Alex Len hails from the same nation as Slava Kravtsov, and if he were to become the next Detroit Pistons center from the Ukraine, it could cost his countryman a job.

"I never met him before," Len said of Kravtsov, whom the Pistons can buy out until June 29, two days after the NBA Draft, "but I know about him."

Draft projections generally have Len, the 20-year-old former University of Maryland center, climbing the charts after he once was considered in a prime spot to be available when the Pistons pick at No. 8 overall.

He doesn't fit the traditional definition of an international player because of his U.S. college experience, but several who do are projected to go in the first round of the June 27 draft.

Among international players expected to go in the first round and be available when the Pistons select are German point guard Dennis Schroeder, Russian small forward Sergey Karasev and Greek small forward Giannis Adetokunbo.

The Pistons are looking hard at international players in the draft, partcicularly with their two second-round picks, with consideration to keeping at least one of their selections stashed overseas in 2013-14.

Their focus on international players sharpened when the Pistons got an extra second-round pick, No. 56 overall, by virtue of an old trade involving the Los Angeles Clippers.

They also pick at No. 38 in the second round.

Len figures to be the first foreign player taken and front-office types have the security of seeing him play in a major U.S. college program.