Pick 53: Atlanta drafts Pape Sy, a player that literally nobody has heard of. And when I say "literally nobody", I do mean literally nobody. There was not a draft board in the land that this guy was on. This is much more of an obscure pick than Christian Eyenga. Sy is just your average, every day, run-of-the-mill French league backup. And now this.
Strange times. Really strange times. But therein lies the fun. So let's learn.
22 year old Sy has spent his entire career with French team Le Havre, who this year finished 13th out of 16 teams in the French ProA with a 10-20 record. Sy played in all 30 games backing up former Texas A&M guard Bernard King - not THE Bernard King - and averaged 14.2 minutes, 5.2 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.9 fouls and 0.6 steals per game. Sy shot 55% from two point range, 42% from three point range and 715 from the foul line. and he shot 69 free throws to 93 total field goals. He clearly has no problem getting to the line, and the three point percentage also came on a healthy 29 attempts. He didn't play much, and he played only in a league with particularly bad defense, but he scored efficiently nonetheless, with 155 points on 93 shots as a 6'6 shooting guard.
However, there's no pedigree here. The French league is not a great league, and yet Sy was a mere backup in it. He played briefly with the French Under-20 national team, yet averaged only 2 ppg in the 2007 U-20 championship for a disappointing French team. (For comparison's sake, Nando De Colo averaged 17.9 ppg in the same tournament). Sy has played significant minutes in only one professional season, and that was this past one. He is 22 years old, has not cracked 6ppg in the French league, and has not exactly got a storied history of tearing up draft camps for many years like so many other draft picks with limited professional experience have done in the past. Pape Sy's draft selection has literally come from nowhere. And it could only have come from Rick Sund, a man who just loves to take flyers on international players.
The only person who seemed to know that Sy would be drafted was Pape himself, because he's here, along with the four people he brought with him. Pape spends so long hugging them that it takes almost the full two minutes to even get to Silver. It would be good comedy, were it not truly awkward.
Is this the world's biggest steal, or the world's biggest reach? It'll take some kind of turnaround to be the former. But it's definitely not the latter, because in 4 picks time, an even weirder pick is made. Read on, dear viewer.
(Pape Sy is pronounced, by Sexy Silver at least, to sound like "Pepsi." The endorsement opportunities are obvious.)