Mantas Rubstavicius



NBA Draft Projection:


Mantas Rubstavicius


Shooting Guard


May 6, 2002







Before withdrawing from the NBA Draft in an attempt to further his career opportunities and boost his draft stock in the NBL, Mantas Rubstavicius was seen as a strong chance to be selected in the second round. Instead, he has retained his draft eligibility and headed to New Zealand.

The 21-year-old has entered the NBL as one of the most professionally ready Next Stars the program has ever seen, thanks to his history as a professional player, having turned pro in his home country of Lithuania when he was just 16 years old.

A pre-season injury stemmed the momentum Rubstavicius had been gaining as he approached his first season in the NBL, but after debuting for the Breakers in their recent NBLxNBA tour, he's slowly began to find his feet in the league alongside former NBA talents Mangok Mathiang, Zylan Cheatham and Anthony Lamb.

Rubstavicius said: "I feel very happy and excited about this great opportunity, and I can't wait to play for the New Zealand Breakers next season. I know that the Next Stars program has helped a number of young talents. It allowed them to reveal themselves on the basketball court and improve. Many players from this program went on to the NBA after successful seasons."

Photos: Getty Images


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In the News

What the Experts Say

"Mantas is something of a late bloomer. He grew a bunch over the last few years and – after playing well at the 2021 Under-19 World Cup – really blew up at last year’s Under-20 Euros and led that event in scoring. The other thing to keep in mind about Mantas is he’s already performed well in elite professional competitions. The LKL is a strong league, and the EuroCup is far tougher than a lot of people realise, and Mantas played well in both of those competitions last season. He’s currently projected to be a late second round pick, but he has the ability – and the opportunity – to enhance those projections over the next 12 months."

Liam Santamaria
General Manager of Next Stars Recruitment

"Mantas has been playing against adults which is not normally the case when you get an 18 year old.  It means he will adjust to the NBL faster, allow him to showcase his talents earlier, and help us win. Out of all the potential Next Stars who are available this year, Mantas is the one player who cares about winning more than anything else."

Mody Maor
New Zealand coach

"Mantas possesses a skillset that every NBA team craves. He’s a dangerous scorer, a deadly long-range shooter who is adept at working off the ball to get in position for catch-and-shoot threes, and he is also a crafty bucket getter off the bounce."

Jeremy Loeliger
NBL Commissioner