Draft Tourney Group C: Williams, Brown, Beauchamp, Jovic
Vote to decide who moves on to the final round
Results will be updated at the master index for the 2022 Dub Nation HQ Draft Tournament.
Your task is to select ONE of the four to move on to the final round. There is no option to “select no one” or “trade the pick” because OF COURSE everyone prefers a great trade and OF COURSE every prospect this low in the draft will be flawed. We’ve moved beyond that.
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Here is my absurdly oversimplified summary, followed by some film and longer scouting reports.
Leader, shot creator and passing wizard against a weak schedule, and his 3P% looked good for just one year, but he dazzled at the NBA Combine
Stupendous dunker and strong defender, but so shy at shooting that scouts are pressed to project; willing but erratic passer and off-ball player
Good at defense, off-ball play and most other basketball things except shooting; a 22-year-old in the G-League.
Tall, smooth big who plays like a guard, for all the good and bad implications. Inefficient player in a minor pro league, but his 19 yo age lets people dream.
Longer Scouting Reports
FORWARD Santa Clara
HEIGHT 6'6"WEIGHT 235
AGE 21.2YEAR Junior
Late bloomer who is just beginning to realize his two-way talents.
TJ Warren, OG Anunoby
Feel for the Game
Mature playmaker who stays under control at all times. Selfless passer who can seamlessly pass off the dribble using either hand. On the break, he makes tremendous outlets.
Good ball handler who has improved each year in college. Granted he played at a mid-major, but his height, feel, and vision are translatable at any level. He can facilitate pick-and-rolls and handoffs, or just keep the ball moving when he isn’t involved in an action.
He made 44.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s as a junior and looked comfortable shooting in every way imaginable—off screens, handoffs, relocations, you name it. Though he didn’t shoot a high percentage in prior seasons, he always had good numbers from the line and displayed soft touch on floaters.
Talented off-the-dribble scorer who is comfortable dribbling into midrange jumpers, runners, or even 3s. At a minimum, he looks like a player who can run secondary actions and attack closeouts and mismatches.
Does all the things a role player should do, including being a headsy cutter who runs the floor hard in transition.
High-effort defender who, despite a lack of quickness, always stays active and engaged. He has a never-give-up attitude.
Unless he has space to launch, he’s a below-the-rim finisher without much burst off the dribble, so his shot creation could be neutralized. He didn’t pop until his junior season even in the WCC, so there is some risk attached.
Gets a bit loose with his left hand, leading to sloppy drives to the rim.
Sluggish moving laterally on defense, which doesn’t bode well early in his career unless he gets significantly quicker during pre-draft training or in his team’s strength and conditioning program.
Why He’ll Succeed
Strong driver and finisher with a low center of gravity and great balance.
One of the most instinctual and creative passers in this class, specifically off the bounce. Thrives in creating and exploiting small gaps off picks. Downhill creator.
Solid shooter, if not as consistent as you’d like for his entire career. Good FT shooter all three years at Santa Clara.
Exceptional length and broad shoulders make Jalen at least a competent defensive player. Good instincts in general.
Just has that ability to score and create for himself. Finds ways to put the ball in the basket off cuts, OREBs, on broken plays, etc.
Why He’ll Fail
Mediocre run/jump power athlete. Can be slow footed and deliberate.
Needs the ball in his hands a lot to really be effective at this stage.
Same red flags as any upperclassman who suddenly becomes a good shooter.
NBA Comp: Walt Williams/Shake Milton
Williams looked good in all regards in Chicago, as he measured 6’5.75″ with a monster 7’2.25″ wingspan and excellent athletic testing including a tie for the 2nd best standing vertical.
He was also one of the standouts of the scrimmages, where in two games he averaged 24 mins, 15 pts, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, and rarely missed shooting 9/12 2P, 3/4 3P, 3/3 FT.
Williams fits a nice offensive mold as he was a high volume creator for Santa Clara, regularly creating his own shooting at the rim with an excellent 2:1 assist:TOV ratio as a junior who turned 21 shortly after the season. He is a capable shooter making 39.6% 3P 80.9% FT (35.2% 3P 78.5% FT career), although his 3PA volume is slightly underwhelming with 5.2 attempts per 100 possessions.
The main hitch in his profile is that he rebounds like a small guard and does not make the defensive impact that he is physically capable of making.
The variance in his NBA success hinges on how well his 3 point shot develops and how well he defends. He has the physical tools to be a solid defensive player, but his performance thus far leaves a fair amount of downside on that end.
But if those points go reasonably well for him, it is easy to see him as a quality piece that fits in almost any NBA lineup. He was mocked at #43 on ESPN before the combine, and it would not be surprising to see him rise into round 1 based on his showing, as he seems like a reasonable selection in the 20’s.
There has been some chatter that he belongs in the lottery, which would be excessive.
#18 Pick. Rival teams expect the Bulls to explore trade options with this pick, preferably in search of veteran help. If Chicago keeps it, this is an opportunity to add a more experienced college player who can feasibly deepen the bench next season. Williams’s stock has skyrocketed over the past month, and he looks to be on pretty firm footing in the first round. As a well-rounded perimeter player with excellent measurables and the skills to play several positions, he’s easy to envision fitting in pretty much anywhere. This is probably the high end of Williams’s range, but he’s moved the needle in the right direction and would be a nice fit here.
#23. Scouts I talked to have pretty openly admitted Williams was underscouted during the season, a classic Bad Geography Guy in the far-flung West Coast Conference. Even if scouts happened to be in the Bay Area, chances are they weren’t driving the extra hour to Santa Clara when so much other scoutable action was at hand. Now that teams are doing their film work, he’s a guy everyone is doubling back to watch.
Williams was one of the best players in a vastly improved WCC this season, a huge, solidly built point guard at 6-6 who is likely to play the wing at the next level. Williams offers a plus secondary ballhandler who can run the offense in a pinch, and if you buy his shooting development (39.6 percent from 3 this year and 80.9 percent from the line), that’s a very helpful weakside offensive player.
Defensively, Williams would likely benefit from a move to the wing. He has size and mostly opted to stay solid against opposing point guards, but he wasn’t capable of pressuring smaller players into mistakes and mostly opted for low-risk containment strategies. He can be a little stiff, and even WCC guards weren’t afraid of taking him on; he might do better sizing up rather than down, as he seemed more comfortable getting into the body of bigger players closer to the rim.
Williams also isn’t a great athlete, so teams would be buying more on size, skill and feel. But as noted above, he had the moves to fake top prospects like Holmgren out of their shoes and is rapidly losing his “sleeper” status as the league does its homework on him.
College Head Coach 2 (his team played Santa Clara): Really good at the pick-and-roll. Able to work the lead lob play if you step up on him. If you go under, he can step up and make the shot. We had to change the way we played screen/roll two or three times in the game, he was so effective at it. High basketball IQ. When he came in as a freshman, he would always guard the other team’s best perimeter player. And that really impressed me.
Compared himself to: The Scottie Barnes point-forward mold. Why: “Any point forward in the league. Two-way players. Players like Scottie Barnes and Kawhi Leonard. I can be one of the best two-way players so that’s what I see myself as.”
Grant Williams, Kenrich Williams
HEIGHT 6'6.25"WEIGHT 201
AGE 19.1YEAR Freshman
High-flier who finishes everything above the rim, though he needs to progress as a shooter.
Outstanding athlete with a great sense for how to get open. It helps that he’s a leaper who explodes even in traffic and possesses expert body control. While handling the ball, he does a nice job of using angles to generate space. He should ideally be plugged into a Bruce Brown or Matisse Thybulle–like role that involves screening and cutting.
Projectable shooter. He makes 37 percent of his 3s and 70 percent of his free throws, while showing soft touch near the basket on floaters and close pull-ups.
Displays good passing instincts, especially with some of the more complicated cross-court kickouts he’s able to put on target. Sometimes he will deliver the ball a beat late, but the intentions to make the right play are there.
Brown is versatile on defense when he’s fully engaged mentally. He has had multiple lockdown moments against guards, enveloping them with his length while mirroring their every movement. He can be an aggressive defender, fighting through picks and pressuring opponents.
Inconsistent defender. Too often he doesn’t even get in a stance. Off the ball, he’s been back cut on too many occasions.
He’s only a theoretical shooter at this point. He makes a good percentage of his 3s but it’s on a low volume and he typically is looking to drive or pass. Without a reliable jump shot, teams would have to worry about him only as a slasher and cutter, limiting his upside.
On multiple occasions, defenses have put their center on him because of his reluctance to shoot. NBA teams will do the same.
Disappears at times because of his unproven jump shot and lack of skills as a lead playmaker. He’ll be best suited sharing the court with a primary ball handler that would allow him to feast on secondary matchups rather than have to worry about creation.
Brown is a nuclear athlete with immense defensive versatility who showcased impressive feel on the offensive end to emerge as a potential lottery pick. A 6’8, 205-pound forward with a 6’10 wingspan, Brown is a jaw-dropping leaper with great speed who is still learning how to leverage his physical gifts into two-way production. Brown’s calling card will be his defense. He’s excellent guarding at the perimeter for a player his size, showing the ability to stick with guards and quickly turn defense into offense by getting into the passing lanes. He’s also big enough to hold up defensively in the paint on switches. On offense, Brown impacts the game with his passing, transition scoring, offensive rebounding, and cutting. He’s a blur in the open floor who finished in the 83rd percentile as a transition scorer, per Synergy Sports. The hole is Brown’s game is as a shooter. He hit 34.1 percent of his threes this year on low volume, but is often reluctant to fire from the outside. Brown was a super-efficient scorer as a freshman (63 percent true shooting) mostly thanks to his above-the-rim finishing around the basket, but he’ll need to prove he can space the floor to provide peak value in the NBA.
Why He’ll Succeed
Explosive vertical athlete with great timing as a lob threat. High level garbage guy with great energy on the glass.
Seems to be chiefly concerned with dunking the ball into the core of the Earth on most plays. Should be an exciting transition player.
A very capable and intelligent off ball passer and playmaker. Able to help create offense for others without being a significant threat as a floor spacer.
Aggressive defender with very good hands on defense.
Why He’ll Fail
Mostly hopeless as a shooter. Simply does not seem to understand or care about creating offense for himself. Will be a Derrick Jones style wiry roll threat to start his career.
Slightly too small to be a fulltime 5, which is where his switching and athleticism would play best. Sort of stuck between three positions defensively.
The idea is that he becomes a Miles Bridges sort in time, but he’s far behind even Freshman Miles Bridges skillwise, though as I said the passing is intriguing.
NBA Comp: Aaron Gordon (but not in a good way)
Kendall Brown is a live-wire athlete who has impressive court awareness and demonstrated an improving jump-shot at the Combine to help his effectiveness in half court offense. Immediately, Brown should be an above average on ball defender and with time the youngster should border on elite level defense in the NBA where he will switch seamlessly. Brown features an impressive maturity and unselfishness/ playing his role to a tee at Baylor where he did not shoot a lot but was a valuable piece to the offense due to phenomenal cutting instincts and a knack for delivering on time passes. his incessant energy and big-time finishing ability made him a fast break weapon and someone who will be more than capable at attacking closeouts should become a good NBA 3 point shooter.
Strengths: * Extremely explosive and twitchy athlete who converts the athleticism into productive plays on both ends of the floor. * Active, aware and timely cutter. * Has played without the ball and been productive having not played the scorer role so he will assimilate nicely to NBA role. * Switchable defender who projects to guard 2-4 very well and is one of very few who has a shot to guard 1-5. * Flies up and down the floor. Will thrive on an uptempo team. * Shot the lights out at the combine in the Star Drill (18/25). * Willing and very adept passer.
Concerns: * Hesitancy to fire away on his shot will need to be overcome to be a threat on the perimeter in the NBA. * Must become a threat from the intermediate range. * Handle is loose but does not handle often so that will help him create space when attacking. * Can improve FT shooting.
Kendall Brown seems like the player that if his offense never comes around, at the very least, he can use his defensive prowess to be an effective NBA player for years. I believe his offense will come around if he can shoot close to league average from 3 and think he will. It's hard to shoot well as a freshman in high level college hoops, and he still made a major impact on a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Brown will have to improve his touch and shooting to be a 2 way threat but no one batted an eye when Isaac Okoro was selected 5th on the heels of a solid but unspectacular freshman year where he shot poorly from 3. Brown to me is reminiscent of Okoro, but has better upside as a passer and as a shooter and he is taller and thus probably more able to switch onto taller wings and forwards. A comparison I believe fits Brown is Josh Green, who is early in his career or Corey Brewer. Brewer had a 13 year NBA career and I think Brown can be better than Brewer fairly easily should his jumper come around sooner rather than later.
College Head Coach 1 (his team played Baylor): Not as skilled (as Sochan), but he’s like a much better athlete. He’s like a freak. I would imagine his testing numbers are in the higher end of all the picks that are available. Doesn’t have a defined skill. He’s a good kid. He was in the USA trials last summer as well with Jabari (Smith). Thought he has a chance immediately to impact a game defensively. He can switch, he’s strong. But offensively, I wonder where he fits right now. He gives me a feel of like a Zhaire Smith. Picked high (16th in 2018). He does some stuff. Can jump and touch damn near the top of the square. But how does it translate into an actual game, offensively? You know who was like him coming out of college? Zach LaVine. I don’t know if he’s that, but he’s not far away athletically. Zach’s learned how to play, and that’s the reason it’s worked out a little better in Chicago. But (Brown’s) athleticism jumps off the page.
Brown may not provide enough offensively to be a starting-caliber player, but his odds of having a legit career seem pretty high because he’s 6-8, can pass and run and guard multiple positions. Guys like that fit in somewhere unless they’re complete disasters from the perimeter. In a league where 6-8 forwards who don’t suck become central pieces of the playoff rotation, he will have value.
Brown certainly gives some concern on offense. He shot 34.3 percent from 3 on extremely low volume and 67.3 percent from the line in his one season at Baylor — but his other indicator stats are halfway decent. He shot 63.8 percent inside the arc, scored at a respectable clip and showed halfway decent feel — his mistakes were often trying passes that were just beyond his level, but his feel didn’t seem deficient. In transition, he was good.
Defensively, Brown doesn’t have super long arms but his height and leaping allow him to get great contests on pull-up jump shooters, plus he seems to have pretty good intuition for exactly how much room to give while still being in position to bother the shot. He had a good steal rate with anticipation off the ball, but against dribblers, he isn’t a guy who impacts the ball much; he tries more to stay solid and keep the ball in front, and does a good job of it. Fast guards with enough runway could beat him with straight-line speed, but you’ll live with that from a combo forward.
Finally, Brown is only 19 with a prototype body for an NBA forward, so we shouldn’t dismiss upside scenarios out of hand here. I feel like he’s getting a bit forgotten because he’s no longer a “hot” name, but it’s not crazy to think he could go in the late lottery.
Compared himself to: Mikal Bridges and Matisse Thybulle on defense; he told the Pacers that he sees Paul George as his potential on offense.
Kelly Oubre Jr., Matt Barnes
HEIGHT 6'5.25"WEIGHT 197
Physical wing with the ingredients to be a high-level role player, but he needs to improve as a shooter.
Excels playing off the ball. He knows how to utilize screens and handoffs as a slingshot to attack downhill.
With a quick first step and a good handle for his size, he’s a major threat attacking closeouts. He’s an explosive leaper, so when he has space to launch, he finishes above the rim.
He’s a smart, intelligent player who hustles and is always looking for chances to cut to the rim.
Played a lot of guard growing up, which is evident in his handle. He’s especially comfortable attacking in transition, often throwing long bounce passes to teammates sprinting past the defense.
Tone-setting defender who plays hard regardless of the score.
With a 7-foot-1 wingspan and great lateral quickness, he can swarm ball handlers. He has solid technique fighting through screens both on and off the ball. On a switch against a post player, he has the frame and length to absorb bumps and contest. Not to mention he’s an excellent rebounder.
He needs to improve as a 3-point shooter to become a rotation regular in the NBA. His mechanics look smooth and he shot well from the line in high school, but his success has not translated to behind the arc.
It was a long and winding road for Beauchamp to get to this point, playing at four different high schools and one community college before going to the G League.
Beauchamp is a powerful wing who showed how valuable his combination of athleticism, size, and motor can be during his stint with the G League Ignite. At 6’6, 200 pounds with a reported 7-foot wingspan, Beauchamp showed impressive defensive versatility and opportunistic scoring instincts all season. Defense should be his calling card early in his career. Beauchamp has quick feet and active hands with the length to guard across the positional spectrum. On offense, Beauchamp thrived attacking the rim in all settings, with transition forays, cuts, and straight line drives serving as the foundation of his scoring. While he only shot 24 percent on threes, he did make 68 percent of his twos. Even without NBA-ready floor spacing ability, Beauchamp has enough of a two-way skill set to provide nice value at this point in the first round.
Why He’ll Succeed
Very competent defender up and down the lineup. Reasonably high stock rates for an inexperienced player competing against fringe NBA contributors. Plays with a wiry strength belied by his thin frame.
Overall a good athlete, very good touch in the paint. Should profile very well as an off-ball cutter and garbage scorer.
Confident ball handler with decent passing chops. Not a particularly good shooter right now but not hopelessly awful. Plays within himself and generally takes decent shots.
Just a very well-rounded prospect overall. Can handle, slash, get to the line and compete defensively. Should be a very attractive player to playoff teams in the teens through mid-20s who are looking for immediate contributors.
Why He’ll Fail
He’ll be 22 years old by the time the 2022-23 season starts, which doesn’t make further improvements impossible, but does cap his growth some, especially given his strange path to the NBA.
Will probably never be a lead scoring type and will likely spend his entire NBA career as a third or fourth option. This doesn’t really hurt his projection but does slot him below some of the more dynamic scoring types from 14-25 or so.
NBA Comp: Matt Barnes
Pick #24. While Milwaukee hasn’t used a first-round pick for itself since 2018, the Bucks have their key players under contract next season and have a good opportunity to add some youth to the roster here. Beauchamp’s athleticism and length would be a good addition off the bench, and he’d be walking into a stable situation where he won’t be asked to overstretch himself as a scorer. He has prototypical size and length on the wing, and if he can develop into a consistent shooter, there’s a reasonable chance he becomes a nice 3-and-D rotation player. The fact Beauchamp turns 22 this year and is still somewhat raw and inexperienced for his age has been a holdup for some scouts, but he’s a valid developmental bet in the 20s.
Western Conference Executive 3: Straight wing. We have him in the early 20s, with the Kendall Browns, Peyton Watsons.
G League Coach (his team played Ignite): Early in the year, he was the guy that their staff was highest about. Great work ethic. Probably the best athlete (on the team) Certainly has the length and the dimensions to be a really good defender. As the year went on … you started to see a little, the word ‘quit’ might be hard, but in horse racing terms, he spit the bit a little bit. He didn’t want to compete. Which surprised me. In talking to (the Ignite staff) earlier, they were like, this guy’s got the goods. He’s athletic, has the length, gets in the gym earlier than everybody else, works his butt off. But at the end of the year, he pulled up a little bit. He didn’t show the toughness and the grit that they saw (earlier). … I lean toward the idea that, physically, he just got worn out. Because it’s a long year for these guys, coming from high school into a professional setting. Even though they play somewhat of an abbreviated schedule, it’s still a grind. You’re playing against men for the first time in your life.
He bounced around from Yakima, junior college, bounced around a little in high school. I think someone will take a chance on him in the 20s. The fact that he’s so raw, people will look at him say ‘let’s take a chance on him.’ Because you get to that point in the draft, and there’s nobody that’s an immediate plug and play guy, you may go ‘hey, let’s take this kid, he’s got potential.’ And a nice kid by all reports. (The rebounds) show me there’s a level of toughness there.
Beauchamp has been the recipient of much first-round chatter, which I think is going a bit overboard for what projects to be an energy guy. Beauchamp shot 27.3 percent from 3 and 71.8 percent from the line while mostly playing as an undersized four and was also the same age as most of the sophomores in this draft. It’s not like he destroyed the G League either, registering a 14.7 PER in 24 games.
Beauchamp has a 7-foot wingspan that he can use to stronger effect defensively and on the glass, and that’s why he may be able to get away with playing four in the pros. More skill development could eventually allow him to play three, which is where he would add the most value if he can pull it off.
FORWARD Mega Basket
Danilo Gallinari, NOT Nikola Jokic
HEIGHT 6'9.5"WEIGHT 227
Late bloomer who grew up playing guard, and it shows in his game as a talented playmaker with size who’s still learning how to thrive near the rim.
At his best with the ball in his hands in the open court or in the pick-and-roll. He’s capable of getting into his shot from any area of the floor. He doesn’t force it, though. Jovic has good shot selection and has the vision as a passer to make his teammates better.
Shot creation in the open floor is his best skill. He is able to change his pace and use hesitations while taking long strides toward the basket. He has a good handle and smooth footwork, which allows him to keep his dribble alive while deciding whether to score or facilitate.
With the ability to run the pick-and-roll and set solid screens at 6-foot-10, he could create major matchup advantages. Against a switch, he has the size advantage down low if he develops a post game. Against a blitz, he can pass as the ball handler or make plays for himself off the bounce. Against drop coverage, he has displayed the ability to shoot off the dribble if given space. Like many young players, he needs to improve his efficiency, but the building blocks are there.
Intelligent off-ball player on offense who has great instincts for cutting into the paint. Plus he has good hands.
Theoretically a versatile defender if he’s able to improve his sloppy fundamentals and get quicker laterally. Right now, he is at his best defending in help situations at the rim. Even if he’s not a shot blocker, his pure size still makes him more of a deterrent than smaller players in the same position.
He’s an inefficient offensive player right now, including from three-point range. He struggles finishing near the rim. He lacks bounce in the paint, and though he has size he doesn’t always know how to use it. He’s not particularly physical, and he has no post game to speak of.
Subpar defensive player who suffers through stretches of low intensity. He’s a bit sluggish, which limits him as a switch defender. And he lacks beef on his body, so battling against NBA centers is a no-go.
Jovic looked like a potential lottery pick in his 17 year old small sample, as he was efficient in 99 Adriatic League minutes and had a strong FIBA u19 performance where he averaged 31 mins, 18.1 pts, 8.3 rebs 2.9 asts, 1.9 tovs 56.6% TS over 7 games.
But unfortunately he has fallen completely flat as an 18 year old playing a larger sample in the Adriatic League. In 28.5 minutes he had posted 12 pts, 4.8 rebs, 3.6 assists, 3.1 turnovers, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks in 29 games across all competition, which includes two u18 games.
Collectively this amounts to a meager 11.9 PER which is not inspiring. He is unsurprisingly like an off brand version of Nikola Jokic who was only 4 months older when he posted 21.2 Adriatic PER. So it is rather amusing that the real thing went in round 2 while the cheap knockoff is slated to go in round 1.
But on the bright side, the most obvious part of that failure was underrating the Joker. And what makes Jovic interesting is that he had a higher assist rate (22.5% vs 18.1% if you include Joker’s Serbian sample) and a slightly better shooting signal, making 31.5% 3P, 5 3PA/G, 71.8% FT vs 31.5% 3P, 2.9 3PA/G, 65.6% FT.
Granted, he is unlikely to have the outlier shooting development of the real Joker, but height, passing, and shooting can go far in tandem so it is reasonable to consider him a serious prospect.
But he still is not as big as Joker, as he is 1″ shorter with 2″ less length, and plays drastically smaller on the court as he gets crushed in all of rebounds (10% vs 15.5%) steals (1.3% vs 1.9%) and blocks (1.6% vs 3.4%). He is not a true center, and likely lacks the footspeed to guard anybody on the perimeter, which is enigmatic for his defensive projection.
Offensively his main concern is that he is a disaster in terms of efficiency, as he is highly turnover prone and struggles to score inside the arc. He posted 96 ORtg on 23.8 usage compared to Jokic 119 ORtg on 20.2 usg– he completely gets destroyed in terms of efficiency.
Jovic has some shades of Jokic with his passing, shooting, and height, except he is smaller with no clear defensive role in the NBA and overall bad on offense instead of good.
It’s tough to come up with a real comparison for Jovic. We could try to comp him to a different Nikola with Mirotic, but Mirotic is much better everywhere outside of passing never being a strength.
Boris Diaw has some similarities, but was more agile and always had higher steal rates. Danilo Gallinari was a much better shooter with a much better steal rate pre-draft.
There really isn’t a clear comparison to make for Jovic. You are basically just hoping that his true talent is closer to his smaller sample last year plus his FIBA performance this past summer than this year, and that he learns to shoot and his passing gravity helps overcome his myriad flaws.
Ultimately he is in a similar boat to Dieng where he has outs to hit, but overall is a bland and boring prospect and is more of a round 2 flier than somebody worth a late 1st.
Jovic is a 6’10 Serbian forward who is the latest potential first round pick for Mega Basket, the same club that once produced Nikola Jokic. Jovic stamped himself as a likely first rounder with an impressive showing in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup, where he averaged 18.1 points per game and hit 36.4 percent of his threes. Jovic is a dynamic offensive prospect thanks to his combination of size, shooting, and creativity. Jovic’s flash plays are incredibly enticing, with step-backs and sidesteps from three-point range acting as a regular part of his arsenal. He’s also shown some intriguing passing chops when he puts the ball on the floor, which makes him more dangerous than your typical spot-up shooter. The big question for Jovic is the defense. He can be an eyesore on that end getting burned by quicker players and struggling to get over screens. There’s no denying his offensive talent at 6’10, and if a team believes they can get him out of the liability zone defensively, he’s a nice upside gamble at this point in the first round.
Why He’ll Succeed
Great scoring talent for a 6’10’’ 18 year old forward. Very polished moves in isolation and extremely confident. Has obviously been preparing himself to play in the NBA and has more NBA ready moves than most of his peer group.
Legit 6’10’’ makes him a decent enough rebounder even without dominant physical abilities.
Good ball handler for his size, can attack in transition well. Keeps his head up and makes good hit ahead passes.
Good passer overall, most coaches seem content with him having the ball in his hands, which again is rare for his size and age.
Why He’ll Fail
Good lateral athlete but lacking as a vertical threat. Can’t really play big man defense despite solid fundamentals overall. In other words, he can’t jump while backpedaling, always the most important skill for any drop defender in this league.
Will get bullied on the glass for the first few years of his NBA career.
May struggle in an off-ball role at first.
Inconsistent, as most 18 year olds are.
NBA Comp: Danilo Gallinari/Kyle Kuzma
Pick #20. San Antonio’s roster is currently guard-heavy, with Dejounte Murray emerging as a star and the organization heavily invested in 19-year-old Josh Primo, so the frontcourt should be an area of emphasis in this draft. Keep in mind that it’s unlikely the Spurs use all their picks, with three first-rounders and four in the top 40. Jovic turns 19 this week and holds first-round appeal as a jumbo forward with perimeter skills, plus passing vision and a sweet jumper. He’s also a below-average athlete and likely to be a defensive liability, which may create issues in terms of fit, but the size-skill combination is often worth a gamble and he’s got some potential as a creative player in the right situation. The sense I’ve gotten is that Jovic is hoping to come over to the NBA next season, so this won’t necessarily be a stash pick.
It seems like everyone might have gotten out over their skis here. Jović is a 19-year-old forward with perimeter skills and big man size at 6-10, all of which paints an alluring package. He just started shooting 3s this year and made 31.5 percent of them, plus 71.8 percent from the line. Not Steph Curry, exactly, but a nice building point.
The problem is that he played in a not-particularly-great league and … wasn’t good. I’d be hard-pressed to name a player who posted stats this underwhelming in the Adriatic League who became anything of note. Other players from this league who became significant pros (Dario Sarić, Jusuf Nurkić, Nikola Jokić, Bogdan Bogdanović, etc.) were among the better players in this league pretty much immediately, and the NBA of the early 2010s was at a higher level than it is right now.
That doesn’t necessarily exclude Jović from success — players progress at different rates and sometimes they emerge from unexpected corners — but it does make betting on it a much iffier proposition.
Western Conference Executive 2: He’s OK. In most drafts, he’s a late first. Maybe he sneaks into the late first, but this year’s class lacks high-end talent to begin with.
Eastern Conference Executive 2: Jović could evolve only (into) a nice role player.
Western Conference Executive 1: Young kids from the Balkans, they get in that Adriatic League, they get a lot of playing time. As you would expect for a European big man, he’s skilled. Not a great shooter now, but he’s good, and he’ll get better. He’s got passing skill. He’s got good feet and overall mobility. Another guy (where) strength and the defensive end will be a challenge early on. But you’ve got size, feel and someone who should end up being a pretty good shooter. So I think that takes him — this is a broad range — he goes in the first 20 picks somewhere. I’d be surprised to see him get to the second round.