Fenerbahçe had many options in the perimeter last season, and most of them stayed healthy throughout the year. Emir Preldzic’s minutes went down as a result, and his role diminished as well. Zeljko Obradovic had Preldzic running offense late in 2013-2014, after Kenan Sipahi’s injury, but deployed him only as a weak-side option towards the end of 2014-2015.
Passing is Preldzic’s top skill. He is not particularly quick off the dribble to create separation and draw help but anticipates passing lanes very well, as he’s able to see over the top of the defense thanks to his six-foot-nine height.
Preldzic was limited mostly to side pick-and-rolls late in the shot clock last season, but still managed to assist on 22.2% of Fenerbahçe’s baskets in his 1,357 total minutes on the floor – according to RealGM.
As he gets older and ages up a position, Preldzic will be a great asset to an offense passing out of short rolls and possibly out of the low post.
Though a limited athlete, Preldzic gets to the rim a healthy amount. He can’t blow by anyone but can absorb contact and maintain his balance as he drives to the basket. According to gigabasket.org, Preldzic averaged four shots at the rim in his 635 Euroleague minutes and converted them at a 61.1% clip.
His 18.7% turnover rate was extremely high in the context of his 15.1% usage rate but all that shot creation Preldzic brought to the table was very valuable as a safety net, helping Fenerbahçe average 117 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
Preldzic continues to be only a capable open-shot shooter, and nothing more than that. The consistency in his release doesn’t seem ideal. Three-point shots accounted for 43.5% of his looks last season, but he converted just 32.3% of his 127 attempts from beyond the arc. He is not an option to shoot on the move off down screens and was not utilized as the screener on the pick-and-pop. And he’s also a lousy pull-up jump-shooter, converting just 35.4% of his 48 mid-range jump-shots in Euroleague play after hitting just 38% of his 42 such attempts against that level of competition the season before.
Preldzic is a liability on defense. His size (six-foot-nine, 220-pound frame) hurts him when he is forced to navigate screens and he can’t guard smaller players in space, as he lacks the lateral quickness to keep pace side-to-side. Preldzic doesn’t have much closing speed to force shooters out of the three-point line and lacks the wingspan to make an impact contesting shots or making plays in the passing lanes. He is also not any sort of an asset in rim protection, blocking just six shots in 62 appearances last season.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara.