In the run-up to the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27, the BDD staff will be profiling several projected lottery picks and other draft entrants. Next up: Giannis Adetokunbo.
Position: Small Forward
College: Filathlitikos Academy, Greece
DraftExpress Prediction: No. 17 in the first round, No. 17 overall to the Atlanta Hawks
|He's only 18, but Giannis Adetokunbo from Greece is rising up the mock draft charts. (draftexpress.com)|
Synopsis: Not many people who aren’t incredibly dedicated basketball fans probably know who Giannis Adetokunbo is. Having come up through the ranks in Europe, he has avoided the spotlight that has highlighted the play of players like Trey Burke, Ben MacLemore and Nerlens Noel. However, his ceiling could be as high as any of them. He is long, athletic, versatile and above all, raw. While his potential seems exponential and analysts seem to be raising his stock and ceiling every day, he has some major development yet to accomplish.
Adetokunbo has been shooting up the predictions in the last month. Originally listed to be picked at 29 in the draft, Draft Express now has him listed 12 spots higher in its latest mock draft. This can be largely attributed to a report that came from Matt Kamalsky of DraftExpress saying Adetokunbo had been impressive in his latest exhibition performances. In his last game in Europe (between Croatia and Greece), Adetokunbo racked up 11 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Not shabby numbers for a raw and unproven talent. He also displayed an ability to bring the ball up the floor, which will surely help his stock, being he’s a 6’9’’ forward. While his stats overall in his time in Europe don’t exactly jump at you, there are some major positives that Adetokunbo can grow on. First, in 20 minutes per game, Adetokunbo averaged five rebounds and showed an ability to hit 3-pointers with some consistency. Given his age (he’s only 18) it is reasonable to think Adetokunbo’s potential has barely been tapped. He’s an exceptional athlete who can play both on the block and the wing. With his athletic ability, he should be able to develop into an above-average defender.
However, the reason projects are projects is because they aren’t a sure thing and need work. While there is potential, Adetokunbo is very raw and needs to develop a lot in order to reach his ceiling. While he showed some offensive ability in Europe, his point totals weren’t outstanding, tallying just more than seven points per game. He will need to fill out at the next level if he is going to continue to play on the block, and while he can hit the open look from three, Kamalsky says Adetokunbo has a long release and takes a lot of time to set up for a shot. This will need to change at the next level. His experience is also a factor to consider. Adetokunbo is only 18 years old and the competition he has played against isn’t going to compare to what he will face in the NBA. The style of play in Europe is also different from what he will experience in the league, so it will be interesting to see how he transitions. All in all, Adetokunbo is a very intriguing prospect with a lot of upside. His career will be a fun one to track at the next level.
Quote to Note: “I’m an all-around player. I can jump, I can shoot, I can pass the ball: I can do everything on the court.” - Adetokunbo on what type of play he is via DraftExpress.com