An early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft. Originally an early entry candidate for the 2004 NBA Draft before withdrawing his name from consideration.
Career Highlights: Started his career with AEK Athens’ junior club in Greece in 2002-03, competing as the youngest player on that team. Moved to the senior level during the 2003-04 season, playing for archrival Panathinaikos in Greece’s premier professional league. Continued with that club in 2004-05. A member of the Greek Junior National Team. Won the bronze medal at the 2003 World Championships for Juniors.
2004-05: Averaged 6.8 points in 13.5 minutes per game in Greek A-1 for Panathinaikos and 2.3 points in 7.6 minutes per game in the Euroleague. Competed in the 2005 Nike Hoop Summit game, posting 15 points.
2003-04: Averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game in Greek A-1. Totaled season-highs of eight rebounds and 25 minutes in a October game vs. Ionikos Neas Filadelfias. Participated in the FIBA Junior World Championships Challenge Round as a member of the Greek Junior National Team. Finished fourth in the competition in scoring (19.6 ppg), also adding 7.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals in five outings. Had a 28-point, 13-rebound effort vs. Israel, in which he hit 6-of-13 three-pointers. In five games during the FIBA Junior World Championships Qualifying Round, averaged 19.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.4 blocks. Shot 18-for-30 from three-point range, hitting 8-of-10 in a 26-point performance vs. the Netherlands.
2002-03: Playing for AEK’s junior team, won the Greek Junior Championship in 2003. The squad also earned the Bronze Medal at the 2003 Mundobasket for Junior Men and participated in the El Corte Inglés Junior Tournament staged in Barcelona during the 2003 Euroleague Final Four. In junior national team competition, at the 2003 World Championships for Junior Men, appeared in seven contests, averaging 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 4.1 minutes per outing, scoring 24 points in 29 total minutes. Shot 5-of-8 from three-point range and 8-of-12 overall.
Strengths: Excellent outside shooter. Likes to sag on the perimeter for spot up three-pointers. Possesses great size for the small forward position. His 6-10 frame offers him vertical spacing from his defender, making it easier for him to get off his shot, especially from the outside.
Personal: Son of Olympiacos head coach Dragan Sakota. Brother Milos also plays professionally in Greece.