Mirza Teletovic Scouting Report
Caja Laboral (Spain)
Now that it looks like Mirza Teletovic is headed to Brooklyn, we wanted to take a deeper look at his game.
Mirza has been a top player in the Euroleague and ACB over the last few years. One of the best NBA free-agent (rights not held) targets in Europe for the last few years. He's a 6-9 power forward from Bosnia with good athleticism (good hops) and a solidly-built 240-lb. frame.
Played for Caja Laboral, one of the better teams in Europe, who finished third in the ACB regular season Has been Caja's main option the last two seasons ever since Tiago Splitter left for the Spurs. Mirza helped Caja to an improbable sweep of Barcelona in the 2010 ACB Finals.
In 10 Euroleague games this season, Mirza averaged 22 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1 bpg, 1.4 TOpg and 43.4% overall shooting in 34 minutes per game. His FG% is lowered because of high rate of 3PA--his eFG pct. is 52.7%. Didn't score the ball quite as well in ACB play where he put up 15.8 ppg in 30 mpg.
He shot 44% behind the arc in the EL, but only shot 34.5% on 3pt. attempts in ACB. But don't worry Nets fans, he's had plenty of other seasons where he shot around 40% on 3PA. Rest assured, this dude can drill it from deep.
He's one of the best scoring threats in Europe (led the EL first round in ppg). According to Synergy Sports Technology, he managed to produce .99 points per possession (PPP) on his offensive possessions this season, which is very good.
He's been advertised as a stretch-4, which isn't inaccurate, but just think that description undersells his total game.
He's much more than just a spot-up shooter who just plants himself behind the arc. He can hit shots coming off screens and quick dribble pull-ups in iso action. And he works out of the post, a lot.
Can square his defender up and create one to two-dribble pull-ups for himself. Actually prefers to drive the ball to his left. Though, he's solid pulling up going right as well. Good first step going left.
Can go hard with his dribble then stop, balance and rise swiftly going to his left. Uses a step-back move well when going to his left.
Very capable of hitting shots with defenders right in his face (kind of reminds you of Peja for that). Gets nice elevation on his jumper, and also, has subtle fade-away action on many of his shots, which helps create space when needed.
He's terrific in pick-n-pop action. He shot 48% on his pops this year, and when you factor in for 3PA, he shot a sizzling 63.4% eFG pct. as a popper. He's also a good finisher on rolls.
Adept at shooting (over both shoulders) running through off-ball screens. When shooting off screens Mirza managed .93 PPP, which is decent. His off-screen numbers were extremely good last year.
His handle is adequate for a PF. Primarily a straight-line driver; won't really shake opponents with his dribble moves. Don't expect him to be dishing passes off the dribble. Finishes well overall and even has a decent runner in his arsenal.
After Tiago Splitter left, Caja Laboral decided to set up Mirza in the post quite a bit. Post-ups accounted for nearly 23% of Mirza's offense this season and he produced at a good rate (.81 PPP), according to Synergy.
Wouldn't call his post game great, but he's definitely solid enough where the Nets could call his number down low sometimes. He uses his strength well and will often methodically back his man down.
His go-to move in the post is the turnaround jumper. Effective with a turnaround going over both shoulders. Very good knocking the turnaround over his left shoulder--hit them at 50% clip. Sometimes likes to hang in the air a bit then release his turnaround, which helps him vs. longer defenders.
His footwork is pretty basic--doesn't possess any advanced moves down low. When on the right block, he spins baseline very quickly. Passes out of the post well, especially to find spot shooters.
The good news for Nets fans is that Mirza's really not too bad of a defender. The simple fact is he guards the post really well. On 128 post possessions recorded by Synergy, held his opponent to 38.6% shooting and .727 PPP. His defensive post numbers were really good the previous season ('10-11) as well.
He's just a smart, physical defender. Holds his ground well thanks to a strong, wide stance. Seems to know his opponent well as he anticipates well and rarely bites on fakes. Moves feet well down low and usually gets his hands up to challenge the shooter. Expect him to hold up fairly well defending vs. NBA post players.
Didn't fare too badly in isolation situations this season. He held his opponent to 36.7% shooting and .726 PPP on iso plays, which is solid. His technique is not ideal as he tends to be too upright in his stance. But does a decent job staying with his man.
Not naturally gifted in his lateral movement, but makes up for it somewhat with good footwork--drops his feet and anticipates well. Did a solid job when switched on to guards. Don't remember too many times where he was abused off the dribble.
All this is encouraging, but how Mirza handles NBA players individually on the perimeter could (and probably will) be another story.
In pick-n-roll action, he does an adequate job. But like in iso plays, he's upright in his stance too much. Could see him having trouble guarding NBA ball-screen action. But Mirza probably won't be as much of an overall defensive liability as initially thought.
Mirza's main weakness is on the glass. Not a good rebounder for his position, though he did increase his rebound rate a bit this year.
For some reason his FT shooting took a tumble this season--70% in EL, 64% in ACB. Likely an aberration as he had been at least a mid-70s FT shooter for most of his career.
With the exact numbers of his contract still up in the air, and the possibility that the Nets might still try to acquire Dwight Howard, it's tough to tell if the Nets project him as a starter or a reserve.
Mirza would fit really well next to Dwight. Dwight could cover up for Mirza's subpar rebounding much like Dwight did playing alongside Rashard Lewis, another 6-9 shooter with subpar rebounding ability.
Now Mirza starting next to Brook Lopez... that's not such a hot idea. Both players are below-average rebounders for their positions. If the Nets don't get Dwight, expect Mirza to come off the bench.