The NBA is already eyeing the 2022 draft although the regular season is still being played and a The Real Madrid youth player has become one of the names to watch when the league signs the best up-and-coming talent from around the world this summer. Matteo Spagnolo, a 19-year-old, 6ft 4in shooting guard, is one of the biggest talents in Italian basketballwho made his debut for the national team at the age of 17. Currently on loan to Serie A side Vanoli Cremona after signing a new three-year deal with Madrid last summer. ESPN predicts Spagnolo will be ranked 43rd in round two, probably via the LA Lakers to the San Antonio Spurs.
“He’s been on the NBA radar this season and he remains a player that league leaders are keeping a close eye on while continuing to produce in Italy,” said Mike Schmitz, ESPN’s draft expert.
Spagnolo loaned to Cremona
Spagnolo averages 12 points (with a 48.6% hit rate on three-pointers) and 2.5 assists per game for Cremona, with two outstanding games this season: 23 points against Sassari and 21 against Derthona Basket Tortona. “Spagnolo dazzled with his off-the-dribbling shooting and pick-and-roll creativity. He’s starting to hit step-back threes with more regularity, even at NBA range,” Schmitz said. “While he’s better prepared to score than to pass, he weaves through blocks like a veteran and writes hours studying point guards like Luka Doncic, Milos Teodosic and Trae Young – while learning little things in his training sessions with Facundo Campazzo at Real Madrid.”
Spagnolo made his Real Madrid debut in March 2021 under Pablo Laso, who played 36 seconds against Casademont Zaragoza. “He’s great at helping. He has a great ability to control the game and look for solutions,” the club said at the time.
Spagnolo has always been precocious. He made his debut in Italy’s third division with Stella Azzurra when he was just 13 years old and when he first appeared for Italy, he became the third-youngest international in the country’s history.