Sasha Kaun Scouting Report

Nenad Krstic earned one of the highest salaries in the continent and Kyle Hines is a fan favorite because he overcomes his short height in order to make a true impact as a big man. Yet Sasha Kaun was the best center CSKA Moscow had last season. A long time removed from his serious knee injury years ago, Kaun looked like the type of athlete suited for the NBA.

His purpose on offense is to catch-and-score out of the pick-and-roll and he is quite good at that. Kaun finished 106 attempts at the rim in 499 Euroleague minutes at a 75.5% clip and his 169 shots in the lane in 470 VTB United league minutes at a 66.8% clip. He is a good screener who looks to draw contact, dives to the basket naturally and has soft hands to catch the ball on the move. Kaun is a great target for lobs as he can play above the rim, leaping off the ground in a pinch.

He can set good post position due to the strength in his six-foot-11, 265-pound frame and has a decent but not money turnaround baby hook, as he is comfortable finishing over either shoulder. His athleticism and seven-foot-six wingspan didn’t translate much in the glass, though. Kaun posted average offensive rebounding rates among position peers in both leagues. And he hit just two thirds of his 233 free throws. Kaun doesn’t have a natural shooting motion as he mostly pushes the ball towards the basket with his right arm.

Kaun might have been average on most areas of his offense but his one elite skill significantly impacted CSKA’s production. It averaged 117.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and 110.9 without him in the Euroleague; 115.3 overall in the VTB United league but 128.2 with Kaun in the lineup.

The pick-and-roll is also where he excelled on defense. CSKA guarded the two-man action flat, with the big man hanging back to contain dribble penetration. It allowed the fourth fewest shots at the rim per game in the Euroleague and also the second lowest shooting percentage at the basket. Kaun was great, sliding his feet quite comfortably with above average lateral quickness for his height and making his presence felt in the lane, also playing above the rim on this end. He ranked third in the VTB United league in block rate.

Kaun was a bad rebounder, though, controlling just 14% of opponents’ misses in the VTB United league and 15.4% in the Euroleague; below average defensive rebounding rates among position peers. Considering his physical profile, Kaun should be significantly better than that. But just like on offense, what he did well offset what he did poorly and CSKA allowed just 98 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor in the Euroleague, a rating that would have bested their league-leading mark in defensive efficiency by a couple of points.

Editor’s Note: Statistical data for this post was researched at in-the-game.org, vtb-league.com and basketball.realgm.com.

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.

Advertisements

Zhou Qi Scouting Report

(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)

Zhou Qi first became a prospect of interest in the 2012 FIBA World Championships U17 in Kaunas, when he led China to a seventh-place finish by posting averages of 1.38 points per shot on 81 attempts and 10.1 rebounds per game. Zhou followed that up in the subsequent summer by helping China to another seventh-place finish in the 2013 FIBA World Championships U19 in Prague, posting averages of 1.51 points per shot on 52 attempts and nine rebounds per game against players two years older than him.

It is rumored Zhou briefly considered going to college in the United States after his impressive performances in international events. However, he gave up that idea due to a couple of complications, including the language barrier and eligibility concerns due to his Li Ning sponsorship. The ‘Big Devil’ (his nickname according to the Chinese version of Wikipedia) led Liaoning’s junior squad to the national title last September but didn’t play any more competitive ball until last month because players under the age of 18 are not allowed to play in the Chinese league (with a few exceptions) and Zhou only turned 18 in January of 2014.

Zhou returned to competitive play with the senior national squad in the Sino-Australia challenge in June, with Wang Zhelin unavailable, and got good minutes in the four-game series, including a 30-minute outing in game two, when he finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He then participated in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup, played last week in the Philippines, as China opted to send a team built of players younger than 24 years of age. Zhou was the youngest prospect on the team but started every game and logged 133 minutes of quality work against grown men, averaging 1.44 points per shot on 43 attempts and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Listed at 7’1 and 210 pounds, Zhou has a very thin frame and struggles to set deep post position. He is unable to back opponents down due to his weak base but has shown good footwork on a very slick up-and-under move that fooled Hamed Haddadi. Zhou has also flashed quality passing skills with his back to the basket as his high vantage point permits him to see over the double team. He has proven himself a capable jump-shooter from the mid-range area – on turnarounds from the baseline or catch-and-shoots from 16 feet away – but isn’t particularly consistent at this point as he sometimes releases more of a push shot. He travelled quite a bit on face up drives in the Asia Cup, posting 12 turnovers in seven games. Zhou can get off the ground fine for someone his height and contributes on the offensive glass — he ranked ninth in the Asia Cup in offensive rebounds — with the combination of his leaping ability and rumored 7’9 wingspan, but is not a dominant force extending possessions.

Where Zhou makes a difference on offense is in transition and in the pick-and-roll. He looks very comfortable sprinting down the court and even proved himself capable of leading fast-breaks in the Sino-Australia challenge, which was quite a sight to see. Zhou is a poor screener, who doesn’t look to make contact and whose opponents can easily go around due to his thin frame, but dives to the basket very naturally and has soft hands to catch the ball in traffic. He can play above the rim when uncontested but unfortunately China’s guards didn’t lob him the ball enough. Due to his lack of strength, Zhou struggled to finish through contact but shot his 25 free throws at a 72% clip in the Asia Cup. Despite the size of his hands, he has a natural shooting motion from the foul line and displayed a lot of calmness.

Zhou mostly makes an impact on defense by blocking shots, not only showing good instincts and strong foot speed rotating off the weakside to protect the basket, but also the consistent contesting of jump-shots, thanks to his length. He ranked second in the Asia Cup in blocks per game. Zhou also demonstrated the ability to keep pace with smaller players from the top of the key all the way to the rim in isolation. It is important to put that into context considering the low level of competition, but it was impressive nonetheless. He is an average defensive rebounder who often opted to rely on his physical edge rather than consistently box out opponents.

Zhou just signed a three-year deal with Xianjing, who finished second in the Chinese league last season. Next year will be his first season of full-time professional basketball, so it will be worth tracking how his body reacts to those stresses.

It’s unclear when he will declare for the draft. He will still only be 19 by this time next year. Zhou obviously needs to add strength to his thin frame, but his height, soft hands and foot speed make him a prospect whose development is worth continually being tracked.

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.

Wang Zhelin Scouting Report

(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)

Wang Zhelin had a breakout performance at the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit, when he posted 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and eight rebounds in 21 minutes against a rotation of Kaleb Tarczewski, Tony Parker and Nerlens Noel for Team USA. In his first two seasons as a pro, Wang has developed into a very efficient scorer, ranking eighth in the Chinese league in points per shot last season, displaying fairly impressive skills as a post player.

Wang is listed at 243 pounds but has that weight well distributed on his lean frame. He’s, nonetheless, able to set deep position in the low block and below the rim to grab offensive rebounds because of his strong base. He has proven himself able to move opponents off their spot with his back to the basket at that level of competition and possesses really good footwork. Despite his age (2013-2014 was his age-20 season), Wang has tremendous patience to finish at the rim. He is able to go strong if uncontested but often opted for a variety of up-and-unders and head-fakes in order to get opponents in the air, so he could go around them and lay it in.

That patience was also in display out of the pick-and-roll in that Hoop Summit game against Team USA, when he neutralized Noel’s shot blocking and scored on him three times in the fourth-quarter. Wang was solely a pick-and-roll player in that game, showing soft hands to catch the ball on the move. He displayed good instincts as the screener, always looking to draw contact, and is a huge target with when receiving the basketball from guards.

But in China, it seems as if the majority of his scoring came on postups. He showed a preference for face-up drives from the high post area. Wang has very decent mobility for his size, loves spin moves and uses his large body to protect the ball well, posting a low 12.4% turnover rate last season. He strongly favors his left hand, both when driving and finishing. Also, he flashed a solid catch-and-shoot jump-shot from the mid-range area, with decent mechanics and average release speed (which is a plus considering his size). There were some impressive passes here and there but Wang ranked below average in assist rate among centers.

Wang is also a tremendous transition player. Fujian led the Chinese league in pace and he looked like a really great fit for that style of play, showing himself capable of rebounding and leading the break. He looked very fluid running the floor, with impressive speed when you consider his height and weight. He’s not a high leaper and has a below average six-foot-11 wingspan, but did very well on the glass due to his positioning and general activity, ranking fourth in the league in offensive rebounding rate among position peers. In total, Fujian scored an average of 114.3 points per 100 possessions. However, their offensive rating was 124.8 in Wang’s 1,358 minutes on the floor, a metric that would have led the Chinese league by a wide margin.

Evaluating his defense is a lot more difficult due to the lack of recent full games available. At the Hoop Summit, his mere presence was impactful because of his size. Tarczewski and Parker struggled to move him off his spot and finish over him in the post. He had an incredible block on Gary Harris in transition and erased an off-balance attempt by Rasheed Sulaimon seconds later. In highlights, he looks like a good shot blocker off the weakside at the pro level. Wang ranked eighth in the Chinese League in block rate among centers. He was an average rebounder, grabbing 20.2% of opponents misses when he was on the floor. His team allowed an average of 114.3 points per 100 possessions, but that number dropped to 111.8 with him on the floor. That was the second best individual defensive rating on the team behind Delonte West, but below average among position peers.

It’s unclear at this point when Wang is planning to declare for the draft. Upon declaring, my guess is that he would be a first round pick due simply to his size and skill level. The short wingspan makes for some questions on the defensive end though, and how high he is drafted will probably depend on team-specific workouts.

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.

Salah Mejri Scouting Report

Pablo Laso fell in love with the floor spacing potential Ioannis Bourousis brought to the table a little too much, especially late in the season, and as a result Salah Mejri logged just 667 minutes all year. And that’s because Marcus Slaughter struggled with some injuries, if not that number would be even lower. Mejri played so well in the Spanish league finals that he maybe should have been a rotation player all season rather than just an emergency option.

The Tunisian center is an excellent pick-and-roll scorer. His 245 pounds are well distributed in his seven-foot-one frame but Mejri is nonetheless a big body, one perimeter players struggle navigating around. He is, therefore, a good screener, dives very naturally down the middle of the lane and has soft hands to catch the ball on the move. Mejri leaps off the ground quite well despite his size and can play above the rim. He finished his 38 attempts at the basket in 249 Euroleague minutes at a 68.4% clip.

Mejri also makes an impact on the glass. He is a difficult body to box out due to his size and general activity, ranking second in the Spanish league in offensive rebounding rate among centers and top 20 in the Euroleague.

Catch-and-scoring off pick-and-rolls, weakside cuts and putbacks is his purpose on offense at the highest level of European ball as he is a limited player on all other areas.

He has shown a mechanical post game without much touch to finish at rim level in his previous stops and flashed a capable standstill set shot with very slow release if left completely open, but missed 11 of his 20 two-point attempts away from the rim in the Euroleague. And he hit just 55% of his 71 free throw attempts. He can get down the floor in transition but doesn’t look very natural sprinting on fastbreaks.

Real Madrid scored at a better per-possession rate without him on the floor in both leagues.

The pick-and-roll and playing above the rim are also where Mejri excels on defense. He doesn’t look particularly comfortable defending in space but did a very adequate job defending the ball screen action by sliding back, guarding it flat and leveraging his size to patrol the lane. He is no Marcus Slaughter switching on perimeter players but proved himself quite capable of keeping pace with them as they drove at him and challenging the shot at the rim.

Mejri also has terrific timing rotating off the weak side to protect the basket and can get of the ground in a pinch in comparison to the average center in the European game. He led both the Euroleague and the Spanish league in block rate. He was an average defensive rebounder, controlling over 21% of opponents’ misses in both leagues. Real Madrid allowed 7.5 points per 100 possessions fewer with Mejri on the floor in the Euroleague.

Editor’s Note: Statistical data for this post was researched at in-the-game.org, basketball.realgm.com , ACB.com and baloncestostatsacb.es

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.

Trevor Mbakwe Scouting Report

Trevor Mbakwe is one of the very best pick-and-roll finishers in Europe. He is a good screener who looks to draw contact and free the path for the ball handler, then dives to fill the open space around the rim very naturally. Mbakwe is a lot more athletic than the avergae center in the European game, has good hands to catch the ball on the move and plays above the rim, a perfect target for lobs as he leaps off the ground in a pinch and with force. He averaged 1.58 points per shot on 295 attempts over 1,310 total minutes in the Italian league and the Eurocup mostly due to his pick-and-roll proficiency and running the floor hard in transition.

Mbakwe is also a menace on the glass. He showed tremendous leaping ability to grab the ball at a higher point than the average opponent he faced last season. He was active keeping the ball alive and then displayed very impressive second-jump ability. And he proved himself able to rebound outside of his area thanks to his seven-foot-four wingspan. Mbakwe ranked third in the Italian league in offensive rebounding rate, generating second chances on 16.5% of Virtus Roma’s misses when he was on the floor.

He is undersized for his position – listed at six-foot-eight – and possesses a lean frame but is in fact a 244-pound bull whose weight is incredibly well distributed and possesses noticeable upper body strength. Mbakwe proved himself strong enough to set deep post position regardless of the size of his opponent. He is not, however, a particularly polished post scorer at this point, flashing a very solid jump hook over his right shoulder when he gets to go through his mechanical progression but otherwise lacking touch to finish at rim level and getting flushed whenever doubled, posting a sky high 21.7% turnover rate for a center.

Mbakwe was fouled quite a bit (0.53 free throw attempt to field goal attempt ratio) thanks to his edge in athleticism against the average competition and was a solid foul shooter, hitting 76.1% of his 155 free throw attempts. He has a decent release, mostly only missing when he rushes things a little too much. He flashed an OK catch-and-shoot jump-shot from the foul line area every now and then but isn’t any sort of real threat when operating away from the lane. Mbakwe’s purpose on Roma’s offense was as a finisher, and he produced awfully well in this role, which in part helps explain his 3.5% assist rate.

Rebounding and playing above the rim are also how Mbakwe contributed on the defensive end. He is an excellent shot blocker off the weak side, ranking third in the Italian league and sixth in the Eurocup in block rate, displaying great timing and bouncing off the floor to protect the basket. His 4.5 personal fouls per 40 minutes were mostly the cost of doing business. Mbakwe dominated the glass, leading both leagues in defensive rebounding rate, grabbing over 31% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor. He is short and not a particularly wide body but a difficult guy to be pushed off his spot because of his strength (something that also holds true on post defense) and very quick reacting off the miss.

Mbakwe is a mobile player for his position but was inconsistent guarding in space. He was asked to do it all on pick-and-roll defense; hedge, switch and drop back, depending on the type of ball handler they were defending. He didn’t hedge effectively; Mbakwe isn’t sudden with his moves, so smart opponents took advantage with his uneasy show-and-recover to bump into him and draw some cheap fouls. But he proved himself quite capable of keeping pace with smaller players in isolation, enough to hold them from trying something at the rim, while possessing the length to adequately contest pull-up jump-shots in the perimeter. He was still more comfortable dropping back to patrol the lane, though.

Closing out on spot up shooters was a problem for him, as he can’t change direction on a dime, struggling to maintain his balance after he forces the opponent to put the ball on the floor. Even average athletes like Josh Carter and Jeff Viggiano were able to blow by his closeouts to get to the lane.

But Mbakwe was still a positive presence in general. Roma allowed on average 111 points per 100 possessions in the Italian league, but only 105 with him in the lineup, the fifth best defensive ratong among centers. His impact was just as true in the Eurocup.

Editor’s Note: Statistical data for this post was researched at basketball.realgm.com.

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.

Joey Dorsey Scouting Report

Joey Dorsey is a human foul. Barcelona’s six-foot-seven backup center averaged seven fouls per 40 minutes in 44 appearances in the Spanish league. His very high foul rate is particularly unfortunate because, despite being undersized for his position, Dorsey very well could be the best center in Europe if able to stay on the court long enough. He does not possess a diverse skill-set or is a dominant individual defender but very few players in the continent perform his role and produce per-minute as well as Dorsey does.

His purpose on offense is to catch-and-score out of pick-and-rolls or putbacks and tap back rebounds to extend possessions. And he knows this. 76 of Dorsey’s 86 attempts in 406 Euroleague minutes were at the rim and he finished those at a 73.7% clip. 116 out of his 223 points in 675 ACB minutes came off dunks. Over time Dorsey developed a pretty good understanding that he is not out there to take jump-shots and in his first season with Barcelona he was rarely if ever seen calling for the ball in the post.

Dorsey is such a tremendous pick-and-roll player because he is a lot more athletic than the average European center. He is very fast running to the front of the rim after setting the high screen and leaps off the ground in a pinch. It is no coincidence the best two years of Dorsey’s career were played alongside Marcelinho Huertas, Juan Carlos Navarro and Vassilis Spanoulis on pick-and-roll heavy offenses that suited his abilities perfectly. Coaches prefer to defend the two-man game with just two defenders in order to limit help off shooters but having someone like Dorsey who sucks up so much attention when he dives down the middle paired up with capable jump-shooters off the dribble busts that strategy often. Dorsey is more of a slip screener than a hard screener because he is also very sudden with this move (fake setting the pick and cutting hard) and the split second of advantage makes him essentially impossible to guard if the ball handler can find enough space to lob him the ball properly.

His other method of contributing on offense is crashing the glass. This is another area where his physical profile gives him an advantage due to the combination of his leaping ability and seven-foot-one wingspan, which permits him to grab the ball at a higher point than most of his opponents are capable of and rebound outside his area. His consistent effort hustling after misses should also be well regarded. He ranked third in the Euroleague and fourth in the Spanish league in offensive rebounding rate, grabbing 18% and 15% of Barcelona’s misses, respectively.

Dorsey has shown himself a capable passer at times but because of the nature of his role, he is not put into many situations where the pass is needed of him as he is rarely required to short his rolls and never holds the ball facing up the defense. When crowded around the basket, Dorsey usually tries to force his way up as his upper body strength provides him confidence to try doing so. He is often fouled, which then exposes the most significant flaw in his offensive game. He is a very poor foul shooter, missing 73% of his 83 foul shots in the Euroleague and 56% of his 57 attempts in the Spanish league. Dorsey flexes his body down, brings it up slowly and then pauses mid motion before releasing the ball. None of it looks natural.

The pick-and-roll is also where he most excels on the other end. Being undersized works on his favor, as it allows him to more fluidly shuffle his feet and move laterally. Dorsey has noticeable weight in his frame but is lot more athletically built than players of similar upper body strength like Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Mirza Begic or Ioannis Bourousis. His weight at no point slows him down. Barcelona has its centers showing and recovering on the side pick-and-roll and sliding back to contain dribble penetration in the middle high pick-and-roll. Dorsey is a fit as his long arms permit him to adequately contest shots in the mid-range area and the average European dribble driver can’t simply go around him as he is able to keep pace with his quick moving feet.

Dorsey is an aggressive help defender and sometimes to a fault, as this is why he is in constant foul trouble. He is a very instinctive shot blocker; fast rotating towards the opponent attacking the rim, leaping off the ground in a pinch and possessing a body capable of absorbing contact in the air. He ranked in the top six in block rate in both the Euroleague and the Spanish league, blocking on average two shots per 40 minutes. Opponents also struggle to move Dorsey in the low post due to his strong core and general strength. He is just as attentive a rebounder on the defensive glass as he is on offense. He is a difficult body for opponents to push off the way or try rebounding over, despite his height, securing 25% of opponents’ misses in both leagues. Barcelona allowed just 100.9 points per 100 possessions among Europe’s elite (the average Euroleague offense scores at a rate of 107 points per 100 possessions) with him in the lineup and just 92.4 in domestic competition, the best defensive rating for a player in Spain.

Editor’s Note: Statistical data for this post was researched at in-the-game.org, basketball.realgm.com and ACB.com.

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.

Ante Tomic Scouting Report

Ante Tomic is the best center in Europe at the moment.

The traits of an offensive juggernaut were evident when he debuted as a pro in 2004; soft touch finishing around the basket, capability to play above the rim when set up despite his height (which usually suggests a heavier player who struggles to get off the ground) and high IQ to explore his high vantage point for passing to the perimeter on the move or even though doubled- or tripled-teamed. But over time, Tomic has developed into a better screener and a more patient post scorer.

Playing with Marcelinho Huertas and Juan Carlos Navarro these past couple of seasons, Tomic evolved into a very efficient diver to the basket after setting the high pick, which was not the case when he used to play for Real Madrid. He still isn’t the unstoppable force his backup Joey Dorsey is but mixing in those aggressive rolls to the front of the rim have made him more effective when he short rolls and look to hit an open shooter in the perimeter or transform that pick-and-roll into a quick postup within eight feet of the basket. Despite not being particularly tough finishing through contact (just 48 of his 438 points in the Spanish league came off dunks), Tomic is a near certainty around the basket, finishing his 139 attempts in 594 Euroleague minutes at a 74.8% clip.

In the low post, Tomic never really gained the strength to become a scorer who looks to back people down. He always had the footwork and the standing reach to shoot over the top of the opponent’s extended arms but has become more patient working his defender and baiting him into setting up the contest too quickly, creating angles for soft layups or enough space for hooks. He is capable of going left and does it enough so that the opponent can’t overplay his right shoulder but Tomic is more often looking to finish with his right hand, even when turning left. He is a capable jump-shooter but his 40.8% shooting on 71 two-point jump-shots in Euroleague play are mostly due to his efficiency on quick turnaround baby hooks or up-and-under throw-ins, especially because Barcelona is coached to pretty much never even look at the basket from the mid-range area.

Tomic isn’t a natural beast on the offensive glass (that’s how we describe Dorsey) but is a factor helping Barcelona extend possessions, ranking in the top 15 in offensive rebounding rate in both the Euroleague and the Spanish league, with the team grabbing 13% of its misses with Tomic on the floor. Despite his length, Tomic doesn’t rebound outside of his area much but because of his height and leaping ability, he is capable of getting the ball at a higher point than the average opponent. Though he isn’t explosive transforming those opportunities into furious dunks (once again, Dorsey is the standard for this), Tomic scored on putbacks at the seventh highest rate among Europe’s elite.

Tomic is also an incredibly gifted passer, posting the highest assist rate in the Spanish league among centers and second highest in the Euroleague. Because he is so tall, Tomic has a very high vantage point and can see over the top of the defense when he is facing it. He also has great instincts hitting baseline cutters out of the post or shooters spotting up in the perimeter on short rolls and the touch to deliver these passes putting the recipient in scoring position.

The weak link in his offensive game remains his free-throw shooting. He hit just 58% of his 120 attempts in the Spanish league and a more acceptable 68.4% of his 76 attempts in the Euroleague. His shooting motion looks natural and the follow through is consistent but the ball simply does not go in as much as it should. Tomic averaged 2.7 turnovers per 40 minutes in both competitions, which is rather high but on par for the course. Tomic isn’t mechanical with his post moves but does like going through a progression and although natural with his motions, he isn’t particularly quick, which makes him susceptible to getting the ball striped by perimeter players who crash in to help. He is also a risk takes with his passes.

Standing at seven-foot-two and possessing fluid mobility despite his height, Tomic was always suited to become a very impactful defender if he ever became tougher and started playing harder, which has been the case since he transferred from Real Madrid to Barcelona in the 2012 offseason. Barça allowed 102 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor in the Euroleague (the average offense scores at a rate of 107 points per 100 possessions) and just 96.4 in the Spanish league, the third best defensive rating among all players.

Barcelona has its centers showing soft and recovering on the high pick-and-roll, a scheme Tomic is perfect for because of his quick moving feet, which are uncommon for someone his height. Tomic can effectively contest pull-up perimeter attempts by guards who don’t have quick triggers with his length and contain dribble penetration with his mobility as most dribble drivers in the European game do not possess the speed to simply blow by him or the athletic ability to go right at his chest. Tomic does not block as many shots as you assume someone his height should in part because he rarely gives the opponent enough space to get a good look when they are attacking him off the bounce.

Tomic’s physical profile suggests a player bulkier opponents dominate in the post. This is not necessarily the case. He has a weak base and a lean frame without much upper body strength. Quick power moves can be effective against him but if the opponent holds the ball and tries to go through a mechanical progression, Tomic has proven capable of holding his ground and forcing a tough look.

An embarrassing defensive rebounder at Real Madrid, Tomic has crashed the defensive glass a lot harder at Barcelona. He remains only slightly above average among Europe’s elite, grabbing just 21.3% of available rebounds on the defensive glass, but dominated in domestic competition, upping that rate to 27.5%. Tomic compensates not having a high motor with discipline boxing out the opponent. Though he is not a widebody, opponents don’t easily manage to go around him.

Editor’s Note: Statistical data for this post was researched at in-the-game.org, basketball.realgm.com and ACB.com.

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.