After Victor Claver was selected with the 22nd pick, a few of us in the office joked that Kevin Pritchard made the selection just so I would have someone else to track down while marauding through Western Europe. As luck would have it, that's exactly what happened.
Victor was in Gran Canaria for a few days to attend Sergio's camp (congrats, by the way, to Sergio for pulling some of the big names in Spanish basketball) and I had a chance to sit down with him for a bit to discuss the draft and his future as a Trail Blazer. Here's the video of that interview.
A few quick observations about Victor. First, his English, as you can hear from the video, is pretty dang good. Easily better than Sergio's or Rudy's when they came to the states (no offense guys). He didn't have any trouble understanding my questions, which is an accomplishment even for someone who's a native English speaker, and he was easily able to converse freely.
To my eyes, the kid looks like an NBA player. He's got much more muscle definition in his arms and legs that I'm accustomed to seeing from European players. I wouldn't go so far as to call him thick, but he's definitely got some bulk. Again, more so than a lot of European players who make the jump to the NBA. So in that respect, he's probably more NBA-ready than most of his European contemporaries, at least from a physical standpoint. He's still getting back into shape after breaking his ankle, an injury he assured me was almost fully healed, but he looked, again, like someone I could see on an NBA court.
Overall, he seemed like a pretty nice kid. A little quiet at first, but that's to be expected. He signed tons of autographs and took lots of pictures with the kids at Sergio's camp, and he seemed rather comfortable in that element. The kids really seemed to take to him.
Oh, and he had pizza for dinner last night, so he's already accustomed to the diet of an NBA player.