By Aran Smith and Davide Bortoluzzi
Lucas Nogueira (1992, PF/C 7’1", Brazil, Estudiantes Madrid)
Bebe was able to exorcise the demons of his past Eurocamp performance (2 years ago) playing very well in his one day of action. He also conducted himself in a professional manner showing that he has matured considerably. Mentally he came across as a kid two years ago and completely unprepared for the NBA, but his body has gotten stronger and it’s apparent that he has become much more focused. He was the standout of the event, showing the ability to not only run the floor and be a rim protector but also athleticism and solid touch to convert dunks and shots around the rim. After being left for dead as a prospect two years ago following a horrendous performance in Treviso, Bebe followed up an excellent season playing in the ACB with a great performance at the adidias Eurocamp to solidify his status as a lock first rounder and even a possible lottery pick. Although the level of competition he faced wasn’t outstanding, his energy level was encouraging and his long term potential, unmistakable. With a 7’6" wingspan and 9’6" standing reach, Bebe has the potential to impact games similar to the way Joakim Noah does, with his great length and energy on the defensive end and glass. With numerous late lottery GMs on hand, there is suddenly a lot of interest in a player with considerable upside.
Ondrej Balvin 1992, C 7’2", Czech Republic, Sevilla)
Though ineligible for this year’s draft, Balvin was the breakout star of the event. He’s put on 40+ pounds in the past year or so and shows excellent center size for the NBA. Scouts compared him to Marc Gasol as he shows some of the same craftiness with imaginative passing and a strong understanding of the game. For a player his size, he appears to be in the neighborhood of 300 pounds (though he was listed at 260 lbs). He’s extremely light on his feet and displays solid leaping ability and reflexes to react and make plays with the ball and finish around the rim. Today’s NBA is no longer a game filled with players like Balvin, but similar to Gasol or Aaron Gray, he appears to have the IQ and skill level to overcome his lack of great floor speed. He would fit best with a half court team such as Indiana. At 7’2" with 7 foot wingpsan and 9’4" standing reach, Balvin has excellent height and length for the NBA position. He is a strong candidate to be drafted in the second round next year, and if he improves upon his conditioning and body in the next year could even make a push to be a late first rounder. He’s in an excellent place to develop with the tremendous coaching staff at Seville.
Nemanja Nedovic (1991, PG, 6’3”, Serbia, Lietuvos Rytas)
Nedovic confirmed his explosive athleticism during the event, even if he didn’t have many opportunities to dunk in the open floor in transition. After a solid Euroleague season with Lietuvos Rytas, where he averaged 10 points and 2 assists in 23 minutes, his chances as a potential second round pick are rising. He displayed some reliable skills in terms of playmaking. Being matched against 5’6” Aquille Carr in Day 1 he showed nice ball handling , good P&R execution and effective decision making especially in the open court (8 assists dished). He still needs to develop from this standpoint, adding consistency especially when the rhythm of the game decreases, but the base is excellent. He’s more explosive than he is fast and is more of a combo than a point so he’s going to need time. Even though his shots lacks consistency, he has a good mechanics and technical basis in this fundamental, showing good progress since last season (from 27% to 34%), but there’s still a lot of work to do with his jump shot where he struggled also in Treviso.
Dwayne Morgan (SF, 6’7" Class of 2014)
Morgan was the most impressive of the U.S.A. prospects that came over as a U17 team and competed well. It was obvious the team didn’t have the same experience and level of organization, as their opponents all were older and having played for professional teams. Regardless this was a highly valuable experience for them, getting the chance to see how organized ball in Europe is played. Morgan showed not only NBA level athleticism along with wings Zylan Cheatham and Victor Law, but a polished shooting stroke. PG Alex Robinson showed some intriguing speed and athleticism but will need to tone his game down. The UNLV recruit, Morgan has a lot of strength for a high school wing and competed well showing great energy and toughness. If he continues to develop his wing skills, he’ll be playing in the NBA in a few years.
Vasilije Micic (1994, PG/SG, Serbia, Mega Vizura)
Micic was the most impressive player on the U19 Serbian team, a team loaded with future high European level players, but without any real standouts for the NBA. Micic lacks great quickness but has incredible intangibles showing excellent leadership. He reminds of Theodoros Papaloukas with his creativity and toughness, but may not be quite as quick and athletic. Micic had NBA scouts raving about his passing ability and vision saying it would be among the top at the NBA level right now. The problem is that he lacks great foot speed making it a huge challenge for him to ever play in the NBA. Regardless, he was Serbia’s top U19 prospect and should be an absolute star at the highest European level if he does fall short of the NBA.
Oleksandr Lypovyy (1991, SF, 6’7", Ukraine)
Last year’s MVP had a solid showing and has added good strength to a long and athletic body. His jumper was on, though he’s got a lit of a slow release on it. His greatest asset is his versatility and toughness as he shows the ability to run the show from the lead guard position and plays with good intensity and toughness. A solid athlete, his biggest problem is that he seems to lack high end speed to blow by defenders and that lack of speed and ability to get to the rim will limit his effectiveness. He stands a chance to get drafted as he’s easily one of the top 1991 prospects for this year’s draft, but his intrigue is diminished some due to a lack of great overall speed.
Alessandro Gentile (1992, SG/AF, 6’6”, Italy, Armani Milano)
Gentile is coming off of a rather disappointing season, during which he struggled from a physical standpoint, in a team that finished the season in the first round of the Italian playoffs. His height and physical structure are very good, in fact he’s able to withstand contact basically from any opponent, attacking the rim fearlessly, often drawing fouls and and one opportunities. On the defensive side, he has quick hands and the ability to guard both 2-3, with good instincts for steals. He has tremendous scoring instincts, also in clutch situations. His main problem is his negative attitude, as he has a tendency to lose control and focus, arguing with referees and opponents. His shot is not consistent from three point range, and his shot has some mechanical issues. His style is more of a slasher, but his average athleticism and his slow feet won’t allow him to create off the dribble at the NBA level. Furthermore his poor lateral quickness means that he will struggle against NBA guards. He could get drafted in the late 2nd round as he’s always had some intrigue, but for all the reasons mentioned, he seems to be more suitable for the Euroleague level.
Janis Timma (1992, SF, 6’7”, Latvia, Ventspils)
Timma is a really powerful and athletic small forward with good mobility and energy, great size and frame for the position, an example of this was the amazing dunk in traffic that he made in the evening session of day 1. He plays with a blue collar style, mastering intangibles. He has good instincts for rebounding and a sense of position. He has great court vision and passing skills, combined with a good basketball IQ and leadership. He needs to work on his ball handling, his shot mechanics, and generally on his offensive background, which limits his ability to create his own shot off the dribble. From the physical standpoint he could compete at NBA level starting tomorrow, even if he should work on his fluidity while running the floor.
Augusto Lima (1991, PF, 6’10", Brazil, Unicaja Malaga)
His Day 2 performance was good as he flashed his above average run/jump athleticism, finishing a number of ally oops and plays at the rim. Unfortunately, Lima hasn’t shown much skill development in the past year. He’s one of the better draft eligible prospects and has the size and athleticism to play in the NBA. He’s a player that excels in the role of a garbage man, rebounding and defending, so there could be some interest in him as a role player. He could be one of the surprise late 2nd round picks, but his lack of development offensively makes him a bit of a long shot to make the league.
Raul Neto (1992, PG, 6’2", Brazil, Lagun Aro)
The MVP of the camp was the most impressive point guard, although that wasn’t saying a lot. He showed excellent burst to get by opponents. He’s a flashy point who likes to make the highlight pass. He lacks athleticism and scoring ability but showed tremendous pick and roll skills. Neto lacks the intrigue of former Brazilian point guard and current FC Barcelona player Marcelinho Huertas, but could be interesting to NBA teams due to his great passing, handle and speed. Neto has declared himself eligible for the draft and could sneak into the late second round as a stash pick. However, he appears best suited for a career playing in Europe.
Guillermo Hernangomez (1994, C, 6’10”, Spain, Real Madrid)
Hernangomez was one of the youngest athletes on the court but also one of the more mature in terms of toughness and basketball IQ. He’s under contract with Real Madrid (most of the year he played with second team in 4th Division), after a solid career with Real and Spanish Youth National teams. Standing at 6’10”, he has a good structure, showing underrated athleticism and ability to attack the basket. Though a below the rim athlete, he’s a solid rebounder, with good instincts and sense of positions. He needs to develop better offensive skills, both from midrange and in post game, but his skill level and ability to put the ball on the floor for his age makes him intriguing. He seems destined to play at the Euroleague level, with his style reminiscent of Felipe Reyes.
Lucas Mariano (1993, PF, 6’10”, Brazil, Franca)
He was the least advertised Brazilian prospect playing at this 2013 Eurocamp, but he showed some offensive glimpses, with his ability to hit from midrange and in the painted area. He has really intriguing offensive skills in a really solid and robust frame. He’s a little bit undersized to play center, but his toughness and physical strength, combined with his soft hands allows him to be quite effective on the offensive side, even when facing taller and more mobile opponents. Mariano makes up for his lack of height with a huge 7’3" wingspan, and solid 9’3"standing reach . Due to his lack of athleticism, he’s not a great defender, but with his solid body he can guard basically every inside player without struggling. Definitely a prospect destined to a high level European level.
Adin Vrabac (1994, SF, 6’8”, Bosnia and Herzegovina, OKK Spars Sarajevo)
Vrabac was one of the breakout performers of the competition, especially in the first two days. Standing at 6’8”, with a 6’9.75" wingspan, he is an athletic player with size for the position. He has a good first step to beat defenders, especially power forwards called to guard him due to his height. He has nice ball handling with a reliable shot both from three point and midrange. He looks smooth though he doesn’t always make the right decision. He tends to disappear at times, since his game lacks consistency, but he’s only 19 having played in the Bosnian 2nd Division this year, so there’s a lot of space for improvement. His lateral speed is a little bit lacking, but he has the ability to guard the wing positions effectively. He reminds a little of Jan Vesely, without the tremendous length. He’ll need to become a lot tougher and more assertive in the next few years in order to become an NBA prospect.
Viktor Gaddefors (1993, 6’8", SF, Oknoplast, Sweden)
Gaddefors showed solid athleticism and shooting ability. His size and skills were very similar to Vrabic’s, only Gaddefors shows less upside being a 1992 prospect. Has a nice skill set and the potential to be a solid European level player but seems to be a notch below NBA level athletically. Gaddefors had some stretches of standout play, proving to be one of the better prospects at the camp, but doesn’t have outstanding length, athleticism or skills to excite scouts.