After being on the radar in Germany for the last four years, Philipp Neumann is currently playing his break-out season for the German champions Brose Baskets. The German big guy is seeing regular and quality minutes in the Euroleague and the Bundesliga and is showing nice progress over the last months. Not very well known as an NBA prospect because he never participated to the Adidas Eurocamp, Neumann is developing into one of the most promising undrafted European big men.
The main part of the game where Neumann made a step forward is in his approach to the game. In the Youth categories, he saw himself as a shot creator and liked to play from outside, driving to the basket or shooting mid-range jump shots. Right now, he is playing as a pure Center for Brose Baskets and is more of a finisher than a creator by himself. He moves well without the ball, setting energetic and physical screens and is not shying away from combat in the low post. Next to the rim, he tries to finish strong with the dunk which his good athletic possibilities allow him to do. Even if he is not yet physically fully developed, Neumann can dunk over the defense and with power.
He likes to play in Pick and Roll situations where he rolls strong to the basket and knows how to use his body in order to create the necessary space to catch the ball. His shooting touch is good which gives him the possibility to finish also with finer roll-like plays if the way to the basket is not fully open. He can develop into being a mid-range threat in the future but right now, he is not used in this way that much. His free-throw shooting accuracy remains though a little problem and it underlines a bit his mental ups-and-downs that were so characteristic for him in the Youth categories. But seeing regular minutes, even against the best teams in Europe in such a competitive environment than Bamberg shows how much confidence his coaching staff has into him and he proves on a regular basis that he has become a full option as a back-up center already right now.
On the defensive end, his progress is even more obvious than on offense. Last season, he looked lost in most occasions but this year, he is a factor, at least on the Bundesliga level. With his energy, lateral speed and hustle attitude, Neumann is very present on rotations and can hold most of his opponents out of the paint and box them out in rebounding situations. On the Euroleague level, he still finds his master when playing against top level players like Nenad Krstic but his learning curve is showing a very good development in this area. In the German league, he is averaging 0.8 blocks per game in just 12 minutes on the court which is an excellent presence on the defensive end.
The 2m09 tall Neumann is so far not really a hyped name in terms of the NBA Draft. He never participated to the Adidas Eurocamp and is currently ranked at the 60th spot for the 2014 Mock Draft of Draftexpress while nbadraft.net does not rank him at all. However, with his energetic playing style, Neumann is certainly a prospect that should get some consideration, knowing that he has the potential to develop the game of a PF in the future. In the youth categories, he showed that he can handle the ball and drive to the hoop but in his current environment, he is used at his best for immediate contribution. It does not look like Neumann will declare for the NBA Draft 2013 so he has another year to develop and with more confidence and a growing game, he might also see some minutes from outside in the future.