French prospect Melvin Ajinça, a potential first-round pick, to enter 2024 NBA draft

Melvin Ajinça, a 6-foot-7 forward from France, has declared for the 2024 NBA draft after one season with Saint-Quentin in the LNB Pro A, his agent, Bouna Ndiaye, told ESPN on Wednesday.

Ajinça, the cousin of former seven-year veteran Alexis Ajinca, is averaging 10.4 points and 3.3 rebounds on 35.1% shooting from 3-point range. He recently returned from a two-month injury absence and had his best outing on Saturday, recording 19 points and nine rebounds in a win.

He started off the year a bit slow after transitioning to the top league in France but he eventually began to settle in and showcased himself at a high level. His return has helped Saint-Quentin in its attempt to qualify for the playoffs.

Ajinça, who will turn 20 on the first night of the draft, began playing professionally in 2019 with Centre Fédéral de Basket-ball. He eventually joined Saint-Quentin with the junior team before earning promotion to the senior roster this season.

He is considered a potential first-round pick this year. He brings good size to the next level and is highly touted for his shooting ability with his smooth lefty stroke. He has a quick release and is lethal, at times, coming off screens and on the move.

He leaped up draft boards after a tremendous showing with France last year in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup alongside Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr. He was the second-leading scorer on the team, averaging 19.3 points and 2.9 rebounds en route to the silver medal.

The 2024 NBA draft will take place June 26-27 in New York City.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire