Turkish wing Muhaymin Mustafa has submitted paperwork to make himself eligible for the 2018 NBA draft, his agent, Nikos Spanos, told ESPN.
"My biggest dream is to play in the NBA," Mustafa told ESPN. "I feel that this year I made a big step towards my goal with my participation in the EuroLeague. I want to be seen by NBA teams so that I can get feedback on how ready I am, and what I need to improve."
The son of Sudanese parents, Mustafa came to Turkey at the age of 10 by way of Northern Cyprus. He is in the midst of his first season at the pro level, where he has played in 19 games in EuroLeague and the Turkish first division for Anadolu Efes.
The 6-foot-7 small forward represented the Turkish national team at the under-16, under-17 and under-18 levels, and he's expected to be a significant part of their future at the senior level due to his intriguing combination of physical tools and versatility.
Mustafa, 19, has gone back and forth this season between Anadolu's first team and being on loan with second division team Istanbulspor, allowing him to get playing time in the still-competitive professional league, while also seeing more minutes in the EuroLeague this season than any 1999-born player other than Luka Doncic.
"I consider myself very lucky that I am getting this experience, especially from Coach [Ergin] Ataman," Mustafa told ESPN. "He is a teacher for me and he tried to help me improve and has given me chances from the first moment he came to the team. I have to say that he is the first person in my career to show me that he really believes in me and this I will remember forever. Learning from his experience and devotion for winning has been instructive in my development.
"It was very important for me to be able to compete against the best players in the EuroLeague and Turkish League. Many of these players are NBA level, so I could see the level I want to reach."
We scouted Mustafa in person last summer at the Under-18 European Championship in Slovakia and wrote, "[He] shows multi-positional defensive versatility with his quick feet and 6-10 wingspan, spending time guarding anywhere from point guard to power forward. He can get in the passing lanes, rotates for blocks occasionally and shows just enough potential offensively to suggests he's on his way to becoming an intriguing wing prospect, the type of which are increasingly difficult to find in today's NBA."
As a 1999-born international prospect, Mustafa is eligible for the NBA draft for the first time, but he's available to be selected any time from the 2018 to 2021 drafts, giving him plenty of time to gather experience and feedback in an attempt to maximize his stock.
With the Turkish league ending soon -- followed by the playoffs -- Mustafa's season may be finished some time in May, which could allow him to participate in the newly formed NBA Elite International Camp in Italy in June, providing a platform for him in front of decision-makers.
"The feedback that I receive will be very important," Mustafa told ESPN. "I believe I can show more individual characteristics that are harder to demonstrate as a young player competing at the highest level. Most important for me would be to show that I can be effective on both sides of the floor, that I can defend multiple positions and also my versatility offensively. I can test the waters in this draft process and decide if I should stay or withdraw later on."
Mustafa is the No. 9 prospect in ESPN's 1999-class international rankings.