off-season and can help Can Tho get more wins this season as they failed to make the last playoff spot last year. As of right now before the final roster deadline, it looks like Tam will be running the show again this year, this is where Sang can show his improvement by helping his brother out.
No. 5 Stefan Nguyen (PG/SG/SF):
Bringing back a championship piece from last season is a great start. Stefan averaged 13.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG last season for the Dragons. With Da Nang re-signing Horace Nguyen, Stefan and Horace can both play the guard position but Horace being the better shooter. At the moment, we don’t know if Rudolph Joly will be coming back to play for the Dragons this season, as he often drew the double team to kicked the ball out to Horace and company for an easy open shot. With Horace having a season of VBA and ABL under his belt, the two back court mate is ready to run the show in Da Nang. Another plus side for marketing is that Stefan has a following of fan girls that will go with him anywhere.
No. 2 Vincent Nguyen (PG):
Vincent is the most intriguing player in the draft. Having a solid resume playing for the u18 and U20 Netherland’s National Basketball Team, he is a quick point guard that can shoot and pass. Most local players from last season are coming back this year and they believe in Coach Todd Purves’s system and culture. Hanoi just beats you up in bunches with their shooting ability from the start of the game to Hoang Ca coming off the beach and of course, their solid team defense. Vincent should have no problem navigating the team’s offense by getting Nguyen Thanh Dat involved from the start to making life easier for his teammates, then relinquishing the ball to Hoang Ca when he comes off the bench.
No. 8 Ryan Arnold (SG):
Ryan Arnold was solid for Hanoi during the first VBA season. As we said before, he plays within the system and does what Coach Purves needs him to do. He’s not the crafty player his older brother “Viet” Arnold is but can shoot the ball when you give him space. He also help set up the team’s half court set when they aren’t running the fast break. Now that Hanoi has Vincent on the roster, it will be interesting to see if Ryan will play the same role as he did during the TBSL when they brought in Matt Van Pelt who started at PG.
HO CHI MINH CITY WINGS
No. 3 Henry Nguyen (PG/SG):
I didn’t think Henry would make the first round of the draft as he doesn’t have any experience playing pro basketball. In the first round, Justin Young is the only player that have experience playing in the VBA last season. Looking at Henry’s highlight video, this guy has a good shooting stroke that can translate to the VBA. I can see the Citywings run a spread offense with Ngo Tuan Trung running the point, Henry Nguyen and Trieu Han Minh being the other two shooting guard. With a new coach and culture in place, it will be interesting to see where Coach Ricky will take the VBA finals runner-up this season.
No. 4 Anthony Vo (SF):
Citywings lost a player in Justin Young as he declined to re-sign with the team. In this draft, they drafted Anthony Vo to possibly fill the void in the SF/PF position. Anthony is a very good pick up for the Citywings as he has great size, athleticism, and also has a solid shooting form. He has been working out with Tam Dinh during the off-season in hoping to make it to the VBA this year. Can we see this guy in the dunk contest please?
No. 9 Jimmy Kien (PG/SG):
Now this was a surprise to us, Jimmy falling down to the last pick of the VBA Draft. Jimmy averaged 13.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.2 APG, 2.1 SPG for the Dragons last year and is a feisty competitor. Jimmy was #8 in scoring, #9 in rebounds, #2 in steals, #5 in field goals made, and #4 in two-point field goals made last season in the VBA. This is a great pick up for Saigon Heat this late in the draft, but they are a bit undersize. With teams haven’t officially released any information on their import pick up or signing, they can fill that void before the final roster deadline. One question we have is will SGH’s Captain David “Viet” Arnold and Jimmy Kien gel together? Last season, David Arnold drove into the lane with a Bruce Lee type flying kick that connected Jimmy’s stomach at the rim.
THANG LONG WARRIORS
No. 1 Justin Young (SF/PF):
The first overall selection was no surprise to anyone that follows the VBA. People knew Justin (16’ VBA DPOY) averaging 10.4 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.9 SPG, 1.3 BPG last season would land somewhere in the top 2 spots of the first ever VBA draft. With Nguyen Van Hung, a proven big man that can bang down low and Justin as his front court mate is an interesting combination as both guys weren’t the first option scorer for their teams last season. With a pass first PG in Truong Hoang Trung, we can see the Warriors bringing in an explosive import to handle all the scoring as the team already has a set up defensive front-court. What you get from Justin is defense, rebounds, a solid passer in the post, and a shot blocker but I think you’ll get more from him this season as I can see him being a Draymond Green type player for the team. When we spoke with him during the off-season, he was already working on his offensive game. Will it be a triple double fest. for Justin this season?
No. 7 Ryan Le (SF):
The reason why we gave TLW an A- is because Ryan Le has a lot of question marks, he hasn’t really played pro ball since 2014. He has great size and is athletic at the time, but now at the age of 30, is he explosive like he was in 2014? Can he prove the doubters wrong in this year’s VBA season? With the current local roster, we thought they would draft another scoring guard as there was plenty of them in this year’s draft. We understand that the local tryouts will be held after the VK draft so maybe the Warriros will fill that void when the final roster deadline hits at the end of July.