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Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski

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Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#1 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:01 pm

Top 10 NBA Draft Sleepers Outside the Lottery

1. Aleksej Pokusevski (Olympiacos II, PF/C, 2001)



B/R's projected outcome for Aleksej Pokusevski: Quality starter/high-end role player

Where we hear he could go: Nos. 15-30

No predraft workouts will make it tough for a team to gamble early on Aleksej Pokusevski. He could be a lottery talent hidden by a lower-level setting overseas, a small sample size of games and a pandemic that's limited teams' ability to get a closer look.

He checks a rare and exciting mix of boxes with 7'0" size, unusual shooting fluidity for a player his size, flashy passing instincts and defensive activity. Pokusevski originally began drawing attention over the summer during the FIBA U18 European Championships, during which he averaged 1.5 threes, 3.7 assists and 4.0 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game.

Then he backed it up this season, albeit in Greece's second division through just 11 games, by racking up 17 threes, 34 assists and 20 blocks while playing 23.1 minutes per game. No college player on record has posted one three-pointer per game, a 25.0 assist percentage and an 8.0 block percentage, and he exceeded all three marks with room to spare.

It's understandable why some teams might not take his game or stats seriously. He's rail-thin up top. He shot 40.4 percent from the field this season and a combined 32.4 percent over the past two FIBA tournaments. He attempts some wild plays and doesn't always look ready to get low and defend away from the hoop.

But he's also the draft's youngest prospect, not turning 19 until Dec. 26. As long as his body and discipline improve under NBA coaching, Pokusevski's skill level and movement are too special not to translate with NBA teammates and spacing.
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Re: Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#2 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:05 pm

ALEKSEJ POKUSEVSKI
A lanky 7-footer who moves like a wing and passes like a guard, but needs to grow into his thin frame to thrive in the NBA

Age--------------18.4
Wingspan-------7'3''
Height----------7'0''
Weight----------201

Shades Of: Detlef Schrempf, Lamar Odom, Dragan Bender

PLUSES
  • Versatile shooting potential: He has good footwork and body control, with a compact release coming off screens and off the dribble; he can rise and fire even with a hand in his face.
  • Nifty passer who can deliver a variety of precise dimes. At 7 feet, he can make passes over the top of the defense in the pick-and-roll that most players can’t.
  • He has good handles for his size, using hesitations, crossovers, and long strides to create separation. His movements are also decisive; there are very few record scratches when he possesses the ball.
  • It’s easy to envision an offensive role for him as a floor spacer and secondary handler in the half court, and as a transition playmaker who rips down rebounds and jump-starts possessions.
  • Potentially a versatile defender if he gets stronger. He has agility and fluidity, and he can swarm smaller opponents with his 7-foot-3 wingspan.
  • Attentive off-ball defender who communicates and jumps passing lanes to deflect passes.

MINUSES
  • He’s so skinny; few players with his frame find success in the NBA. He may never be a good one-on-one defender because of physical limitations. It is vital that he finds an excellent strength-and-conditioning program.
  • Inconsistent defensive effort. He plays like he’s 6 feet sometimes, not even bothering to contest shots with his long wingspan.
  • Tries to do too much on offense. He forces tough shots and tries ill-advised moves rather than making the sensible play.
  • Doesn’t hold his follow-through on jumpers, which is one of the reasons for his streakiness; better fundamentals will lead to better results.
  • Potentially a skilled interior finisher since he can use either hand, but he struggles against size and length. He also hasn’t shown any moves in the post
The Ringer

Sam Vecenie wrote:Aleksej Pokusevski | 7-0 center | 18 years old | Olympicacos B

A Serbian-Greek center for Olympiacos’ second team, Pokusevski is a 7-footer with legitimately terrific shooting potential and terrific athleticism. He is seen as an interesting long-term play as the league continues to look for floor spacing from the frontcourt. He moves like a wing and has a 7-3 wingspan. He can pass the ball at a high level. In the second division Greek league, he averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and over a steal and a block in just 23 minutes per game. At that level, he’s the most athletic player on the court and takes advantage of it, even if his relative inefficiency isn’t terrific. But what does this very skinny big man’s game look like when he’s not the most athletic guy? Honestly, I have no idea, but I hope he goes to a situation that will develop him right so that we can find out.
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Re: Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#3 » by Jamaaliver » Sun Sep 6, 2020 1:02 am

Draft scouting report: Aleksej Pokusevski

Arguably the most intriguing player in this entire draft with potential to swing in both directions.

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There may be no prospect more fascinating, more intriguing heading into the 2020 NBA Draft than 18 year old Serbian phenom Aleksej Pokusevski. Pokusevski stands at 7’, a wingspan of 7’3 and a standing reach of 9’1 (all measurements per ESPN). He’s a little on the skinny side but we can get into that later. For now, just know the measurements and know they’re obviously very important — one of the aspects that make Pokusevski an intriguing prospect.

Pokusevski is one of the most intriguing prospects of this entire draft but a lot of it obviously has to do with what he could be rather than what he is right now.

Offensively, you can see the appeal with Pokusevski: a ‘modern NBA big man’ who loves to launch three-pointers who can make some plays (always nice to have a big man who can dabble in playmaking). He’s not especially efficient on those shots right now but you’d perhaps take the gamble that one day he will be — being able to shoot over most players is a nice advantage to have and there’s something to be said for it.
Pokusevski does have some good foot-speed given his size and he can do some work off of the dribble (again, whether this is translatable outside of the Greek second division remains to be seen and you’d probably have to lean with ‘no’ right now) but the obvious area to invest in is shooting, over everything else. Absolutely over everything else.
If this work off of the dribble does end up translating, that’s a big bonus and you can obviously raise Pokusevski’s ceiling if that does end up being the case. But, right now, the more translatable aspect of his offense — and the focus — will be his shooting.

From a playmaking point of view, Pokusevski possesses a lovely touch, and his vision and IQ are to a high level already. I think it’s worth — whoever ends up selecting him — tapping into that aspect of his game and looking to develop that further. I really think there’s something there worth investing in.

Defensively, Pokusevski obviously possesses size and length to cause disruption, as well as lateral quickness. The shot blocking potential is clear for everyone to see, both in a one-on-one scenario and as a help defender. Pokusevski’s lateral quickness means he was able to guard multiple positions, ball-handlers included, in the Greek second diviosn. Whether that is something that stacks up long term against tougher opposition will be important to monitor.
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Re: Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#4 » by Jamaaliver » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:22 pm

2020 NBA Draft Big Board: Latest Top 80 Rankings

21. Aleksej Pokusevski, F, Olympiacos

Height: 7' 0" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18 | Previous Rank: 22

Oftentimes the “mystery man” designation feels cliché and unhelpful; Pokusevski wears it particularly well. He’s the youngest player in the draft and has unusual ball skills and shooting proficiency for someone his size, but he spent the past season in Greece’s second division, which was not a particularly challenging level. His upside is tied more to the splash plays than the productivity, and his physical frailty is a stumbling block for some scouts, as he’ll likely be ill-suited to playing on the interior. He has a clear knack for passing the ball, and there’s potential for his shot-blocking to translate if he adds enough strength, but he also takes a lot of bad shots and may need more time than most to adjust from a physical and competitive perspective. He’s likely to be drafted in the back half of the first round, and the expectation is that he’ll come to the NBA immediately and spend the year taking advantage of the weight room and other resources.
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Re: Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#5 » by Jamaaliver » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:01 pm

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Re: Prospect Spotlight -- Aleksej Pokusevski 

Post#6 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:49 am

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