NBA Comparison: Wang Zhizhi/Mehmet Okur
Strengths: Possesses absolutely great size for a C prospect at 7’ 260, and a 7’4 wingspan… Vucevic is a very skilled offensive player, who can be a pretty good C in the NBA … In the post, his size and length make him a viable target for post entry passes … Will call for the ball and works to establish position with his sturdy base … Shows the ability to pull off a good amount of moves (namely a right-handed turnaround jumper, a drop step, and jump hooks with both hands) and can finish with both hands around the rim…Makes some use of counter moves and fakes…Has the added ability to step out and make jump shots from as far 26 ft., although he’s most comfortable from the 18 ft. area…Will be a factor in the pick and pop game … Very soft touch…Above average free throw shooter for a C at 75% this past season … Able to function from the low or high post, and is a solid decision maker in both spots, showing the knowledge of when to shoot and when to kick out to cutters and shooters … Soft hands and rarely ever bobbles or drops psses … Rebounds very well on both ends of the floor, and shows solid fundamentals when boxing out and corralling the ball
Weaknesses: The main kink in Vucevic’s armor definitely revolves his lack of athleticism … Doesn’t run the floor very well and lacks any real explosiveness … Not very quick in his movements, and sometimes struggles with getting his shot off down low against the more athletic and long posts he faces at times … Definitely plays below the rim … Not going to be a great factor on D or as a shot-blocker at the next level…A step slow in pick and roll D, and will show up late on hedges…Has to be accounted for on D, using team defensive principles to not be a liability on this end … Playing with USC and two former NBA coaches give him experience in NBA-style defensive schemes, which will help, but he’s not gonna stop anyone on this end … Has ball-handling skills for his size, but not enough foot speed to really take much advantage
Overall: Nikola Vucevic is considered the top NCAA C prospectin this draft. He possesses very good size and offensive skills and isn’t a bad decision maker. His low post game is nice as is his face-up game, and he rebounds well for good measure. His lack of athleticism is a concern, and it limits him, but mostly on defense. And what is the real problem with a big 7’ 260 guy whose athleticism matches his size? I think he’ll be a good pick-up in the 1st round for a team.
Jorrye Nixon 6/16/11