6 - Kristaps Porzingis

7-1, 230 Power Forward
Latvia International
08/02/95 (24.4 yrs)
Ventspils, Latvia
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Andrea Bargnani/Pau Gasol

Strenghts: It’s not easy to find a legit 7-footer with great length and high level athleticism … If you consider how well he runs the floor and his skill level then you can understand why Porzingis is considered one of the most intriguing International players in recent years … A high level shooter, with a high release, very natural and quick with deep range … Ideal qualities to be a pick and pop stretch 4, however Porzingis is also pretty good shooting from off the bounce or coming off flair screens … His ability to put the ball on the floor in spot up situations is very underrated …  Unlikely that he will ever have the core and leg strength of Dirk, but the young Latvian has a lot of upside and if developed in the right way, and he could become a huge piece for many teams in today’s NBA where a stretch 4 can be a key element for spacing … Porzingis has great instincts to run in transition, and often outhustles opposing bigs for easy dunks … If he can improve his finishing ability, we are talking about a high level player capable creating his own shot from a number of areas … Defensively his size and wingspan make him a tough opponent to score over, he gives good rim protection, and he has good enough feet where he can show hard on pick and roll, or even switch and still create some problems for the ball handler … Once he gets more physical he can easily plug the ball screen … The bottom line is that Porzingis has every tool to make a really good contribution for whichever team that drafts him, and he can be an impact player for many years in the league …

Weaknesses: The main issue for Pozingis is his strength, and while he has more physicality than some people might think, he will need to get much stronger to hold his own defensively in the post and actually build up on his offensive post game (that is currently not a strength) … He has a narrow frame with thin shoulders, sort of like Joakim Noah had, so adding good bulk and carrying it will be paramount … Right now he is not a good finisher at the rim, but with more upper body and lower body strength he could start to really take fully advantage of his skills … More than that I would like to see him make an improvement in his lower body strength, in order to finish those drives off close outs at the rim … His finishing ability needs to improve too. With his length, he should be able to finish left and right over people at the rim … The other consideration is regarding his rebounding ability, he struggles to get a high number of rebounds and this leads many people to consider him the new Bargnani … I doubt that he will be as good as a shooter as some are suggesting, because he is not a high volume shooter, but … Porzingis has the athleticism and motor to do better than the 4 rebounds per game he averaged this year … Another weakness is fitting a position. He is obviously a 4 offensively but defensively he needs to be in a system where he will not get exposed for his lack of strength and rebounding, but he will actually shine as a rim protector … Porzingis has the upside to become a key player in the league, but his development is going to be huge for him to not be remembered as just another European who can only shoot …

Notes: Porzingis had a nice impact this year in the Spanish first division scoring more than 10 ppg for a young Sevilla team that was able to avoid relegation … There was a lot of pressure on the young Latvian after he decided last year to pass on his draft opportunity, where he most likely would have been a lottery guy … Porzingis displayed all of his skills, raising his stock to a very likely top 10 pick, with a chance at top 5 … If you are looking for another Dirk Nowitzki, you’ll most likely be disappointed, but if what you are looking for is a very talented stretch 4, very good shooter, quick and with deep range, with a good skillset to play from anywhere facing up the basket, Porzingis is your guy …

Rick Pietro 5/17/15

Strengths: As a legit 7 footer he has perfect height for the role, combined with long arms and big hands … Despite the size he prefers to play as a small forward, showing amazing body control, coordination and ball handling skills … Porzignis excels in transition situations, where he can use his speed, fluidity and athleticism to outrun defenders … During the past season he has improved his off the ball game, exploiting cuts and backdoors to get the rim … He’s a solid shooter, with range also from three point, showing a remarkable confidence and variety of solutions: step-back, pull-up jumper, catch and shoot are all part of his repertoire … On the defensive side he’s really effective as a weak side defender, with his quickness and athleticism he can cover a lot of space in a few steps to alter or block shots … Furthermore his lateral mobility makes him a solid P&R defender, a key skill for a big man, especially at NBA level … His footwork also allows him to switch onto the guards forcing them to take difficult shots … Born in August of 1995 making him one of the youngest players in the draft …

Weaknesses: He’s still skinny with narrow shoulders, needing to bulk up, without consistent improvements on his frame over the last three years … This physical shortcoming affects his game, with losses of balance after contact and the consequent preference to settle for the mid-range jumper instead of attacking the rim and drawing fouls. Furthermore he totally lacks an inside game, struggling in establishing position in the post and lacking effective moves … Most of his points in the painted area come from offensive rebounds and put backs, and his game is based solely facing the basket .. His lack of strength affects his ability to guard traditional centers, with a tendency to be rag dolled during the battles below the rim … Essentially he’s a shooting guard in the body of a center, an intriguing prospect that painfully needs to develop physically,  and still a tweener at the moment …

Notes: He’s averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds in ACB, he had 11.6 points and 10 rebounds during last  2013 Fiba U18 European Championships, being included in the top 5 of the tournament … He moved from Latvia to Spain in 2011, integrating perfectly in the new culture and mindset … He’s a good teammate and pupil, he already speaks Spanish and English fluently.  He’s scheduled to be at the 2014 Adidas Eurocamp.

Davide Bortoluzzi 5/29/14

April 15, 2015