3D wing, Pure Shooter

Arnoldas Kulboka Scouting Report


Arnoldas Kulboka had a so-so appearance at the 2017 FIBA World Championships U19 in Cairo, Egypt last month.

The 19-year-old[1] wing, who averaged 20.8 points per 40 minutes on 27% usage-rate, was a key part of Lithuania placing sixth and showed some tangible development in terms of shot creation chops. He was not relied on to initiate offense against a set defense constantly but had plenty of opportunities to run side pick-and-roll or post-up within the flow offense, operating in a well-spaced floor.

The gunner shot poorly, though — 42.9% effective shooting on 92 field-goal attempts, according to RealGM. The types of shots he took and the fact he looked quite good taking them is an encouraging sign Kulboka is on his way to develop into the most valuable kind of shooter but the ball has to go in too, which was not the case in Cairo.

Defensively, the six-foot-nine, 206-pouder was up-and-down as well, showing some potential as a wing defender who can execute the scheme and provide some switch-ability exchanging into soft bigs. But he didn’t create any events, which is quite disappointing for someone with a six-foot-11 wingspan and some hops, and generally just doesn’t play with much toughness or intensity.


Despite putting up poor percentages in Cairo, Kulboka still projects to make his money out of working the second side of the floor. That’s the case because of his track record in previous events[2], the way he looks shooting and the types of shots he takes.

Kulboka has a quick release, fluid mechanics and does great shot preparation catching on the hop on spot-ups and relocating to an open spot around the wing.

But the biggest value he provides is as someone who can make shots on the move. Lithuania got him open coming off staggered screens running baseline from one side of the floor to the other or from the corner to the top of the key, sprinting to the ball for dribble hand-offs, popping to the three-point line as the back-screener on Spain pick-and-rolls and off Iverson cuts out of horns.

Kulboka averaged 11 three-point attempts per 40 minutes in Cairo but struggled and nailed just 25.5% of his 51 such shots.

His reputation still carried gravity, though, and opponents closed out to him consistently. In these instances, he looked fluid attacking closeouts out of triple-threat position, able to blow by his man on a combination of quick first-step + burst and get all the way to the basket in a position to elevate in balance.


Opponents also played up on him as he caught the ball on hand-offs and off ball-reversals, which opened up opportunities for him to attack a defense moving from side-to-side within the flow of the offense.

Kulboka proved himself able to run side pick-and-roll, not just to keep the offense moving but as an asset to stress the defense into a screw-up as well.

He operated mostly as a go-go driver attacking off the ball-screen and got all the way to the basket with either hand a fair amount, proving himself able to adjust his body in the air to finish around rim protection with reverses or up-and-unders, though he is still not strong enough to finish on his way down and hasn’t yet develop much dexterity drawing contact in traffic — finishing his 41 two-pointers at a 48.8% clip and averaging just 5.6 foul shots per 40 minutes at the Worlds U19.

But Kulboka also flashed some ability to work with pace, showing side-to-side shiftiness and an in-and-out dribble when he transitioned these side pick-and-rolls into isolations, getting decent separation for stop-and-pop jumpers he looked good elevating in balance for.

He also flashed some proficiency creating for others, showcasing a well-timed pocket pass when the defense gave him a clear window to hit and a pass over the top when the defense kept him from turning the corner but screwed up the help behind the play — assisting on 13.1% of Lithuania’s scores when he was on the floor.

That said, he doesn’t have above average court vision and is still just as likely to turn it over as he is to get a good look operating off the dribble, coughing the ball up 15 times as opposed to dishing out 14 assists in Cairo.

As it is, Kulboka’s most reliable resource for shot creation purposes is his inclination to take smaller wings into the post. He doesn’t have any post moves and doesn’t play with a lot of toughness trying to back these players down but can get a turnaround, fade-away jumper off.


Kulboka is also a mixed bag as a defender. There is not one thing he does consistently well at this point of his development.

He was mostly used as a weak-side defender and looked good running shooters off their shots with his closeouts,  subsequently sliding laterally to stay in front and using his eight-foot-10 standing reach to contest shots effectively at times. Kulboka also showed some commitment rotating inside to bump the roll man or crowd the area near the basket coming off the weak-side in help-defense.

But there were plenty of times where his closeouts were plenty weak and he missed rotations as well, he doesn’t have much strength in his thin 206-pound frame to contain dribble penetration and he doesn’t create any events making plays in the passing or as a shot blocker, despite his length and athletic ability.

Kulboka found himself on smaller players from time-to-time and has a combination of enough quickness and long strides to keep pace with them on straight line drives but doesn’t bend his knees to get down in a stance and is too spaced out, so they are able to shake him side-to-side and get around him out an island or maneuver him into a ball-screen to lose him easily.

In pick-and-roll defense, he doesn’t put in the work to go over ball-screens and completely exposes his big teammate. As is the case, Lithuania had him switching and Kulboka did an adequate job trying to front the post to avoid giving up an easy post entry and raise his arms to contest shots effectively against big men who couldn’t just bully him.

He doesn’t figure to be a real option to play up a position in smaller lineups, though. The height and the length are there but the toughness and tenacity aren’t. Kulboka doesn’t get very physical with his boxouts and isn’t very active pursuing the ball off the rim, collecting just 13% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor, which is a reasonably disappointing mark for someone his size.

[1] Who turns 20 in January

[2] Per RealGM, Kulboka nailed 34.6% of his three-pointers at the 2016 European Championships U18, 42.9% at the 2015 European Championships U18, 39.6% at the 2014 European Championships U16, 35.9% at German second division for Baunach last season and 45.2% at German second division for Baunach two seasons ago

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

3D wing, Pure Shooter, Shot Creator, Tall Passer

Darius Miller Scouting Report


Darius Miller is said to have agreed re-joining New Orleans after spending the last two-and-a-half years at Brose Baskets of Bamberg in Deutschland. In that time, the 27-year-old[1] earned 3,754 minutes of EuroLeague and German Bundesliga[2] experience for a team that won the last three domestic titles.

The six-foot-seven wing got the opportunity to improve his skill-set in Europe, playing a key role within Andrea Trinchieri’s diverse offense. He was relied on to create shots within the flow and also in emergency situations late in the shot clock and late in games as well. But Miller won’t return to the United States totally unaccustomed to what his role will be there, as he logged only a 20% usage-rate in his two full seasons in Deutschland.

His playing time should still depend on what he does on defense, though, and that’s something Miller didn’t improve. He remains a disappointing defender for someone who looks like the prototypical 3&D wing every team is looking for these days, given he is not an asset defending the point of attack, chasing shooters around the floor, creating events as a weak-side defender or toughening up against big men.


Miller’s top skill remains his catch-and-shoot three-pointer, as he nailed 44.4% of his 616 three-point shots over the last two-and-a-half seasons. He’s flashed some ability to get shots sprinting around staggered screens but proved himself able to make shots relocating to open spots around the wing and coming off pin-down screens. His release is not lightning-quick but it’s quite fluid.

His average of 6.5 three-point shots per 40 minutes over his time in Deutschland is a reasonably disappointing figure, though. He should be a more aggressive shot taker off the catch on spot-ups rather than opting to stop the ball and taking a one-dribble pull-up or at times transitioning into an isolation that decreases the expected value of a given possession.

He’s developed into someone who can run a side pick-and-roll, not just to keep the offense moving but also a reliable asset to create a good shot. Miller has proven himself able to play with pace and make drop-offs or kick-outs to the strong-side, assisting on 15.2% of Bamberg’s scores when he was on the floor last season — according to RealGM.

But rather than consistently attacking off the ball-screen, Miller often walks it back and transitions into one-on-one play. He lacks an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed but has shown some shiftiness to shake him side-to-side, a hesitation move to go around him and strength in his 225-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact.

Miller doesn’t often explode off one foot to finish strong at the basket but has flashed some ability to hang and adjust his body in the air to score around rim protection going up off two feet. He is not a consistent rim attacker, though, more often than not pulling up from three-point range if his defender dies on the screen or getting to the elbow for a mid-range pull-up and getting to the foul line very little — averaging just 2.4 free throws per 40 minutes last season.

Miller proved himself a pretty good shot maker at the European level, averaging 1.33 points per shot last season, despite his uninspiring shot selection. His jumper also made him an asset in the post, as he showed an inclination for taking smaller defenders down low. It’s unclear how much of his off dribble diet can translate to the NBA level, though.


Miller is a decent individual defender, as he has the resources to be. He can slide laterally to keep pace with his man side-to-side, has a thick build to contain penetration when he puts in the effort and has an eight-foot-five standing reach to contest pull-up jumpers effectively.

But he struggles if the opponent forces him to be a part of a team-oriented effort. Miller works to go over ball-screens when he finds himself defending at the point of attack but is too big to be able to slide around them cleanly. He also struggles to negotiate screens when he’s chasing shooters around the second side and doesn’t consistently manage to run shooters off their shot.

Despite his size and length, he has not shown to be an asset playing as the second biggest player on his team in smaller lineups, as he is not tough enough to hold his ground against bigger players in the post and boxing them out under the glass.

He is also not a productive weak-side defender. Miller is an iffy-to-poor helper, often late or ineffective acting as the last line of defense crowding the area near the basket and rarely leverages his athleticism into creating events. His contributions through steals and blocks are marginal and his 12.7% defensive rebounding rate is an unimpressive figure for a big wing.

Brose Baskets had lower defensive ratings without him on the floor in the both the EuroLeague and the German Bundesliga.

[1] Who only turns 28 in March

[2] Which Next Step ranks as the sixth best domestic league in the continent

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

3D wing, Pure Shooter

Furkan Korkmaz Scouting Report


Misko Raznatovic announced today Furkan Korkmaz signed his rookie scale contract and is now a part of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 26th pick in the 2016 Draft is coming off his most productive season yet as a pro, after transferring mid-year on loan from Anadolu Efes to Banvit, where the Turkish wing averaged 24 minutes per game in 29 appearances for a team that reached the championship game of the FIBA Champions League. Thanks to the opportunity that transfer afforded, he managed to log a career high 828 minutes.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old didn’t make any substantial improvements to his physical profile[1] or show many flashes of star potential but at least started to gain some experience and there’s now a clearer picture of what sort of player he is at this point of his development.

Korkmaz operated mostly as a floor-spacer whose shooting was not leveraged by having him move all over the floor to stress the defense, instead getting his looks on spot-ups for the most part. He got opportunities to make plays off ball reversals and even initiated some offense at times but is far from being considered a good option to create against a set defense as of now.

His defense was a lot more encouraging than what he had shown in his spot minutes with Efes in the previous year-and-a-half, though.

His thin 190-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-seven height consistently puts him at a position of disadvantage against opposing wings at the pro level and he doesn’t play with enough energy or toughness to make any sort of a positive impact. But Korkmaz proved that when he puts in the effort and executes the scheme, he can be reasonably well hidden.


Korkmaz’s top skill remains his ability to nail open shots. He’s a sick spot-up shooter with a pure stroke, a high release and a quick trigger who turns in the air and can get his shot off without needing to dip for rhythm in occasions where the pass isn’t perfectly thrown — hitting 43.7% of his 142 three-point shots last season, according to RealGM.

Banvit didn’t put him on the move, having him run off staggered screens or as the back-screener on Spain pick-and-rolls, so his unimpressive pace for a gunner of 6.8 three-point shots per 40 minutes is partly on the team but Korkmaz also needs to learn how to get himself open working the second side. Hopefully he can learn from JJ Redick by watching him up close.

He did show some smart cutting, though, and can play above the rim as a target for lobs.

He is very smooth attacking closeouts and can be an explosive leaper off one foot with some space to take flight but struggles to get all the way to the basket with help defense in his way and is a very poor finisher against rim protection.

That’s also the case when he’s attacking one-on-one or in the pick-and-roll. Handling the ball against a set defense, Korkmaz hasn’t shown many dribble moves or change of direction suddenness to shake his defender side-to-side and doesn’t have an explosive first step to turn the corner. He also hasn’t yet developed a tight handle and is prone to getting the ball stripped in traffic — averaging 2.3 turnovers per 40 minutes last season.

When he was tasked with getting a shot off, Korkmaz proved himself able to make uncontested pull-up three-pointers when the on-ball defender ducked under the screen but most often sought to hang dribble into a pull-up or step-back fade-away when his man played up on him in isolation. He struggled to get much separation and these tended to be contested looks. He’s a good enough shot maker to be able to hit some of them but these are considered to be low percentage shots nowadays.

Korkmaz generally looked to pass off dribble penetration and proved himself able to make nice kick-outs to the strong-side and drop-offs against the defense collapsing to his drive, also flashing some very appealing court vision on a few cross-court passes against a scrambling defense — assisting on 15.3% of Banvit’s scores when he was on the floor last season. He didn’t show anything in terms of passing across his body to the weak-side or lobbying it up in traffic, though.


Korkmaz has a habit of leaking out before his team secures a defensive rebound but for the most part put in the effort to execute the scheme as mostly an off-ball defender hidden on the weak-side.

That said, he didn’t show particularly impressive instincts making plays in the passing lanes or well timed rotations to crowd the area near the basket as the last line of defense and didn’t often run shooters off their shots with his closeouts. His contributions through steals and blocks were marginal.

His tangible impact on this end is pitching in on the defensive glass, where he collected 14.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season, which mostly a so-so mark for someone his size.

But Korkmaz proved himself attentive to his responsibilities chasing shooters off screens and did a decent job. His lean frame, which makes him vulnerable to getting posted up by big wings, actually helps in these instances where he has to slide around screens, even when he finds himself defending the point of attack.

Korkmaz is no George Hill yet but has shown decent quickness going over ball-screens and could develop into someone who provides his team lineup flexibility by being able to defend smaller players regularly down the line, as long as he has a big who prevents the ball handler from attacking downhill right away.

He has flashed some enticing side-to-side sliding to keep pace with smaller players out on an island as well and has the length to contest these types effectively, though he needs to develop strength and toughness to be able to contain dribble penetration.

[1] Banvit listed him at 190 pounds

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Pure Shooter, Shot Creator, Tall Passer

Bogdan Bogdanovic Scouting Report


After leading Fenerbahçe to EuroLeague and Turkish BSL titles last season, Bogdan Bogdanovic is said to be considering a transfer to the United States.

Sacramento owns his NBA rights at this point and is expected to make a competitive offer to try convincing him to join the team this summer, as the 27th pick in the 2014 draft is no longer subject to the rookie scale after spending three years in Turkey.

Already a highly regarded shot creator and shot maker at Partizan, his offensive prowess translated to the highest caliber of European basketball and he was a key part of the Serbian National Team that reached the Gold Medal game in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics as well.

With the move to a title contending powerhouse, the combo guard was expected to settle into more of a floor spacing pure shooter role but that was not the case. Zeljko Obradovic preferred pairing him with smaller scoring guards who mostly operated off the ball and off a live dribble these last three years[1], which made Bogdanovic the one responsible for triggering the offense.

But his NBA prospects look brighter than at the time he was drafted due to his improvements on defense. The soon-to-be 25-year-old was an up-and-down defender in Serbia but his effort was a lot more consistent under the guidance of the legendary Obradovic, who relied on the lengthy six-foot-four, 205-pounder as his top on-ball defender in high leverage games.


Bogdanovic’s top skill remains his catch-and-shoot three-point shot. Aside from having gravity as a standstill spot-up threat, his quick release is dynamic enough for him to stress the defense working off screens, relocating off ball movement or offensive rebounds and sprinting to the ball on dribble hand-offs as well.

According to RealGM, he nailed 38.9% of his 827 three-point shots over the last three seasons, getting them up at a pace of 6.9 attempts per 40 minutes.

He is at his most valuable operating on the ball, though.

Bogdanovic does well running pick-and-roll. He doesn’t have the speed to just turn on the jets turning the corner off the ball-screen on the side of the floor but plays with great pace, using his craft to put his man in jail and erasing him off the play as he penetrates the lane.

Bogdanovic uses craft for his finishes as well. He lacks explosiveness to go up strong off one foot in traffic but has floaters and wrong-footed tosses as a below-the-rim finisher against shot blocking threats, though it’s questionable how effective that will translate against NBA-caliber length.

He got all the way to the basket a fair amount for someone who can’t just leave his man behind, especially considering Fenerbahçe didn’t always provide optimal spacing[2], but didn’t show a lot of dexterity for drawing contact and earning trips to the foul line – averaging just 3.9 free throws per 40 minutes the last three seasons.

Bogdanovic doesn’t have an explosive first step to just blow by his man one-on-one but has shown decent suddenness in change of direction, shaking his defender side-to-side with nifty crossovers and using hang dribbles to freeze him so he can get his shot off.

He is able to rise up for stop-and-pop pull-ups in balance or step-back fade-away jumpers and hit tough shots with a hand in his face, aside from showcasing the ability to step into three-pointers off the pick-and-roll when the opponent leaves him uncontested from time-to-time.

Another tangible advantage he brings to the table is an inclination for posting up smaller defenders in a pinch, as he’s able to hit turnaround jumpers over them or back his way into close-range attempts.

Yet, his most impressive development has been as a passer. Bogdanovic is not just a ball mover who makes the extra pass around the horn and can kick-out to the strong side when he drives into the lane attacking a closeout but has proven himself a reliable shot creator for others against a set defense as well.

He is able to pass across the defense to the opposite end of the court on the move and make well-timed pocket passes in traffic, assisting on 26.9% of Fenerbahçe’s scores when he was on the floor last season, at the cost of him turning it over on 16.9% of his possessions, which is reasonable in the context of an above average assist rate combined with his 26.8% usage rate.


In order to hide Bobby Dixon off the ball, Bogdanovic was responsible for guarding the point of attack and impressed with his lateral quickness in isolation defense often. He got down in a stance consistently and proved himself able to keep pace with smaller players side-to-side at the European level. His eight-foot-11 standing reach is a huge asset for him to contest shots effectively on most instances as well.

Bogdanovic wasn’t as impactful in pick-and-roll defense, though. He puts in the effort to try navigating over picks and does a decent enough job negotiating poorly set slip screens, returning to his man in a timely manner if he gets good help from his big man coming over way above the foul line. But he’s too big to slide over well set screens seamlessly.

At times when he struggled to make his way around some behemoths or crafty types who held him up expertly[3], Bogdanovic switched onto these big men but didn’t do a particularly impressive job. He puts in the effort to try holding his ground, raising his arms to try walling up and was attentive to his boxout responsibilities but lacks strength to do these things effectively. More concerning, perhaps, is how he was also vulnerable to getting posted up by big wings.

As a weak-side defender, Bogdanovic proved himself attentive to his assignment chasing shooters off staggered screens but lacks the speed to track these types of players and prevent a good catch-and-shoot look if the pass is well delivered, needing to find shortcuts to make his way across the court in time to run the shooter off his shot, though he did impress with his ability to closeout, stay well balanced to keep pace off the bounce and contest a pull-up jumper decently.

Bogdanovic stays on his stance off the ball and can execute the scheme but hasn’t shown a knack for making plays in the passing lanes and lacks the athletic ability to act as a shot blocking threat rotating off the weak-side in help defense. His contributions through steals and blocks have been consistently marginal, though his 14.5% defensive rebounding rate is a nice mark for a two-guard.

[1] Andrew Goudelock the first year, Bobby Dixon over these last two

[2] Obradovic played Ekpe Udoh and Jan Vesely together quite a bit towards the end of the season, as his confidence on Pero Antic waned and Luigi Datome’s defense limited his minutes in high leverage games

[3] Like Khem Birch in the EuroLeague championship game

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Pure Passer, Pure Shooter

Milos Teodosic Scouting Report


After six years at CSKA Moscow, Milos Teodosic is said to be seriously considering a transfer to the NBA. It’s possible this is simply a negotiation tactic to incentivize the Russian powerhouse to cough up what will probably be one of the richest contracts, if not the richest, ever given in European basketball. But the mere thought of the Serbian making the jump to the United States is tantalizing.

The six-foot-five combo guard is a magician who combines genius passing with above average gunning — excelling both out of middle high pick-and-roll and as a secondary shot creator. He also tosses breath-taking passes in transition, which could materialize more often in the NBA due to the higher level of athleticism he will have around him.

Given his height and 196-pound frame, Teodosic offers some flexibility on defense, at least in the sense that no matter where he’s put he’ll be a negative contributor, mostly because of his lack of athleticism, though his general level of engagement is what’s questioned more often. Because of that, Teodosic isn’t always a good option to finish games, despite of all the value he adds on offense.

I’m not one for raising up concerns about intangibles, given the lack of available information regarding how these players behave in settings closed to public consumption and just how they think overall, but Teodosic’s general demeanor on defense draws the assumption that he just does not gives a shit.

I also try not to overvalue appearances in single-elimination games but it must be brought up Teodosic was part of several teams that endured a number of EuroLeague Final Four failures during his tenure at CSKA and that his performance in many of these instances were consistently disappointing, before breaking through with a title in 2016.


Teodosic is one of those remarkable assist men who can anticipate passing lanes a split-second before they come open. His court vision is incredible and he can create three-point shots and alley oops to teammates without necessarily needing to attack the lane – just noticing on pure instinct a defensive breakdown before actually running the play.

Teodosic is not an explosive athlete and doesn’t go deep into the lane a ton these days but can at least consistently offer the threat of dribble penetration in pick-and-roll by playing with pace and exploring his craftiness to turn the corner around ball screens. Especially if he gets the chance to work off a live dribble, which he got to do a fair amount given Dimitrios Itoudis’ preference for two-point guard lineups.

Flexible enough to pass across his body to the opposite end of the floor off dribble penetration and toss wraparound passes in traffic, Teodosic assisted on 43.6% of CSKA’s scores in his 1,255 minutes last season – according to RealGM. His aggressive style of squeezing tough passes through tight windows came at the cost of him turning the ball over on almost a quarter of his possessions, though.

He’s declining from an athletic-standpoint and doesn’t get all the way to the basket a lot nowadays, lacking the lift to finish against length. But his dexterity, or perhaps simply his inclination, for drawing contact improved a lot lately. After averaging just 3.6 free throws per 40 minutes from 2013 to 2015, Teodosic averaged 5.8 foul shots per 40 minutes over the last two seasons.

The vast majority of his scoring still comes out of his jump-shooting, though. The owner of a quick trigger, he has a diverse arsenal of pull-up jumpers – able to hang dribble into his shot, stop-and-pop in a pinch, crossover into step-backs over average-sized point guards. But it’s questionable how much of that can consistently translate against longer defenders in the NBA, given his low release.

Teodosic can also step into uncontested pull-up three-pointers to make sure the opponent consistently overplays him at the point of attack; going over screens or even hedging-and-recovering, which is a doomed strategy against someone with his court vision spotting weak-side breakdowns. But it’s questionable how much of that can translate to the further out three-point line.

His catch-and-shoot stroke is expected to be fine, though. Teodosic has proven himself an excellent open shot shooter and should offer his potential NBA team the same flexibility he did CSKA, and Olympiacos before that, in terms of sharing the floor with another ball-handler, nailing 39.8% of his 1,725 three-point shots over the last six seasons. He’s even able to shoot on the move some, coming off pindown screens and operating as the back-screener on Spain pick-and-rolls a fair amount.


Teodosic is a very poor defender at the point of attack. He consistently fails to bend his knees to get down in a stance, lacks the lateral quickness to stay in front of his man in isolation and rarely puts in enough effort to navigate over ball-screens then track his man back with urgency in order not to compromise the integrity of the scheme. Given his general size, he should be able to act as a threat to get into his man’s air space and bother shot attempts but that doesn’t materialize often.

As a weak-side defender, Teodosic is committed to executing the scheme. He does sprint to run shooters off the three-point line, positions himself well to try guarding two players when CSKA packs the strong-side and proved himself attentive to his rotation responsibilities crowding the area near the basket when he was called upon to act as the last line of defense.

Teodosic lacks the athletic ability to make a real impact, though. Opponents often have a clean straight-line path to the lane when he closes out to them, he doesn’t have the lift or the length to act as a deterrent around the rim and generally doesn’t play with the sort of energy that results in events that finish possessions. His contributions through steals, blocks and defensive rebounds are marginal.

CSKA allowed 110.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor last season, which was his worst defensive rating in six years with the team.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

3D Point Guard, Pure Shooter

Malik Monk Scouting Report


After that remarkable first month-and-a-half of the season that I profiled in December, Malik Monk came down to Earth a little bit the rest of the way but nothing happened to dissuade most people from the notion that he is the most potent scorer in this draft class – currently ranked sixth in Draft Express’ top 100.

A sick shot maker who proved himself a valuable chess piece that can be moved all over the floor to stress the defense, Monk averaged 24.8 points per 40 minutes on a .543 effective field goal percentage, while 79.6% of his attempts were taken away from the basket. Able to profit of the space he created with his presence, Kentucky averaged 118.3 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.

Viewed as a potential lead ball handler in high school, Monk didn’t have many opportunities to run half-court offense in Lexington. Even when De’Aaron Fox was out of the game, Isaiah Briscoe was the one responsible for bringing the ball up and triggering their sets at the point of attack.

Maybe there is more to Monk’s shot creation potential than he showed at Kentucky. Devin Booker and Jamal Murray are two recent examples of off guards who didn’t have enough chances to showcase their off dribble skills there. But in instances where he found himself in need of penetrating against a set defense, Monk didn’t impress a whole lot.

His defense was at best a mixed bag. At no point he flashed any ability to be an impact player on that end of the court and his awareness away from the ball is suspect but Monk did show some promise defending smaller players in the pick-and-roll when he got help from his big man, which was meaningful.

Because of his below average physical profile for a wing (six-foot-three height, 197-pound frame, six-foot-six wingspan), Monk’s future in the pros very well could be as a 3&D point guard who supplements ball-dominant wings by guarding opposing point guards and spacing the floor on offense when those guys run offense.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Pure Shooter

Luke Kennard Scouting Report


Luke Kennard started the season projected as a 2018 draft prospect on Draft Express and was first ranked in this year’s class in February, rated a late first rounder. Four months later, the six-foot-six sharpshooter is currently ranked 13th on the website’s top 100 and is generally expected to be picked in the lottery.

It’s been quite a rise for Kennard, who didn’t impress a whole lot in his freshman season but showed substantial improvement from the get-go as a sophomore. Duke dealt with a number of injuries earlier in the year and it was Kennard’s breakout as a college basketball star that kept the boat afloat through the non-conference part of Duke’s schedule.

But even as the highly touted Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles III were inserted into the mix and Grayson Allen eventually stabilized towards the latter part of the season, Kennard sustained his elite-level production, despite the ever growing competition for shots on a star-studded team.

He led Duke in scoring, averaging 22 points per 40 minutes on a .630 true shooting percentage despite the fact 81.6% of his live ball attempts were taken away from the basket, anchoring an offense that ranked sixth in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Yet, Kennard has a really long path to stardom at the pro level. He’s not a special athlete, struggles to make an impact on defense and has not shown dexterity for creating shots against a set defense. Without some unforeseen development in athletic ability or creativity, he will need to translate his elite-level shot making or perhaps even improve on it in the pros to justify how high he’ll be drafted.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)