Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
Andzejs Pasecniks – International/Latvia
Weight: 229 lbs
Age: 21 years and 4 months
Projected: 26 (DraftExpress) 33 (CPP Big Board) 29 (CPP Mock Draft)
Background: After debating whether or not he would enter the 2016 NBA Draft last season, Andzejs Pasecniks has made the decision to enter his name in this year’s 2017 NBA Draft. Much like his good friend, Kristaps Porzingis, the fellow Latvian, Pasecniks, stands 7’2” and is another towering international player entering the NBA. The Latvian played for Gran Canaria this past season in the Liga ACB and Eurocup. He averaged 15 minutes a game between the two leagues, 6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 BPG, and shot 68.8% from the floor. Andzejs Pasecniks’ numbers are not eye popping, but his size and durability have made him a very intriguing NBA prospect.
Strengths: Pasecniks’ ability to run the floor is something drawing in lots of NBA scouts. Despite being a 7’2” center, Pasecniks has tremendous agility and is extremely light on his feet. Playing above the rim is no problem for him and plays extremely well in pick and roll sets. The Latvian catches almost everything thrown his way and is very quick to get a shot up. Andzejs Pasecniks has developed a nice mid-range game and has shown flashes of the ability to shoot threes. These flashes of a perimeter game and creating his own space has made him a very intriguing prospect coming from overseas and could benefit him at the next level because of how agile he is and how he can develop to any system.
Weaknesses: As a result of only averaging 15 minutes a game at most during the season, one thing that has NBA teams worried is Pasecniks’ lack of experience. Pasecniks likes to be his own team at times, leading to his low assist numbers and high volume of shots. As a result, he struggles moving the ball as a stretch big man and is vulnerable to turnovers in the NBA. The biggest question marks for Pasecniks revolve around his shooting ability. The towering Latvian’s 59.7% career free-throw shooting is very worrisome for some NBA teams and as a result, puts a lot of pressure on him to continue his midrange game. Pasecniks’ jumper will be highly valued at the NBA level since his skill set doesn’t favor his back being towards the basket. Andzejs has showed, at times, his shot-blocking skills, but at others times struggles physically. In the NBA, Pasecniks should have no problem blocking shots standing at 7’2” and will need to hit the weight room to become more physical in the paint. He may take time to develop and mold more, but Andzejs Pasecniks’ skills may make him worth while.
Comparison: Kristaps Porzingis
Not only were Porzingis and Pasecniks teammates a few years ago, but they have practiced together for years. Kristaps may be a better shooter than Pasecniks, but his jumper is slowly starting to get better. When compared to the year Kristaps declared for the draft, you will find that Porzingis and Pasecniks have almost identical numbers in the ACB/Eurocup. Kristaps averaged more time than Pasecniks, but had almost the same shooting numbers, which made lots of NBA teams weary of his shooting ability at the next level. Look how that turned out! There is no telling of whether or not Andzejs Pasecniks can follow in Kristaps Porzingis’ shoes, but he has the length and tools to do so.
Be sure to check out the rest of our NBA Draft Content! NBA Draft Big Board 5.0 NBA Mock Draft 2.0