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Adidas Eurocamp 2011: NBA Draft eligible players

June 19th, 2011 · No Comments

With the NBA Draft coming closer and closer, we go through the eligible players that were present in Treviso for the annual Adidas Eurocamp. Check below for an analysis of the most possible European Draft picks that have been present in Italy for the only European based pre-draft event.

NBA Draft 2011 – Early Entry Candidates

Davis Bertans – 2m08 – Small Forward – 1992 – Latvia – Olimpija Ljubljana

After his performances at the Nike Hoop Summit earlier this year, Davis Bertans really came into the NBA Focus. However, his star had already emerged during the U18 European Championship in 2010 where he was a member of the All-Tournament team. During his presence in Treviso, Bertans only played one All-Star game and held an individual workout. As we are not really fans of these kinds of exercises, we limit our analysis to the All-Star game that he played but taking into account what we have seen from him already in previous games or tournaments.

In fact, Bertans did nothing different to what we knew from him. Despite being 2m08 tall, Bertans played full-time on the Small Forward position attacking the basket from outside or taking three-point shots. Unluckily for him, he missed most of his tentative so that the overall impression was not really great. As Bertans revealed during the Nike Hoop Summit, he has grown a few centimeters recently; we had him at 2m05 last year; which might be a reason for the missing shooting touch. But already in Lithuania, he showed that he can have games where the ball is not falling.

Overall, Bertans has excellent tools to become an NBA Small Forward, but do not expect him to be a pure shooter. He can put the ball on the floor and has athletic qualities to attack the rim. With a first real Euroleague season ahead, he will also grow physically and become a lot stronger as you should not forget that he will only turn 19 in mid-November and was not only one of the youngest players in the camp but is also the youngest player in the current NBA Draft pool.

For a larger analysis of his game, we recommend our report from the U18 European Championship from last summer as well as our (non-highlight) Video Analysis below.

Donatas Motiejunas – 2m10 – Power Forward – 1990 – Lithuania – Benetton Treviso

Donatas Motiejunas, the second European Early Entry Candidate present in Treviso for more than interviews, did two workouts that we did not attend. Having scouted Motiejunas about a dozen time over the last three years, we can say that we know his game already pretty well. So the report on his Treviso camp will be limited to mentioning our latest Scouting report on him that we wrote when he played with his team Benetton Treviso against BG74 Göttingen in the Eurocup earlier this season in front of a multitude of NBA Scouts.

Automatically eligible players – born in 1989

Dogus Balbay – 1m85 – Point Guard – 1989 – Turkey – Texas

If there was one player who really boosted his stock not only in terms of the NBA Draft but overall, it was the Turkish guard Dogus Balbay. Freshly out of the University of Texas, Balbay was a bit overlooked so far as he was considered as a pure Pass-first PG who had most of his qualities on the defensive end. But in Treviso, Balbay showed excellent leadership skills and the potential of attacking the basket hard against European defenses. With his above average athletic skills (unfortunately no details in the Vitals list), he finished several plays above the rim or with excellent hang time.

He recognizes very well where are the open players and sees his own scoring possibilities only when the defense gives him the possibility or as a last resort. The fact that he is not a great jump shooter might be one of the reasons why this is the case and this will certainly be quickly exploited by European defenses on the professional level. The problem is that if he does not get the possibility to pass by his defender, his game remains limited. Balbay showed though at the Shooting drills that he can hit the ball from outside but he does not feel too comfortable doing so.

His future is most likely not in the NBA except in a similar role than he had in the NCAA which means as a defensive stopper and set play announcer. Additionally, he might struggle to do so because of his limited size and his most likely destination will be Europe. It will be interesting to see which will be his destination and how quickly he can have a major impact as his leadership, intangibles and athleticism will be great for Europe. But as we mentioned, his limits as a shooter from outside might hinder him from becoming a real top-level player in the future.

Robin Benzing – 2m07 – Small Forward – 1989 – Germany – ratiopharm Ulm

The German forward confirmed with his camp what can be expected from him in the future. Benzing, who played his second season at ratiopharm Ulm this year had some kind of a difficult seaon with several ups and downs that we have analyzed a few weeks ago. During the camp, Benzing showed that he has made some progress in toughness aspects of his game like rebounding or defense but he still is not a major player in both areas. This might be the biggest problem for him as we can not imagine him defend on NBA level either on the SF nor on the PF position. However, he would be a match-up problem on the offensive end as he is close to seven feet tall with shoes and can attack the basket from outside with either hand and good speed. His three-point shooting is one of the better ones in Europe and certainly superb for a player of his size.

Technically, Benzing showed some problems with his footwork on the dribbling attacks where he traveled quite often. These moves, that he does quite often in the game, get rarely called in the Bundesliga but the camp referees sanctioned him on these several times per contest. In the NBA, it would not be a travel call and he could beat his defender probably a lot of times with these starts into the opposite direction of receiving the ball. Out of his drives, he came up occasionally with nice passes but he mostly looks for his own scoring. During the camp, where he had to play PF all the time, he never really showed a back-to-the-basket attack and scored mainly from drives and three point shots. His limited athletic abilities will certainly be a problem on the next level as well but there might be an NBA team who takes a look at him in the second round, especially following the current Nowitzki hype.

Ousmane Camara – 2m04 – PF/C – 1989 – France – Le Havre

One of the European based players that improved his stock the most was the French inside player Ousmane “Sarra” Camara. Camara has never really cracked the rotation of his team Le Havre were he only played 11 minutes per game this season. But out of the limited stats (2.8ppg, 3.5rpg), you can already see what his main asset is: rebounding. Camara really has a great sense for rebounding the basketball on both ends of the court. He creates a lot of second possessions for his team as he has a superb timing on the offensive glass. His motor helps him to jump around and even get lots of long rebounds with several quick jumps to tip the basketball either to himself or one of his team mates.

But Camara is not only an excellent rebounder, he can also finish the basketball pretty well close to the basket out of Pick and Roll situations with the powerful layup but also with some kind of jump hook out of the back-to-the-basket move. With his 2m04, he is limited to play the Center position even in European conditions as his vertical is not really off the charts. His 2m16 wingspan speaks though in his favor but he misses the necessary ball handling skills to develop a power forward game in the future.

Antoine Diot – 1m90 – Point Guard – 1989 – France – STB Le Mans

The camp in Treviso was not really a great setting for Antoine Diot who excels more in “real” game situations. However, the season was not really a success for Diot either as he had to fight through different injuries and did not succeed in leading his team Le Mans to a title. The NBA currently seems out of reach for a player who has his future most likely in a regular Euroleague team. With his good physical skills, leadership and scoring skills, Diot is still waiting for his total break-out year on the highest European level.

Bangaly Fofana – 2m11 – Center – 1989 – France – ASVEL Villeurbanne

The French Center had a good showing in Treviso compared to what we were used to see from him during the French regular season. Fofana played a good role in the defensive rebound but had no major impact on the offensive end. He fought a lot and rejected some shots without doing something special though. As we mentioned already a few weeks ago, he should probably go to a team where he earns more minutes in order to develop into a more complete player in the future. The NBA is currently out of reach for him.

Adam Hanga – 1m97 – PG/SG/SF – 1989 – Hungary – Manresa

It can be said that the Hungarian swingman played an excellent camp and that some NBA teams might take a look at him at the end of the second round. Displaying a great speed and athletic abilities, Hanga does a lot of damage in the fast break where he can use his skills to either score by himself or create for his team mates. Being able to play all three positions from PG to SF, Hanga should be able to have quickly an impact in the ACB where he decided to play next season. All of his movements look extremely fluid and smooth and he is able to pass by his defender without any major problems.

The main problem about Hanga is still his shot. His overall mechanics are quite quick and fluid but he comes up with some kind of chest/shoulder shot that prevents him from taking it when defended hard. This is not a major problem as he can beat his defender on the dribble in these situations but overall, his percentages are not really great for a top-level European guard. However, he is improving his three-point shooting accuracy over the last years but he remains a below 40% shooter from behind the arc in the poor Hungarian League. This weakness is also translated to the free-throw line where he is not coming up with a more than mediocre 65%.

Defensively, Hanga can however develop into a very interesting player in the future. Quite agile and showing a good lateral quickness, Hanga reads the passing lanes very well and comes up with a nice amount of steals in those situations that create easy fast-break opportunities for his team. With his above average leaping abilities, he is a good shot blocker as well and nearly averaged 1 rejection per game in Hungary. With a developing shot, Hanga can become a highly interesting long term potential on the highest European level as his combination of size, speed and athleticism is not seen that often in European back-court.

Edwin Jackson – 1m88 – Shooting Guard – 1989 – France – ASVEL Villeurbanne

Edwin Jackson is a player that excels in this type of setting. The French guard can easily beat players on the dribble with his explosiveness and is not afraid to take and make lots of shots. As we have scouted him in a regular setting a short time before the camp, we suggest that you check out that article in order to get a better feeling for his game.

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