In the second of their two 2017 draft picks, the Brooklyn Nets took European big man Aleksandar Vezenkov at fifty-seventh overall. Three of four mock drafts had the FC Barcelona power forward go un-drafted, with NBADraft.net projecting him at fifty-second overall. Vezenkov stands at 6’9″ and weighs 225 pounds, fairly similar in size to Trevor Booker, who is an inch shorter and a couple pounds heavier than the Bulgarian.
Vezenkov was selected to the All-Young player’s team in the Spanish League this season, recording eight points and three rebounds in just under nineteen minutes per game. A big positive is his shooting efficiency, especially from three-point range. The lefty shot 41% from behind the arc this season, combined with just under 55% overall. His shot is his biggest strength and his most likely way of scoring the ball. As with most rookies trying to enter the NBA, his strength needs to improve as does his quickness. The defence might be an issue, but the defence doesn’t matter as much when his offensive rating this season was 130.1. Yes, you read that right, one hundred thirty point one.
Sources: Brooklyn is drafting and stashing Alexander Vezenkov of FC Barcelona with the No. 57 pick in the NBA draft.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2017
In the future, Vezenkov could succeed as a pick and pop option that we saw a lot of this season. Jeremy Lin would use the pick and roll then find Brook Lopez/Justin Hamilton, even Quincy Acy near the end of the season for open jumpers. In an offence like Brooklyn’s you can never have too many shooters, and the fact that the Nets bigs became a moderate threat from the outside opened the opportunity to get to the rim if defenders sagged off. While Vezenkov is not much of a paint threat as of now, Kenny Atkinson’s offence helps the chances that Vezenkov finds success as a shooter off the bench.