Deni Avdija dribbles the ball during his basketball match.
Deni Avdija dribbles the ball during his basketball match. Image Credits : Bleacher Report

When you tune into the 2020 NBA Draft, it is likely that Deni Avdija’s name will be one of the first you hear called by Commissioner Adam Silver.
The 19-year-old wing has star potential and, as such, had been projected as high as No. 1 and will surely be a lottery pick this year.
Deni Avdija was born on January 3, 2001, in Beit Sera, Israel. The son of former Serbian-Israeli professional basketball player Zufer Avdija and Israeli Sharon Artzi, Avdija holds both Israeli and Serbian citizenship. At eight years old, Avdija began playing basketball and joined the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth team in 2013.
He began his professional career at the age of 16, signing a six-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in November 2017.
According to the official Maccabi website, Avdija became the youngest player ever to play for the club as he made his debut at 16 years, 320 days old.
While he holds dual citizenship, Avdija competes internationally for Israel. At 17, he competed with the Israeli Under-20 team that won the gold medal at the 2018 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. He earned All-Tournament Team honours by posting averages of 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Listed at 6-foot-9, 215 lbs., Avdija had the measurables of a song that can contribute to the NBA right away.
In his scouting report, NBA.com Draft expert Eric Fawcett said, “Yes, Avdija plays with the typical fundamentals and polish we’ve seen from European talent but it’s the blend of those skills and North American boldness that makes him so enticing. That, and the fact he plays with unmistakable finesse at 6’9” makes him one of the most fascinating players in the class.”
Aligned with Fawcett’s projection of Avdija to land between the third and seventh pick, NBA.com’s Kyle Irving projected Avdija to land at No. 4 in the upcoming draft, likening him to Gordon Hayward and Hedo Turkoglu.