European Stock Watch

Wed, 01/28/2009 - 1:26pm

By Simon Dresden
Top 16 Report:

Draft Prospects, that helped their teams to reach the Top 16 phase of the EUROLEAGUE.


Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings 6'0 (Roma) 1989: Considering he had never been overseas and tasted the style of European basketball, Jennings has fared pretty well. It took him a few games to get used to the more slow down, organized style of European basketball, but he has adjusted. His slashing ability still prevails to some extent, and he has received mostly consistent minutes, averaging 8 points though the season (not much less than a number of similarly hyped college freshmen), and impressive considering his age. Sure his game is more suited for the NBA style, but he has gotten some experience in what it takes to be a professional basketball player, which will no doubt benefit him in terms of game preparation and pro lifestyle.

Omri Casspi 6'9 (Maccabi) 1988 : Has received some consistent playing time this year which he has used productively. Especially late in the season, with his team having clinched the next round, he received some serious run and responded in a great manner, producing strong numbers on good shooting percentages. He is a regular rotation guy now with Maccabi, which is a step forward from last year when he collected DNP's from time to time. He is more professional and settled in his skills. Since he has one more year to try, he is sure to test the waters and then go back to another season with Maccabi that would surely benefit his development more, than sitting on some contenders bench or playing in the NDBL. A likely mid/late first rounder who could be the first European selected this year.

Milenko Tepic 6'7 (Partizan) 1987: Has had the season everyone expected from him. He improved in every category, displaying steady improvement throughout the years. He again lead his team to the post stages of the competition, establishing himself as one of the best PGs in Europe for years to come. He will be in the draft this year for sure, so depending on this he will either go for the big money in Europe of the riches of the NBA if the position he is drafted is appealing to him. He has as much talent as the Ukic's, Vujacic's or Dragic's that are in the league right now. He will get attention because of his size and experience. His decision is whether to be a star in Europe or a backup in the NBA.

Emir Preldzic 6'8 (Fener) 1987 : He is one of the hottest prospects in Europe right now. After spending the summer with the A National Team of Slovenia, he took that experience and momentum all the way into the new season. He displayed great versatility all year long. Producing decently in all categories except blocks. He has a nice first step, good range and some swagger to his game. On the downside, he has a slim build and lacks outstanding physical abilities. Nonetheless, he has good size and the kind of Balkan game, some NBA scout will likely fall for. After a season like this he should have consideration for the first round, since he showed development from year to year.

Matias Nocedal 6'4 (Tau Ceramica) 1990: Nocedal got only two chances to prove his worth on a loaded veteran team. Flashed some nice intrigue against Olympia, where he displayed nice versatility. One can see the upside coming. If he is on the right team for further development is questionable.

Adam Lapeta 7'1 (Prokom) 1987 : Didn't see any real action all year, but his height makes him worth keeping an eye on.

Sergio Llull 6'3(Real Madrid) 1987 : Started the season with a bang. Producing big stats and taking away playing time from NBA seasoned veteran Lopez. Midway through the season he had a big dip in production, hitting kind of a wall after playing well all through the summer it seemed. Surely his minutes dipped a bit too. Considering the way Spanish guards have fared in the league until now, he may become a second round gamble for some team in the hope that he may become a Calderon kind of steal in the later phases of his career and with some more seasoning in Europe. His FT numbers suggest he will be a good shooter which is a must for him, since he is not in the kind of uberfreak in terms of speed and athleticism.

Mamadou Samb 6'9 (Barcelona) 1989 saw his only action in the season finale. He has a nice blend of offensive moves but is rather slim built. Being the brother of an NBA player, he will get his share of suitors, but he is nowhere near Cheik in terms of length or athletic and defensive abilities. Nonetheless he is more skilled on offense. From a prospective point of view, he lacks a real position right now, as he is to small to play the four, and not agile enough to be a three. Lucky for him he still has some more years of eligibility and development left.

Gasper Vidmar 6'10 (Fenerbache) 1987 : Didn't make the next step in development everyone had in mind this year. As a regular starter, he only dipped into the low teen point numbers at best. He never produced double digit scoring and rebounding all year. While only connecting on 41% of his shots from close and only 50% on FT. With those kind of numbers there will be no team willing to spend more than a late second round pick on him. Bad timing for a stagnation like this.

Enes Kanter 6'8 (Fener) 1992 : Got a chance to play a little in the beginning, but didn't get to see the floor in the last 5 games of the regular season. Still has many years in front of him, so it is probably too early to judge his potential draft wise on this season. It was good for him to get his feet wet and get a look at how it is to play with guys that can match his big build.

Ogus Savas 6'10 (Fenerbache) 1987: He really picked up the slack, that was given to him with Fener's injuries (Omer Asik). He knows it his last chance to present himself for the NBA and he has taken full advantage. He played heavy minutes, producing solid numbers with good percentages. His rebounding could be better since he is not the most agile player, but he loves to bang and has some nice passing to go along. Considering the success, that the big bodied Marc Gasol enjoyed recently in the NBA. Teams might consider spending an early second rounder on a player like him, groom him a little more in Europe and then try their luck. There may be a pretty good outcome on the gamble.

Artem Zabelin 7'1 (CSKA) 1988 : A year wasted at least EUROLEAGUE wise. No action, after a leg injury in the summer. So much talent and potential, next year better be his year.

Andrey Vorontsevic 6'8 (CSKA) 1987: After the very good performance out of nowhere last season, he's taken a nosedive this year at the worst possible time, considering his NBA eligibility. He had no chance to present himself on this level this year, which will not change now at this stage, so he almost surely has lost his chance to be drafted this year.

Alexey Shved 6'6 (CSKA) 1988: Also didn't get the chance to show a lot at Euroleague level. However Coach Messina seems to be in love with him. He has a lot of intrigue from earlier chances and will surely be picked at some time during a draft, but to be more than a second round flier he has to get some more burn at the highest level. CSKA my not be the best address for that.

Giorgi Shermadini 7'1 (Panathinaikos) 1989 : Was it a good decision to move to powerhouse Panathinaikos this year? From a financial standpoint it sure was for the big guy. Learning from the likes of Pekovic, Tsatsaris, Fotsis and Batiste sure is nice, but to become a first round prospect one has to play a little more. Considering his contract issues, he may be off the board anyway for some years, so he is in no need to hurry this year. He is not likely to declare for the draft.

Jan Vesely 6'11 (Partizan) 1991: Really came on midway through the season, culminating with a double double game with 19 Pts and 10 rebounds close to the end. He made a smart move to go to Partizan, a team known for developing prime talents with lots of chances to play early on. He surely will take some more years to declare for the NBA draft, since his body still needs some more time to develop, but to produce numbers like that sure opened some eyes among scouts and they will come a lot the coming years to take a good look at him. He has first round, maybe even lottery potential.

Milos Teodosic 6'3 (Olympiacos) 1987: He also took a dip in his production based on Olympiakos deep rooster. At this stage he doesn't seem to be more than a sniper who makes a living from the three line. I think he opted against the NBA 2 years go when he went out to Olympiacos and the big money than went along. He may be picked up late in the second round, but don't look for him to make it over. He will be a solid pro in Europe and earn a lot of money while doing so.

Vitor Faverani 6'9 (Unicaja) 1988: Got some chances early in the season, but he didn't impress and it should take him another year to try the draft, as at this point he is to slow and lethargic to really make some team bite.

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