2018C3 wrote:I still think the bust potential of Deni is really high. I believe the team who drafts him will regret that decision in within three years time.
There will be a player picked within three spots after him that will make his pick look absolutely silly. He is surfing a Luka wave.
You just admitted you didn't watch his games and in the other hand you hurry to confidently claim he has a high bust potential. That's not wise. Seriously realgm became a hard place to read for me recently, regarding to Deni, to the point I don't even have motivation to answer. I appreciate fair criticism and when people trying to analyze the good and the bad things, trying to evaluate a player and analyze what strides he should make to become a star (if he's projected to go that high, he must have high quality skills according to professional teams), but I have a problem when the default of the conversation is hating a player and build the explanations around this hating, and for someone like me who watched tons of his games it's clear who hate him and who really make effort to evaluate him in objective way.
I'll share with you guys just little example of the wrong way I think people evaluating international prospects. Someone like Poku who is certainly intriguing, 7'0 with some passing and handling skills for a player his size, but weights only 200lb, not fast enough to guard even SF's at the second Greek division and proved nothing against high level competition, considered by some draft fans as a 'guard/wing', but at the same time I've seen the same people views Deni, who is certainly faster, stronger, better ball handler and much proven, as a PF. I repeat, A slow footed (compared to guards/wings) 7'0 who has shown no evidence on handling the ball against a high level competition, and who hasn't proved he can guard wings on his semi professional competition, is considered by those people as a wing, but Deni, who guarded oftenly the opponent point/second guards in the Euroleague, is considered a twiner/PF and what not. You have no idea how frustrating is to read it from aside. And I read those conversations on daily basis on twitter, here, reddit, everywhere.
I've said it already million times but I'll say it again because it seems it's hard for people to get this crucial point. While players like Hayes, Poku, LaMelo, Edwards etc. have played in a very weak teams and as a result could be the focal point of their teams, in this situation they had the ability to do a lot of mistakes, to take risks, to gain confidence, and as a result to fill their highlights and stats. Deni basically has played with tight hands behind his back comparing to the other top prospects in this class. He could be thrown to the bench after every little mistake, and he has zero chance to show elite offensive skills in his situation when he can't grow through mistakes. I always saying it, put Hayes in Maccabi Tel Aviv and I doubt he will see more than 10 minutes per game. Why is that? because there is no way Giannis Sfairopoulos (Maccabi's coach) is going to give to a teenager who is turn over pron and isn't a high level scorer (atm), a bigger role. Now imagine how drastically his confidence, his creativity and his 'flashy' game would be decreased in such situation. This is how it works in teams like Maccabi Tel Aviv who don't have patience to develop players, no matter how talented they are. Put LaMelo on this team and he will not see more than 10 minutes. There is no way Sfairopoulos would give a non shooter who play no defense to see playing time on his roster. We all saw how tougher it was for RJ Hampton to play for a better team with some winning aspirations. Believe it or not, Maccabi is one of the most pressured organizations in the world. Every lose for them, even in a meaningless game, is kinda a disaster. The reason Deni earned his minutes was only because of his elite versatility. He was like 2 players on the court for Maccabi at times, and while some people questionable his MVP Israeli League award, he had the most ppg, the most PER and the most BIPM on his team, which was the best team in the league. Dude had led the best team in the league both in PPG and PER, as a 19 yers old, and yet those people questioned his MVP award.
People always make that mistake and evaluating Deni according to the competition. According to what my eyes saw through out all the games I've watched, the competition has never been the real challenge for him, whether in the Euroleague or in the Israeli league, his real challenge was to see playing time and gain a bigger role when he compete for minutes with experienced players who brought in with a lot of money to help them win now. While also Deni is projected to go to the NBA next year so they don't even have motivation to develop him or built him for the future. For me the fact he ended up one of the best players for a team like Maccabi despite all the challenges, is super impressive.
If he was getting from his coach in the Euroleague the same treatment he got in the Israeli league, there is no chance his stats wouldn't be much higher. There are not a lot of players in the Euroleague with Deni's skillset. All he needed was confidence from his coach. His coach started to give him big minutes only when the team started to suffer from injuries. Which clearly showing, his coach 'played safe' and was afraid to take the risk and let him grow through mistakes and he rather do it with the more experienced/less talented players. When he 'forced' to let him play, he didn't regret it and Deni was one of the main reasons Maccabi stayed a top 5 Euroleague and a contender team despite their injuries, and he's a main reason they won the Israeli title despite those injuries (at some point in the playoffs they have suffered from so many injuries to the point they have been considered the underdogs).
Now to end all this long scroll, let's back again to my third paragraph, when people watch Deni's highlights they mistakenly see a player who more than often play kinda limited role, and make a 'role player' plays, compared to the other prospects who was playing in a much weaker rosters and as a result fill their tapes in flashy and risky plays which shows Deni in a 'negative' way. They immediately fail to the trap and compare him to Saric or Hezonija and calling him 'master of non'. It has nothing to do with his real projection. Deni moves his feet well for a player his size, he handles the ball well for a player his size, he sees the court well for a player his size, he runs the open court well for a player his size, he rebound well, he pass well, he has a good touch and he has the work ethic, from now on it's all about finally getting the chance to grow through mistakes and getting the chance to take risks (he always mention it on his interviews). He didn't have that so far unlike the other prospects in this class, that's why I also project him to actually master his personal skills (shot creation off the dribble, passing, 1v1 scoring) the most and get them to the next level.