Monday, June 20, 2011

Donatas Motiejunas - 2011 International Draft Prospect Scouting Report Scouting Report

Donatas Motiejunas
6-11 PF/C
Benetton Treviso
20 Years Old

More international prospect scouting reports:
Jonas Valanciunas | Bismack Biyombo | Jan Vesely | Nikola Mirotic

Donatas Motiejunas chose to enter his name in this year's draft after a successful season in Italy. The big Lithuanian lefty is an inside-out threat who plays a big role on Benetton Treviso as its second scoring option.

Treviso finished fifth in regular-season Serie A (Italian League) play and recently lost in the semis to eventual champ, Montepaschi Siena. (Serie A is probably the second-best domestic league in Europe after the ACB in Spain).

In 37 games in Serie A, Donatas averaged 13 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1 apg, 2 TOpg & 53% FG in 26 mins/game. In 18 Eurocup games, he put up 10 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2 TOpg & 40% FG. in 26 mpg.

Donatas appears slotted into the 15-25 range of the first round currently, which seems about right. He's fallen on some draft boards over the course of the season because there have been some questions about his desire. Though he doesn't have the activity level of Vesely or Valanciunas, not sure I would categorize his game as passive. He goes hard to the offensive glass, gives effort on the defensive end and doesn't mind working down low.

Solid athlete for his size, but not in Vesely's league and doesn't seem to have the length of Valanciunas. Runs the floor fairly well, but does not have the lift of Vesely or Valanciunas. I'd have to imagine Donatas weighs more than his listed 222 lbs. He definitely looks bigger than he did in '09-'10.

Projects to be a tough matchup because of his face-up ability. Barely gets off the ground on his jumper, but his touch is pure. And opposing bigs will have to follow him out to the 3pt. arc--44% on 3PA in Serie A. For some reason, Donatas shot only 4-for-28 on 3PA in Eurocup action, but that seems to be an anomaly. A proven pick/pop commodity, who will come in handy in the pick/roll-heavy NBA.

Not just another Euro big who prefers the perimeter, Motiejunas spent plenty of time with his back to the basket as Treviso's main low post threat. Possesses a varied post game thanks to great footwork, solid ball skills and fakes. Clearly has a better low-post game than Valanciunas right now and is one of the top post scorers in this draft.

Is capable of making moves over both shoulders, but would say he is smoother going over his right. Can finish shots around the rim with both hands. Likes to attempt hooks with both hands--his lefty hook is much smoother. Will sometimes unleash a sweeping righty hook with varied results. His touch on his post attempts can be a little dodgy.

Very dangerous with spins and drop-steps. Does a great job setting up his moves with shoulder fakes with the dribble then spinning opposite into hooks or lay-ins. And he can do this over both shoulders.

His passing out of the post is strong. He quickly gets the ball to the open man and can make passes off the dribble. Like Vesely, uses re-posts wisely.

Not quite as deadly of a finisher as Jonas, but not bad around the rim. Does not really shy away from contact, he just doesn't play through it well.

His ball-handling skills are adequate for a big and when he puts the ball on the deck, it's usually going to his left. Rarely showed the ability to pull-up off the dribble.

His overall rebounding numbers are not great for a 7-footer, but he does hit the offensive glass fairly well. Adept at put-backs and a tip-in threat like Valanciunas. His turnover and foul rates are a little high. Does get to free throw line at a solid rate--4.6 FTA per in Italy--and he made them at a 72% clip.

Somewhat surprisingly, Motiejunas guarded the post better than I initially realized. Uses a quality balanced stance and clean footwork to move well with his man. On his defensive post possessions held his opponent to 32% shooting and forced a TO nearly one-fourth of the time (according to Synergy).

Held his ground better than his countryman Valanciunas. Kind of strange since Valanciunas was recently listed at 245 lbs. This might have to do with Donatas having better feet and balance in his positioning. Though, Motiejunas does not alter shots like Valanciunas does as a help defender.

He was equally stout guarding out on the perimeter. Did a commendable job defending in iso situations--held opponent to 31% shooting on iso possessions (according to Synergy). He doesn't have great natural agility, he makes up for it with good footwork and anticipation. Does not show hard on pick/roll, but will challenge shooters most of the time.

Even with these positive assessments of his defense, not sure how well he's going to hold up defending NBAers. Imagine he will struggle some, but at least, it does not seem he will be a major defensive liability.

Not positive which frontcourt position is his ideal spot. I guess right now PF makes more sense because of his lack of bulk. But not sure he can keep up athletically with some NBA 4-men.

His multi-skilled arsenal should assure he gets picked in the first round. If he wants to establish himself as a starter in the league, he needs to improve his defensive rebounding and continue to add weight.

More international prospect scouting reports:
Jonas Valanciunas | Bismack Biyombo | Jan Vesely | Nikola Mirotic


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