Will Clyburn Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Will Clyburn is a 28-year-old[1] veteran who is said to want to sign with an NBA team this offseason after spending his five years as a pro accumulating 7,221minutes of experience in the German BBL, the Israeli BSL, the Turkish BSL, the VTB United League, the Eurochallenge, the Eurocup and the Euroleague[2].

Most recently, the six-foot-six versatile wing averaged 19 points per 40 minutes on 57.4% true shooting and compiled a 17.2 PER in 64 appearances for CSKA Moscow last season – as a key cog on the team that won the VTB United League and made the Euroleague Final Four.

The Detroit native had a multi-dimensional role within CSKA’s motion offense, having the chance to do a little bit of everything. Other than spacing the floor, he got plenty of chances to isolate out of ball reversals, post-up smaller matchups and run small-small pick-and-pops designed to get him downhill on straight line drives.

On the other end, the Iowa State alum looks the part and can do his job reasonably well in aspects related to movement but disappointed with his lack of physicality against power wings or bigger players and doesn’t leverage his athleticism to fly around creating events, though his rebounding was a saving grace.

OFFENSE

Clyburn took only 25.9% of his shots from three-point range last season but that’s still the most important part of his game.

He has an unorthodox release that looks like a catapult at times but the ball went in enough for him to effective as an open shot shooter this past year – nailing 40.8% of his three-point shots, though at a pace of just 3.5 such attempts per 40 minutes.

Clyburn gets little elevation off the ground but his release point leads to a high arcing shot, so he is able to shoot over on-ball contests and closeouts more often than not.

That was a dot outside the curve, though. The previous four years Clyburn hit just 29.3% of his 556 three-point shots.

As is, the majority of his value comes via his ability to create for himself off the dribble. He can grab-and-go off defensive rebounds to trigger offense or just take his man one-and-one in no-pass possessions.

Clyburn doesn’t have an explosive first step and his handle is pretty basic. But he is faster than you’d expected with the ball and has shown to be somewhat resourceful getting into the lane or creating separation.

Clyburn can pivot into a well coordinated spin move in a pinch and has shown some shiftiness unleashing between-the-legs crossovers to shift directions and shake his man off balance. He is also strong enough thanks to his 210-pound frame to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact.

Clyburn is a capable shot-maker on step-back pull-ups but does most of his damage getting all the way to the basket. Besides getting by his man in isolation, he can also do it via small-small pick-and-pops that open up driving lanes for him to get downhill and attack the last line of defense from a position of strength – earning 6.6 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

Clyburn can go up strong off two feet with some space to load up and play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts but is a rim-level finisher going up off the dribble. He can adjust his body in the air, has nice touch over-extending on finger-roll finishes with either hand and proved he is able to do it through contact.

Clyburn also has a righty floater to score over length from the in-between area, overall hitting 49.6% of his 405 two-point shots last season.

He can make a kick-out pass over the top in traffic but has rarely shown anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision on the move – assisting on just 11.3% of CSKA’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

Clyburn can also dribble his way into posting up smaller matchups from time-to-time. He is more often than not only looking for a basic right-handed hook, though, and has so-so feel against double teams as well.

DEFENSE

Clyburn hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but can move laterally reasonably well to stay in front of similarly-sized players and contest pull-ups as well as he can in isolation.

He struggled holding his ground against power wings in the post, though. Due to that lack of physicality and toughness, he is not a good option to pick up bigger players on switches regularly.

Clyburn is also not suited to chase shooters around the floor, as he doesn’t play with enough intensity in pursuit and can’t slide around picks cleanly. That inability to navigate screens also prevents him from being an option to cross-match or pick up smaller players on switches regularly.

He can be relied on to execute the scheme, as he is attentive enough to reverse switches on the fly, to his responsibilities coming off the weak-side to help crowd the area near the basket and can pick up the eventual shot block once in a blue moon – averaging 0.5 blocks per 40 minutes last season.

His instincts to leverage his length and athletic ability making plays in the passing lanes were fairly disappointing (1.1 steals per 40 minutes) but Clyburn did put in the effort pitching in on the glass, taking advantage of the excellent boxout work by Kyle Hines, Andrey Vorotsevich and Semen Antonov – collecting 20.5% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.


[1] DOB: 5/17/1990

[2] According to RealGM

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

Milos Teodosic Scouting Report

CONTEXT

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.

OFFENSE

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.

DEFENSE

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

Nenad Krstic Scouting Report

Much maligned Nenad Krstic remains one of the best scorers at the center position in all of Europe. Though he lost some space in CSKA Moscow due to the addition of Kyle Hines and the consistent performance of Sasha Kaun, the Serbian veteran still posted a highly productive age-30 season as far as scoring per shot and shooting percentages per shot location are concerned.

His top skills are as a post scorer and a midrange jump-shooter off drive-and-kicks. Krstic is able to set deep post position due to his seven-foot, 267-pound frame. He favors finishing over his right shoulder but continues to exhibit excellent footwork to neutralize his defenders and release his hook from a high point difficult for the average European center to block.

Krstic is an above average catch-and-shoot jump-shooter off dumpoffs at this point. He doesn’t elevate off the ground much, as players of his size usually don’t, but has a high release due to his height and a natural shooting stroke with decent speed. Had he come up in this Era, Krstic would have probably been encouraged to develop into a stretch five. He hit 41.7% of 120 two-point jump-shots in 521 Euroleague minutes and 40.2% of 77 midrange attempts in 559 VTB United league minutes.

He also remains a decent option finishing out of the pick-and-roll. Krstic is an average screener who doesn’t always make sure to draw contact but whose size forces defenders to put in the effort to navigate around him. He is no longer much of a target for lobs, unable to dive hard down the lane to play above the rim but can still catch the ball on the move due to his soft hands, has touch to finish at basket level and is able to score through contact. He shot 65.1% on 83 attempts at the rim in the Euroleague and 62.7% on 129 attempts in the lane in the VTB United league, aside from averaging 5.6 free throws per 28 minutes and hitting them at a 74.6% clip.

Krstic improved his assist rate in comparison to the previous two seasons but continues to be an average passer at best. He was below average on the glass, grabbing just 6% of CSKA’s misses when he was on the floor, which can be attributed to his decline in athleticism and because he shared a lot of minutes with Kyle Hines, a far more capable player of rebounding outside of his area at this point. His impact on CSKA’s offense was mixed; the team scored nine points per 100 possessions more without him on the court in the Euroleague but averaged 122.6 points per 100 possessions in the VTB United league with him in the lineup.

For a comprehensive look at the state of Krstic’s defense, here’s Rod Higgins at in-the-game.org.

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.

Milos Teodosic Scouting Report

Milos Teodosic is a gunner with great passing instincts. 58% of the Serbian’s 429 shots in 47 appearances in the Euroleague and the VTB United league were three-point attempts and he assisted on almost 31% of CSKA Moscow’s field goals while on the floor. Teodosic is an aggressive shooter and a very good one, hitting 39.4% of his 249 three-pointers and 39% of his 100 mid-range attempts in both leagues. He just barely elevates the ball a couple of inches over his head but releases it very quickly and with a very natural stroke, both off the catch and off the bounce. His confidence can lead to iffy shot selection, though.

Teodosic is not particularly fast turning the corner, especially when forced left, and doesn’t look to attack off the ball-screen much these days, rather preferring to look for teammates moving to open spots. He can see over smaller defenders thanks to his six-foot-five height and is quite aggressive with jump-passes. A risk taker and at times sloppy with his ball handling, Teodosic turned it over on almost 17% of CSKA’s possessions while on the floor. He posted the 10th highest turnover percentage in the Euroleague among point guards.

Of particularly great use attacking off curls, Teodosic has decent speed on straight line drives and uses his 210-pound frame to protect the ball in traffic but is mostly looking to pass out of dribble penetration. 47 of his 87 assists in the Euroleague were to scores at the rim. He took just 22 shots at the basket in 21 Euroleague appearances and 51 shots in the lane in 24 VTB United league appearances, aside from averaging fewer than 2.5 free throws per game. Teodosic doesn’t have the athleticism to play above the rim and had mixed results finishing within close range last season; 75% at the rim in the Euroleague but 39.2% in the lane in the VTB United league.

Overall, his passing and shooting positively impacted CSKA’s scoring. It averaged 3.6 points per 100 possessions more with Teodosic on the floor in the Euroleague, as it posted a higher assist rate and effective field percentage. CSKA scored 115.3 points per 100 possessions overall in the VTB United league but 117.5 with him in the lineup.

Teodosic does put in the effort in isolation defense; getting in his stance, displaying decent lateral quickness and overwhelming smaller opponents with his size advantage. But he is very poor fighting screens on the pick-and-roll, just crashing into the big and erasing himself out of the play. Towards the end of the season, Ettore Messina had Andrey Vorontsevich and Kyle Hines switching on Teodosic’s man to try neutralizing his deficiency. He was not active trying to manufacture turnovers, posting an average steal rate, but contributed on the glass, ranking in the top 15 in defensive rebounding rate among position peers in both leagues. He was still a minus on that end, though. CSKA allowed 4.7 points per 100 possessions fewer when he hit the bench in the Euroleague and it gave up 100.3 overall in the VTB United league but 104.9 with Teodosic on the floor.

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.

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.