NBA Comparison: Nicolas Batum
Strenghts: Athletic wing with a remarkable 7’3” wingspan of and incredibly huge hands … He’s still in the development stage and has grown three inches since last year … Standing 6’9”, he has amazing mobility and body control for a guy his height … He’s able to change directions off the dribble and with the ball in his hands with incredible smoothness and quickness, getting to the rim while maintaining excellent balance … His athleticism and wingspan make him able to cover 4 positions on the floor, showing great versatility … He has a natural feel for the game and a good basketball IQ, with good passing skills and instincts and the potential to become a point forward at the next level … Thanks to his big hands and his creativity, he’s an amazing ball handler for his position … He’s unstoppable with momentum, especially during secondary transition, when he can exploit his amazing mobility starting from the dribble … This year during youth games and Greek second division games, he showed the ability to start from one end after the rebound and go coast to coast and get to the rim with 2-3 dribbles, with incredible smoothness and speed … He shows good potential to improve as a shooter even if it’s his main shortcoming at the moment … On the defensive end he has great instincts in the passing lanes and in help situations, often with perfect timing for blocks from the blind side … With his physical tools he could easily guard opposing wings, showing the potential to defend both guards and power forwards, depending match ups. He’s still raw in many perspectives, but his ceiling and upside are the highest among the internationals of this 2013 draft …
Weaknesses: His level of competition is a big concern, because it makes judging his talent and current level very difficult. Without question he has a large basement to go with his large ceiling … Despite his athletic abilities he lacks elite explosiveness … He has to bulk up, working especially in the lower body since he’s definitely too skinny to face NBA opponents at the moment … The concern is how to develop him correctly from the muscular standpoint, in order to avoid loss of speed and mobility (Boris Diaw) … His game off the ball is rather weak, especially related to spacing and use of screens and cuts, in fact most of his offensive production happens with the ball in his hands … The only exception is when he’s slashing to the basket for put backs or on the break … Plus he basically has no mid-range game, he tends to attack the rim without considering the option of the pull up jumper … He shot 31.3 % from three point line this year, showing good potential, but he lacks consistency at this point, his mechanics seems unnatural and not fluent … On the defensive side, he needs to learn the basis, since he’s beaten by the opponents due a lack of proper positioning and comprehension … The overall impression is of a raw prospect from basketball comprehension standpoint, whose is based on instincts, talent, physical gifts and natural feel for the game. For this reason he needs to be tested at a higher level of competition than Greek second division, since his level of experience is definitely low.
Notes: Also known as: Giannis Antetokounmpo … The youngest player in this year’s NBA draft. Won’t be 19 until December … Son of Nigerian immigrants, he was enrolled with his older brother (20 years old) Athanasios Adetokoubo by Filiathlitikos Academy, an ambitious club from Athens Area. He averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds in Greek A2 this year, when he came out as he came out of obscurity to become a potential lottery pick … This June he could be part of the 2013 adidas Eurocamp, since he has just gotten his Nigerian passport.
Davide Bortoluzzi 5/24/13