Thursday, June 24, 2010

International 2nd Round Prospects: Scouting Alexey Shved, Miroslav Raduljica, Nemanja Bjelica & Paulo Prestes

On Tuesday, we focused on international 1st round prospects, Tibor Pleiss and Kevin Seraphin. Today, we will break down some int'l players who could be picked in the 2nd round.

The four 1988-born int'l players we'll analyze are Alexey Shved, Miroslav Raduljica, Nemanja Bjelica and Paulo Prestes. You could make a case that Shved, Bjelica and Raduljica all have legit 1st-round talent. But for varying reasons, they can't find their way into the 1st-round discussion.

Alexey Shved
6-6 PG/SG
Dynamo Moscow (Russian SuperLeague)
21 Years Old

Shved could be the sleeper of the 2nd round, maybe the sleeper of the entire draft. Really impressed with what we've seen of Shved on tape. If Shved played college ball this year, no doubt he would be generating more buzz.

The only PG prospects on a higher tier than Shved are John Wall and Avery Bradley (if you consider him a PG). Might even consider Alexey a better prospect than Eric Bledsoe, Greivis Vasquez or Willie Warren.

Has nice athleticism that should help his game translate well to the NBA. Great size for a PG and can slide over to the 2-guard in a pinch. Fast with ball and very comfortable in transition.

After seeing very little burn with CSKA, he was loaned out to Dynamo Moscow this year. In 21 Russian SuperLeague games, Alexey averaged 10.3 ppg, 3.7 apg & 44% shooting in 23 mins per.

Already has an advanced understanding how to run pick/roll. Terrific handle with crossover moves and hesitation dribbles to freeze defenders. Deft passing skills. Can drive left or right, and is a danger to knock down pull-ups going right or left. Right now, he's probably a better pull-up shooter than spot shooter.

His 3pt. shooting numbers were not good this year--29%--but still think he's a capable shooter. Has a nice stroke but tends to drift on his jumper. He lets his legs splay out from underneath sometimes.

Thought Shved's defensive ability was serviceable. He moved well laterally and was usually in good position to contest. Though, he definitely needs to beef up his lithe frame for the rigors of the NBA.

Orlando needs to consider Shved with the 29th pick. The Magic could use a reserve PG and Shved could also play alongside Jameer Nelson when needed.

He might have the goods to be a starting-caliber point in the future. At worst, he could have a long career as a combo guard off the bench.

Miroslav Raduljica
7-0 Center
FMP Zeleznik (Adriatic League/Serbia)
22 Years Old

An old-school center with a big, thick frame. You expect him to be a lumbering center with his big body that lacks definition, but he has decent mobility. Will be at a disadvantage athletically in the NBA, but by no means a stiff. Not really overweight, but wouldn't hurt to tighten up his frame.

Like how he's physical and not afraid to seek out contact on both ends of the floor. Shows a little nasty streak on occasion.

Surprisingly, has a nice handle for a guy his size. He can face up on the perimeter and is capable of putting the ball on the deck. Even sometimes shows off a quick dribble pull-up, something you rarely see from centers. Solid jumper out to 15 feet, but his shot tends to breaks down past 15-16 feet.

Very effective in the post and comfortable maneuvering on either block. Good footwork--spin moves, drop steps and up/unders part of his repertoire.

Likes to finish around the rim with his left hand. Also, likes to toss up righty hooks. Does not have the best hops, which causes problems clearing shots on occasion. But does seem to get off the ground alright when he has a running start.

Raduljica is average defender by European standards. He guards post-ups well thanks to his willingness to bang, but is not really a rim protector. Likely will have difficulties defensively in the NBA.

In 23 Adriatic League games, Miroslav averaged 13.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg (2 off.) and 58% shooting in 26 mins per (numbers are nearly identical for 14 EuroChallenge games).

Raduljica damaged his draft status by skipping out on a workout for NBA folks at the Adidas Euro Camp. This decision might indicate Miroslav prefers to stay in Europe. Or he might have wanted to control his own NBA destiny. If he goes undrafted this year, he can sign with any NBA team as a free agent in the future.

Nemanja Bjelica
Red Star Belgrade (Adriatic League/Serbia)
6-10 SF
22 Years Old

Has the talent of a first rounder, could even make the case that he has lottery talent. You hear comparisons to Toni Kukoc or Hedo Turkoglu thrown around, and you definitely see shades of those two in Bjelica.

In 19 Adriatic games, Nemanja averaged 8.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.4 spg and 43% shooting in 25 mins (numbers were similar in 12 EuroCup games).

Deft ball-handler for his size. Good with crossover moves and hesitation dribbles. Can move all over the floor and play multiple positions.

Shares similarities with Shved's game. Very adept at running the pick/roll and this is where you see shades of Hedo. Great passer who's good at changing the touch and trajectory of his passes. His defender rarely disrupts his vision because of his size advantage (similar to Hedo).

His 3pt. numbers were not too good this year--25% in Adriatic & EuroCup. But, like Shved, he has a nice looking shot that bodes well for the future. No problems getting his shot off cleanly. And like Shved, has shown his ability to hit jumper off the bounce going left or right.

Solid athlete for Europe but likely to have some issues keeping up laterally with NBA SFs. Needs to add weight, especially if his NBA team wants to play him at the 4. A tendency to be too passive during stretches and which keeps him from being a sure-fire 1st rounder.

*--Late word from Draft Express says Bjelica signed a 3-year deal with Benetton with $1 mil buyout attached to each year.

Paulo Prestes
CB Murcia (ACB)
6-10 PF/C
22 Years Old

A Brazilian wide-body who was the 2nd best rebounder in the highly competitive Spanish ACB. Prestes was quite productive in 27 ACB games--9.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg (3 off.) & 59% shooting in 23 mins per.

Has a doughy build that needs to be tightened up. Subpar athlete with little lift off the floor. Doesn't run the floor particularly well and sometimes seems like he's winded.

His strength on offense is his post game. Has decent footwork--better than Pleiss or Seraphin--and loves to finish his moves with a hook. Very effective with his righty hook, particularly on the left block. Good at setting up his hook shot with a reverse half-spin to get his defender off-balance a la Vlade Divac.

Not impressed with his defense. Poor lateral quickness and inability to change direction swiftly. Doesn't help that he tends to stand upright outside the painted area. Not a shot-changer but does an alright job guarding the post.

Prestes projects to be a reserve center at best, but that's what you're hoping to find in the 2nd round. He could give you some rebounds and the occasional hook shot in the 8-10 minutes per game he's suited for in the NBA.

Other possible 2nd Round Int'l Prospects: Vladimir Dasic (Real Madrid); Thomas Heurtal (Strasbourg/France); Tim Ohlbrecht (Telekom/Germany); Ryan Richards (BBC Monthey/Switz); Ludovic Vaty (Orleans/France)


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