12 - Nikola Mirotic

6-10, 225 Small Forward/Power Forward
Montenegro International
02/11/91 (29 yrs)
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Zarko Carbakapa/Jason Kapono

Strengths: A 6’10” forward with potential. Actually the potential has already become a reality this season with Real Madrid, one of the traditional powerhouses and present at the recently played Euroleague Final Four. A good frame  … Yet he shows good balance, mobility and also a very nice wingspan … He’s got pretty good hands and a soft shooting touch, offering good reliability from beyond the arch up to the foul line. Shot selection is really excellent … He’s also willing to take the big shots to help win games … Might not be the quickest shooter, but his release and rhythm are good and he can create shots off the dribble when necessary. Able to score from the outside, able to penetrate and also a skilled low post player with a variety of moves … He handles the ball well with both hands for a guy of his size, and often helps to dribble the ball up court when the guard is being overplayed. Offensively Mirotic is tremendously versatile. Even if he’s missing better strength and athleticism, a good first step and very controlled drives gets him to draw many fouls. Adding to that a very high basketball IQ, good court awareness and anticipation, which allows him to make very quick decisions once he receives the ball. Spin moves (including over baseline foot), left and right up and unders and jump hooks, turn around jumpers, 45 degrees bank shots and shotfakes all form in a natural part of his repertoire. And he’s a reliable finisher inside. Apart from scoring himself, he contributes in the functioning of his team by making the ball move around on the perimeter. He also knows how to post up, seal off his position and maintain it. Being a good passer with an even better court vision enables him to find his teammates from the low post or out of dribble when driving towards the basket. In offensive rebounding he continuously tries to find a good position, often succeeding follow ups or at least getting touches to obtain a new possession. Defending pick and roll isn’t an issue either, considering his physical assets to hedge and recuperate as required. At this point defensively he can be matched up with both small and power forwards. Not a great shotblocker in the way of a top leaper who goes for each shot, nonetheless he manages to block a fair share of them due to very good help side positioning, timing and awareness.

Weaknesses: Even though agility and leaping are just average, surprisingly he’s quite quick off his feet and is able to run the floor well when he puts his mind to it … Over the years, there have been moments where a lack of motivation and concentration affected his running effort and activity on offense … Overall I would catalogue his athleticism as just okay for NBA standards … Has a good frame but will need to add additional strength … He is a better set shooter than creating shots for himself … He’s much more effective in half court offenses than in one on one fastbreak situations. When he’s on the receiving end in pick and roll plays, he mostly steps out the 3 point line and continues just occasionally inside. Even though he usually does box out and picks up defensive rebounds, rebounding is an aspect that he can still improve significantly. Whereas he can successfully defend speed (in Europe), against power it’s a lot more complicated. He’s unable to stop somebody who takes him one on one to the basket, as his body lacks the strength to contain many players …

Notes: Spanish naturalized, born in Montenegro. In Europe expect Mirotic to become and remain a very important player for any of the top teams for many years to come. Without any doubt he has absolute Euroleague star player potential. However for his development and to get the maximum out of his basketball career, the situation where he ends up might be crucial to making it or not across the Atlantic.

Nico Van den Bogaerd 5/28/11

Strength: Marksman shooting power forward … Possesses tremendous amount of skill for a player of his age and height … Has a strong scorers mentality … An adept outside shooter who possesses a quick release and good form … Has a mature game for his age as he is able to recognize a strong closeout from a defender and pump fake the defender and put it on the floor and go to the hole or take a one dribble mid-range jumper … Is a good dribbler for a player his height … Has long arms and has the nose for the ball and possesses good hands … Has surprisingly good passing skills on the fast break for a player of his height … Was one of the best International players at the 2010 Hoops Summit …

Weaknesses: While he can run the floor and has some athleticism, he is not a speed demon nor does he possess good jumping ability … While he is a tremendously skilled player he does not have any post moves and is a 6"10 player who gets most of his scoring opportunities from the perimeter or fast breaks … Lacks the body strength to do much inside … Needs to get stronger/tougher ..Most of his interior scoring is done on broken plays and offensive rebounds … While his scoring ability is very advanced, he needs to focus on developing other aspects of his game so he can become a more complete player … For a player with his talents he can disappear from time to time …

Notes: A native of Montenegro, became a citizen of Spain in 2010 and played for the Bronze Medalist FIBA Europe Under-20 Spanish team leading the squad in scoring …

Eric Guilleminauilt 10/4/10


YouTube Clip – 12/05/2010

YouTube Clip – 04/19/2010


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