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18 - Victor Claver

Spain 

  • Birthday: 8/30/88
  • NBA Position: Small Forward
  • Class: International
  • Ht: 6-9
  • Wt: 236
  • Team: Pamesa Valencia
  • Hometown: Spain
  • Team Site Profile
  • ACB Profile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overall

92

2009
Mock:  22
NBA Comparison: Jorge Garbajosa/Antawn Jamison

Strengths: Valencia's born and raised Victor Claver has got a lot of potential for the NBA small forward position ... Standing 6'9 ½" with an excellent body frame and a large wingspan, able to run the floor with good speed and agility ... Even though already showing adequate strength, he can gain additional strength without diminishing his mobility ... Displays good agility and balance, and has reliable hands. A decent passer with quality court vision, he understands perimeter ball movement, knowing how to feed the post and finds teammates also when in motion ... A smart and mature player who understands and reads different game situations fairly accurately ... Handles the ball well with both hands, being trustworthy ball handler in the open court as well ... Shows ability to slash and finish at the basket enjoying a soft touch ... With his huge first step he's really difficult to stop and he doesn't mind going left or right ... Although his shooting isn't consistent yet, he has a very good looking stroke with sufficient range (NBA 3 point distance) and nice shot release speed ... Most of his outside shots come from catch and shoot, but he's able to create his own shot off the dribble as well ... He can also post up and use his size advantage ... He does always give a good effort at both ends of the court, setting solid picks and is reasonably tough and intense ... When opponents take him into the low post, he doesn't back down either, holding position well and even able to block the shot. Defensive awareness and help side are generally okay. He really needs to regain confidence physically and for sure the rest will follow ... I'm convinced he'll pick up his game again and continue his development into a very good basketball player.

Weaknesses:
By NBA standards he has slow foot speed making his position a little bit of a dilemma ... Currently he lacks the strength to play in the post and the foot speed to defend on the perimeter ... Considering his offensive skill set and physical abilities, he needs to become more assertive ... When he does live up to his potential, he's very good, but too often he demonstrated a lack of initiative ... Lets the game come to him too much at times, which makes you wonder about his ambition, his intrinsic drive to win and his killer instinct ... Right now he's still in the process of fully recuperating from a serious knee injury, but if and when he's completely back, his lateral footspeed and quickness makes him effective in Europe ... But in the games he played after his injury, he looked quite a bit slower and less mobile and explosive ... Adept at playing the passing lanes and is accustomed to closing out and contesting shots. Nevertheless it is also an aspect where you can catch him make mistakes at times, getting beat off the dribble.

Outlook: In any given draft, after an injury-free season, he could expect to find himself being drafted anywhere between number 15 and 20. Next year I'd expect him to be fully NBA ready also. This 2009 draft class, considered among the less talented in years, probably doesn't allow him to slip into a beneficial second round (no contract limitations when he goes to the NBA), even after this injury-plagued year. I foresee him to be selected in the late first round now and stay at least one more year in Valencia.

Scouted:
26/05/2007 Valencia - Real Madrid (ACB, Spain)
05/01/2008 Joventut Badalona - Valencia (ACB, Spain)
12/01/2008 TAU Vitoria - Valencia (ACB, Spain)
10-13/04/2008 Valencia at Final Eight ULEB Cup
19/04/2009 Joventut Badalona - Valencia (ACB, Spain)
02-05/04/2009 Valencia at Final Eight Eurocup
17/05/2009 FC Barcelona - Valencia (ACB, Spain)




Strengths: Very strong mentally with impressive physical characteristics as well ... A long athletic forward, with good agility and smoothness in the open floor ... Has a nice skill set offensively with the ability to face the basket and shoot from outside as well as get by his man to the basket ... His combination of height and agility plus offensive polish makes him a very dangerous player ... He likes to play open and when he has some space he normally eludes his defenders because usually hes faster ... He possesses great confidence as a scorer, with the ability to shoot from distance, especially from the corners where his percentage is best ... In the paint he likes to play facing the basket and doesn't waste dribbles ... He attacks the rim with aggressiveness and often finishes with fantastic dunks. Has developing ball handling ability and possesses vision to see the floor and find teammates ... he's adept at recognizing double teams and passing out of them ... Similar to Jorge Garbajosa, Claver has a real sense for the game, very smart ... Claver's great length (big wing span) gives him an edge defensively where he's a solid shot blocker and rebounder ... Great leaping ability and a willingness to put his nose in the play make him strong on the boards ... Despite his youth, Claver has already played in the highest level in Europe and has shown great maturity. This year he has played his better games in Playoffs 2007 (11.5 ppg, 2 rpg,. 75 bpg) assuming a very rare offensive responsibility for its age. He is a very intelligent player who knows to choose the best option in offensive game ...

Weaknesses: He needs to add strength although he's very tough and doesn't seem to have any issues with his body, just further developing strength as he's still just going on 19 ... He also needs to improve on defensive rebounds ... Due to his physical development, he is still in the process of defining his position. During a great part of his career he has played as a small forward, but this year in Pamesa Valencia has played his better matches as a power forward ... At this point he lacks the strength to play inside (as a 4) in the NBA and he's a little slow footed with his foot speed laterally on defense ... He's such a talent he should be able to play both forward positions, but finding his best fit either at the 3 or 4 will be of help to him ... He's generally a better offensive player than defender, he should improve his defense because is a little bit soft and less focused there ... As power foward needs to gain muscle and toughness to battle opponents on the boards ... Offensively he needs to improve his mid-range shot and his back to the basket game as he often gets too enamored with drifting away from the basket ... Having an inside/outside game ala Dirk Nowitki would be a big advantage for him ... He is excellent at drawing fouls from his opponents, but his percentage of free throws is just average at 62%, so becoming a better foul shooter will be a great help to him ...

Overall: Despite being a very mature player for his age, Claver needs to gain more experience in Europe, to assume greater responsibilities and to progress technically so he can eventually jump to the NBA with total security.

*Alvaro Paricio is a Spanish Journalist

YouTube Clip – 5/12/2009

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