Last weekend legedary La Ghirada Sports Complex in Treviso hosted NBA Global Camp. New organisation, slightly new format but the same old gym. 40 draft eligible players went through athletic testing and scrimmage games in front of many basketball executives. Moreover event featured world reknown Australian Center of Excellence, few of NBA Academies which were launched last year and international select team with 12 extremely talented non draft eligible Europeans. Let’s see who helped himself and who reduced his chances to get drafted.
Adam Mokoka possess basically NBA body and positional tools. He is listed 6’5 in shoes which is a little surprising but maybe his enormous bulk confuses in this regard. In general he was a winner of measurements (see other paragraph). He already played around 15 minutes per game in Pro A this season and has undoubtedly years to come as role player on the highest French level. Was never really a point guard in his career which doesn’t help and calls for teaming him up with apprioprate backcourt partner to reach demanding efficiency of the lineup. Player who always go hard on both ends. Refinements in all the skills typical for position 1 would be helpful. I am not sure how much one short and somewhat not perfect evaluation setting at the event can’t help one’s stock but with strong next season Mokoka may get a late 2nd round looks. Kind of European Patrick Beverley. Nightmare for ball handlers from opposite team.
Issuf Sanon – Ukrainian prodigy has been given really solid minutes past reminder of the season in Olimpija Ljublana. Next year Slovenian powerhouse will be probably the most often visited destination by NBA scouts as Luka Samanic just signed multi year deal and reportedly Marko Simonovic is the next big thing to join the team. Sanon is just very exciting player to watch. Despite mistakes he still can’t avoid there is something special in his playing style full of swag and imaginative one on one moves. He is never affraid of the moment and is even willing to press his man full court. Still needs to fix body language, ball distribution and develop moves to the left side of the court. Reaching balance between brilliance and maturity next years will be the key. To sum up very good draft and stash option. Even in upcoming draft!
Marcel Ponitka already has elite strength for guard position but his body keeps growing even more. He was the MVP of day 1. Scored 15 points, including first 10 of 15 in the first quarter. He also had 5 assists including some advanced passess after pick and roll. Polish playmaker draw 9 fouls even though after hot start he was guarded by specialist in this regard – Karim Jallow who has even bigger brawn. There is still upside regarding Marcel’s mid range game, floater array or handling the ball with the left hand. However while given space and more time to take decision he can really look amazing especially if his shot falls in. Much smaller NBA chances than two other guards mentioned aboved but was one of the best performers and can possibly already contribute on high European level.
NOTES ON SELECTED OTHER DRAFT ELIGIBLE PROSPECTS
To be honest, despite the name, camp was way more interesting for European teams (very few representatives as many of them was turned down) than NBA. Most of the players mentioned in this category are either really skilled but possess athletic limitations or has very good physical profile but it would be hard to hide their imperfections in the best league in the world (see almost all French participants).
BIGGER NBA CHANCES THAN THE REST
Arnoldas Kulboka has a lot of buzz thanks to his shooting and size combination. He definitely added some pounds to his frame but still it’s hard to notice enough toughness even though those two components are often corelated. Also it is difficult to imagine him defending SF position in NBA. Moreover he is good not elite shooter. In my eyes has very small chance to stick in the league for years. I would even really think twice before drafting him…
Makur Maker has surprisingly big degree of explosiveness in his very slim legs. He is kind of energetic big who can also put the ball on the floor and is blessed with great length. Still has unclear role on the court and lacks polish but probably noteworthy 2nd round pick and then G League stash option.
Karim Jallow is incredibly gifted physically. His offensive game is barely existing and he relies in 99% just on his tools. It can look really bad when asked to do on this end more than he should. Definitely beside transition he needs to feed from space given by defensive focus on other more talented players. Anyway his defensive energy, ability to press guards, willingness to get physical with bigs can open him doors even to NBA at some point of the career. Anyway it is hard to understand why in this world he played such a low minutes for German powerhouse as a domestic player even considering his relatively low basketball IQ. Jumper needs to be improved. Thabo Sefolosha can be his example to follow.
OTHER NOTABLE OBSERVATIONS
Matas Jogela possess somewhat Zach Lavine body type. He lacks experience, is not that productive with the ball but has size, plays adequate defense and possess consderable shooting potential.
Berke Atar is very talented true center who will make plenty of money in his homeland but it’s hard to imagine him cracking NBA roster at some point of his career. In fact other Turkish player (Erxhan Osmani) looked more intriguing. He is well proportioned, long and dynamic forward.
Marc Garcia is super crafty, creative and slender swingman whose stock went down long time ago and because of his defense he struggles to stick in ACB.
Aleksa Ilic – typical jumpshot away from NBA type of prospect. Super long, can really cut off the ball, solid defender, black man measurements.
Blaz Mesicek – was asked to play as PG alot but of course possess scorer mentality. Very little improvement in body. Played in mature but also less brilliant way than in the past. Has array of jabsteps, sharp crossovers, can pass. Plenty to like but more for Top serie A than NBA.
Zoran Nikolic, Berke Atar, Leon Kratzer, Dusan Ristic typical bigs good for Europe with very little NBA chances. Especially Nikolic looks and plays like typical 35yo Balkan big veteran.
Vasileios Charalampopoulos may be one of the best FIBA youth players in history. Really skilled, can shot, pass + handle at 6’8 with 6’11 wingspan. Shape and defense definitely non NBA standards though.
Louis Olinde still lacks strength badly (I am affraid his frame is just extremely hard to fill out). Not a scorer type. Versitale but doesn’t do anything great. Will never get NBA chance without improving physicality. Pretty surprising he was able to play that much with Bamberg this season.
Viny Okuo – Huge human being, dangerous in the paint. His team missed a chance to develop him better in crucial period for further career. Will remain role player on high Euro level most likely.
Two other with notable NBA chances.
Among participants were few fresh NCAA alumnis from which was exciting to see and compare their game to prospects who already play pro.
Trae Bell Haynes has a great quickness, pretty good feel and is much closer to being real point guard than typical American rookies. He looked somewhat tiny and childish among Top guard prospects at the event like Marcel Ponitka or Adam Mokoka. Despite being the oldest from them he couldn’t do much through contact and didn’t stand out much. Skilled and nice to watch but it’s unclear whether he end up on really high European level and definitely needs at leaxt 2-3 years to get there. Yuta Watanabe is another highly intriguing player. 6’9 point forward who excels on either end of the court. Has enough agility and foot speed to check smaller and faster guards especially since he can make one step back and still bother them with his length. Physical profile and playing style lands somewhere between Tomasz Gielo and Joe Ingles. Probably not ready yet for major leagues but definitely an option to follow. Mikyle Mcintosh seems the most suitable for league like ACB now. His role and message on the court is pretty clear. He is stronger than anyone and uses it at every opportunity. Mostly he buldozes his way to the rim but will shot with time and space at adequate level. Kind of undersized 4 who can grab and go and check some minutes on 3 position. Dusan Ristic is very good player but this kind of events are not his thing. Didn’t look great similarly to Portsmouth but IQ and skills are there.
Definitely the most exciting group for scouts apart from standouts from Academies like Josh Green, Ibou Dianko Badji or Tamuri Wigness. I am personally not sure how much Sergio Scariolo knows about prospects he was coaching which didn’t help at all to either fit in and create some hierarchy in the team. It may has been caused by some health issues but not starting Killian Hayes and then benching him in another game for a long time seemed really questionable. French super talent was out of the rhythm and finished the game with 0 points. However I don’t think it’s a reason to be worried even though he really struggled against pressure at times. I keep stating that he is on another level. Theo Maledon or Arturs Zagars are incredibly skilled and smart basketball players who can survive at any stage. Especially Zagars was eager to prove his physical limitation doesn’t hamper his upside and tried to be compete defensively and finish over length in exceptionally crafty fashion. Maledon performs at phenomenally steady level and is almost too good to play at youth stage. Moreover he improved his explosiveness and NBA future is becoming more and more realistic. Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos was a little disappointing first two games. Greek talent bulked up his body but looked more like non elite 3 and D wing with great size and ocassionaly slashing game than multi faceted, athletic, do it all kind of flashy forward from previous tournaments. Deividas Sirvydis surrounded by many ball handlers didn’t look as well as in Rytas system. Amar Sylla keeps raising his stock which will affect our upcoming ranking in big degree. Biram Faye didn’t present much of mid range jumper but as usual was making the most of his touches inside. If stroke becomes consistent and he can put the ball on the floor and uses his quickness to blow by defenders could possibly play in Brandon Bass style. Cazalon didn’t play second game but there is plenty to like regarding the attitude and personality. Good unselfish teammate, seems to becoming pure 3 position and can be mentioned in the same breath with more highly touted countrymen from 2001 generation. Nikita Mikhailovski and Henri Drell didn’t really find good roles for themselves (second one had much better third game though). Aleksej Pokusevski has size and talent but definitely not the most desirable body type for NBA. Pavel Zakharov has small ball center potential. His silhouette looks tremendous but still he seemed tiny and very human-like while matching up with Ibou Dianko Badji.
5 the quickest (¾ court sprint):
Marcel Ponitka 3.19
Adam Mokoka 3.20
Trae Bell Haynes 3.20
Andrej Magdevski 3.24
Michal Kolenda 3.25
5 the bounciest (standing):
Darrel Poirier 33.5
Adam Mokoka 32.5
Trae Bell Haynes 31.5
Etienne Ca 31.5
Aleksa Ilic 31.0
5 the bounciest (max):
Adam Mokoka 39.0
Darrel Poirier 37.0
Trae Bell Haynes 37.0
Emmanuel Cate 37.0
Aleksa Ilic & Yuta Watanabe 36.5
5 the longest (standing reach):
Melvyn Govindy 9.3,5
Leon Kratzer 9.3
Dusan Ristic 9.3
Viny Okuou 9.2,5
Matur Maker & Etienne Ca 9.2
5 the biggest height wingspan difference:
Shekinah Munanga 7.0
Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot 6.5
Aleksa Ilic & Jean Marc Pansa & Michael Uchendu 6.25
Stephane Gombault 6.0
Adam Mokoka 5.25
Melvyn Govindy & Aleksa Ilic & Karim Jallow 10.5
Kenan Karahodzic & Leon Kratzer & Darel Poirier 10.25
Dusan Ristic & Michael Uchendu & Xabier Lopez & Stephane Gombault & Emmanuel Cate 10
Aleksandar Lazic 9.75
Viny Okuo & Shekinah Munanga 9.5