NBA Hype vs NBL Reality: Hugo Besson

Hugo Besson is one of the most exciting young players in the NBL. But can he translate that into the NBA? (Photo: NBL)

In the NBL, we always hear about the “NBA Potential” of players that come to the league. We have seen this with LaMelo Ball, RJ Hampton and more recently Josh Giddey. While players like these have now set themselves up for a successful career in the association, some others like Brian Bowen II and Terry Armstrong have not had the same impact.

In this series, we will explore some current NBL players and their NBA credentials, to see if they will have an NBA career like some of the aforementioned “Next Stars”.

Today’s player of discussion:

Hugo Besson

A French combo-guard, Hugo Besson is currently projected to fall in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft. Standing at 6’5, Besson can score with his eyes closed. He can shoot the three, drive inside and create off-the-dribble.

Besson was signed on the 23rd of September 2021 to the New Zealand Breakers on an ‘import’ deal, even though he was more of a ‘Next Star’.

While he is more of a combo-guard than any defined position, NZ Head Coach Dan Shamir has started Besson sometimes at the three with his guard heavy rotation. But he hasn’t felt out of position because of the NBL’s ‘small-ball’ nature. 

In his 15 games played, he is averaging 14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.6 minutes played. While shooting at 39.7% from the field and 31.8% from the three. 

But Besson does have some ugly advanced stats. Currently having an offensive rating of 99.5, a defensive rating of 118.2 and a PER of 15.

Why he will be in the NBA


Besson is one of the best scorers in the NBL. Not just one of the best young scorers. One of the best, PERIOD.

He leads the league’s ‘rookies’ in scoring and sits 17th overall in points per game, while also sitting in 13th in total three pointer’s made for the season.

NBL analysts have compared his game to that of Chris Goulding’s. While his style of play isn’t like the aforementioned CG43, he can score everywhere and anyway possible.

This is mainly because of his,


He is one of the league’s best handlers. While not being a known playmaker, he can definitely create his own shot off the dribble.

Besson is quick, athletic and one of the most skilled ball handlers in the 2022 draft class.

His offensive package elevates him to a potential first round pick.

Why he will not be in the NBA


More particularly, his defensive versatility. He would only be able to guard the one and two in the NBA with the height difference between the two leagues.

He can only stretch to the three so much and he hasn’t shown the ability to guard a real small forward in the NBL to great effect.

Crystal Ball

You can lock him in as a NBA Draftee. He won’t be the highest pick, but from post-lottery to early second round, he will be drafted.

He is by far the best prospect in the NBL currently, even though he isn’t the highest on mock drafts. (We will get to ‘him’ eventually).

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