Closer Look at Jonas Jerebko
Angelico Biella (Italian A League)
22 years old
This year's crop of int'l prospects is pretty thin, and after Ricky Rubio you will likely not see another int'l player taken until the very bottom of the 1st round. Sweden's Jonas Jerebko makes a strong case to be one of the handful of int'l players taken in the 1st round.
This post will take a more in-depth look at Jonas Jerebko, an athletic 6-9 small forward who just finished his '08-'09 season with Angelico Biella of the Italian League. Biella advanced to the Italian semis where they were bounced by emerging Euro power AJ Milano in four games. For the '08-'09 season, Jonas averaged 9 ppg on 50.7% shooting, 5.5 rpg & 1.2 spg in 25 mins. a game.
Got to see a fair amount of Jerebko on tape this season (especially vs. AJ Milano), and think the general consensus of him as late 1st round/early 2nd round material is pretty accurate.
Besides his nice physical tools, his greatest attribute might be his activity on both ends. Not quite the perpetual motion machines that Manu & Rudy are, but brings nice energy for a big 3-man.
Very strong rebounder for a natural small forward, and loves to crash the glass on the offensive end (averaged 2 off rpg) Also, cuts to the basket with purpose and runs the floor well, and will often finish with strong dunks.
Another aspect that makes him enticing to NBA front offices is his defensive acumen. Primarily matched up with former Temple standout David Hawkins in the semi-final series vs. AJ Milano. Did a very commendable job guarding the 6-3 Hawkins on the perimeter. Impressed with his lateral quickness on the defensive end, consistently changed direction pretty well. Never really got burned by the quicker Hawkins.
What holds Jerebko back from being a lottery prospect is his raw offensive skill set; offensive rebounding might be his best offensive skill.
Jonas' jumper is mediocre at best (shot 35% from 3pt.). Main issue is not getting his legs into his spot-up shot. His right elbow flails out a little too much which adds noise to the shot. Also, adds a subtle twist in the hips where his right foot lands out in front of his body on the follow-thru. This might have to do with him not getting his legs properly balanced underneath him. Though, have to say his shooting form is not terrible, and just needs some tweaks as opposed to being totally overhauled.
His ball-handling is very dicey, which makes his ability to create offensively basically non-existent. The few times he did try to go off the dribble, it mostly led to very awkward pull-up shots or unsightly off-balance runners.
In the Biella offense, Jerebko got most of his touches on spot-ups off of ball screens or iso action of the guards. As mentioned before, he does a solid job cutting to the basket and is an effective finisher.
Was a little surprised Jerebko was rarely called upon to post-up vs. AJ Milano, especially with David Hawkins guarding him so frequently. The few post-up opportunities he had were unimpressive.
It was kinda hard to get a read on his low box skills, though supposedly he was showing off some skills at the Euro Reebok Camp a few weeks back. You hope there are some post instincts because if not, you're wasting one of the distinct advantages of being a 6-9 small forward.
In summation, Jonas has the tools to carve out a niche as a reserve combo forward in the League. His combination of athleticism and activity helps him on the glass & on the defensive end. Exactly something NBA teams are looking for at the back end of the 1st round.