Stock Up

Frank Ntilikina (98′, 6-5, PG, France, Strasbourg)

After several months as a back up point guard, the French prospect is now officially the starting point guard of his team. And the truth is that he seems to be up for the challenge! Ntilikina was terrific over the past month, particularly at the end of the month of February. He’s had some really good games against very good competition, especially with a game against Aris in the elimitation round of Basketball Champions League, where he wasn’t afraid of the big stage. He’s had a few low scoring outputs recently but the team has been winning. The truth is that the scouts were already in love with him and the things that he can do on both ends of the floor. Now it’s up to Ntilikina to prove to everyone that all this noise about him is legit.

Rodions Kurucs (98′, 6-8, SF, Latvia, FC Barcelona B)

He had his ups and downs over the past month. Inconsistency was an issue, but his role was changing from game to game. He isn’t ready yet. At the end of the day, though, Rodions Kurucs was actually pretty solid lately. The Latvian prospect has made strides the last couple of months, looking more and more like the player that two years ago, impressing the scouts with the combination of his skillset and athletic ability. It’s not sure yet whether he will declare in this year’s draft, but his stock is definitely on the rise.

Kostja Mushidi (98′, 6-5, SG, Germany, Mega Leks)

After a start to the year full with ups and downs, the German prospect seems to have found his groove. Mushidi is far from ready, but he was really good in the past month, having some really good games, showing some nice things on the offensive end of the floor. Considering the fact that he has all the tools to become an elite defender, the only thing he needs to do is to convince the scouts that he can develop a solid 3-point shot, which is by far his biggest weakness right now.

Jonah Bolden (96′, 6-9, SF/PF, Australia, FMP)

His decision to leave UCLA and come to Europe was probably his best. The Australian prospect is a beast in Europe, with near double-double averages in points and rebounds. What is even more impressive though is his ability to shoot the ball behind the 3-point line, shooting at 41.9% in ABA League, even producing a game where he went 7-for-7 from beyond the arc in March! Bolden probably lost a good chance to fight for the NCAA title this year, but it’s really difficult to imagine him helping his stock as much if he did by coming to Europe than if he had decided to stay in college instead. His chances of being drafted have certainly been enhanced.

Isaiah Hartenstein (98′, 7-0, PF, Germany, Zalgiris)

It has been a subpar past month for the German prospect. Isaiah Hartenstein’s playing time was all over the place the last couple of weeks, going drom DNP’s to starter and vice versa. He didnt have much playing time in EuroLeague and he was mostly used in Lithuanian League against mediorce teams. With that said, he was still able to have some really good games with limited opportunities, showing his ability to score around the basket and also some great rebounding instincts.

Anzeis Pasecniks (95′, 7-2, C, Larvia, Gran Canaria)

His playing time has stabilized and he has a larger role with his team. He is productive and a handful on offense when he gets it going. But he is not as dominant as he could be based on his size. The Latvian prospect is a later bloomer, but he has elite size and above average athleticism and it’s not difficult to imagine a team giving him a chance in the second round.

Stock Down

Nik Slavica (97′, 6-8, SG, Croatia, Cibona)

One year ago he was considered an early second rounder. This year though he looks more like a late second rounder to undrafted, mainly due to his lack of shooting and the fact that he hasn’t improved. Slavica was supposed to be an American style wing and a great leaper with a high ceiling if he worked on his weaknesses such as his shooting and ball handling. Instead, this year hasn’t really improved upon his ball hanlding, he shoots with a terrible 11.1% from 3-point line, he has been used a lot as a power forward and was even forced to guard some centers! Some could say that all these things show his versatility, since he can guard everyone. For him to make the next step though it is essential that he play as a wing. And this hasn’t really happened over the last month.

Alpha Kaba (96′, 6-10, PF, France, Mega Leks)

He still spends more time at center than he would like. His rebounding numbers are down. He shoots less 3s than at the beginning of the season when he was looking like a potentional stretch Big. Generally though the main problem with Kaba is that he looks as though his skill level has… stalled. He hasn’t added many things to his game that could help his stock being considered something more than a mid second rounder. Can he turn things around?

Marko Guduric (95′, 6-6, SG, Serbia, Crvena Zvezda)

His playing time and production are all over the place. With his team fighting for its life in EuroLeague and the rotation changing by the day, Guduric is trying to find his place, playing from point guard to small forward. His versatility and basketball I.Q are probably his two biggest weapons along with his strong personality, things that can’t be ignored and might be good enough to get him selected in the second round, despite his incosistent playing time.

Jonathan Jeanne (97′, 7-2, C, France, Nancy)

Things haven’t really changed for Jeanne. Everybody knew that he was a long term prospect to begin with. But this is the second year in the row that he has failed to show any meaningful improvement. The French prospect is long and athletic, but he really needs to add some muscle and add some things to his skillset on both sides of the floor. He is mostly out of the rotation and his playing time comes mostly in garbage time. He did have a standout game in February though, but he really needs to show a lot more.

Vasileios Charalampopoulos (97′, 6-8, SF/PF, Greece, Panathinaikos)

After a couple of rough months, the Greek prospect is again part of the rotation in Panathinaikos in the Greek League, but not in EuroLeague. It’s pretty obvious that all these in and outs have had a negative effect on his development, with Charalampopoulos looking more and more like he has plateaued. He is still a tweener – with all the good and bad things that come with that – but his team clearly prefers to use him as a small forward, which was always his preferable position. He has lost ground though and must catch up.

Michael Fusek (95′, 7-5, C, Slovak Republic, Spirou Charleroi)

Scouts would really prefer to see him play more, but they have to accept the situation Fusek is in. The Slovakian prospect plays sparingly and is actually pretty productive in limited time. In reality though he can’t really be judged confidently. He is definitely intriguing, since he is a better athlete than someone would except and has nice touch around the basket. But with him having so little playing time, it’s really difficult for anyone to have a complete opinion on Fusek, who will probably have to convince teams and scouts about his talent and upside through workouts.


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