Top 3 international prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft
Savo Prelevic / Euroleague Basketball / Getty

Thursday's draft is top heavy, but there are a few gems who have flourished outside of the U.S. without receiving the attention they may deserve.

Here are the three best international prospects who could end up as first-round selections:

Goga Bitadze

Although he's mostly gone under the radar, Bitadze has a real chance to jump into the lottery after flourishing for Montenegro's Buducnost VOLI. There, the center was named the EuroLeague's Rising Star - an award that Dallas Mavericks rookie sensation Luka Doncic locked up in the previous two seasons.

The Georgian's nimble movement is eye-catching despite standing at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. Bitadze looks the part of a difference-maker and will inevitably earn a starting role in the NBA. He shows promise as a 3-point shooter and boasts excellent post moves with a soft touch around the basket.

The 19-year-old arguably has the highest floor of any player outside of the draft's top three prospects and should fit in nicely as a versatile offensive talent with the length to protect the rim.

Bitadze may struggle with NBA-level physicality early on, but his high IQ and excellent decision-making will help him find alternative ways to remain on the floor. Playing him as a high-post passer or utilizing him in pick-and-rolls with a quality point guard could turn him into a force sooner rather than later.

Sekou Doumbouya

Doumbouya has been ranked atop the international prospect pool throughout the year, hovering around the late-lottery picks as a raw talent who can develop into a star.

A slow start in France had some wondering if the 6-foot-9 Guinea native was ready for the NBA, but he quickly turned it around for Limoges CSP, showing spurts of raw athleticism and a natural touch on his jump shot.

Doumbouya can excel on defense thanks to his elite length and versatility as a modern NBA power forward. The 18-year-old has an 8-foot-11 standing reach and could have the versatility and quickness to startle point guards on switches.

He remains a high-risk, high-reward selection as he still suffers from mental lapses while he continues to learn the ins-and-outs of the game. However, his two-way potential may be too intriguing to pass up on for teams interested in a player with his profile.

Luka Samanic

No player may have benefited from the combine as much as Samanic, who made a rare international prospect appearance and looked dominant against collegiate-level competition despite being perceived as a draft-and-stash option.

The 6-foot-11 Croatian is a terrific passer and finisher who should be a solid 3-point threat, but what stood out was, surprisingly, his potential as a versatile defender. Samanic proved during his one-day combine run that he's no pushover on D, switching on every position - including pestering perimeter players despite early scouting reports suggesting he struggles in that department.

Among the key flaws in Samanic's game is his lack of a genuinely elite skill, as he's well-versed in almost every category but may struggle to stand out in any one in particular.

Top 3 international prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft
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