Mirza Teletovic, this year's intriguing Euro, has narrowed his choice of suitors to the Nets or the Cavaliers. Since most of us on this side of the Atlantic know little about Teletovic beyond this seven-minute YouTube video proclaiming him the "best player in Europe", I asked someone that's followed Teletovic for some time now to provide some background.
Meet Sam Meyerkopf, one of the men behind Euroleague Adventures, former NASTV guest and admitted Teletovic enthusiast. All the words on Teletovic below are his. Thank him for this on Twitter, where he holds down the best Twitter name this side of the... wait, he's on the other side of the... never mind, I'm confused. Anyway, his Twitter name is @HoopLikeDrazen, which is awesome and worth your following.
Mirza Teletovic has been a premier offensive player in Europe the past couple seasons. At 26 years old, he has played with Caja Laboral in the Euroleague and Spanish League for six years. This season represented the largest leap he’s taken in his game. Known for someone who could shoot his team in and out of games, Teletovic expanded his offense arsenal this season with a more defined post up game and a willingness to take people off the bounce. At the end of the Euroleague regular season he was leading the league in scoring at 21.7 points a game. He also finished his year in the Spanish League on the All-ACB First Team. With a more mature game and mindset, Teletovic showed us this season that his offensive game is ready for the NBA.
Skills: Mirza Teletovic is a stretch four with a mean streak. He'll walk into the NBA and right away have one of the smoothest long distance strokes. His jumper is his most lethal weapon. No matter how close you think you’re guarding him, Mirza will find space to get off his quick release shot. His confidence is always sky-high.
Teletovic shoots in a wide variety of ways; coming off screens, pulling up, or his specialty, off the pick and pop. Say Deron Williams does stay with the Nets. Williams’ offensive prowess will make teams double him off the pick so much that Teletovic will murder defenses popping off of them.
He has a pretty strong frame that he uses for rip through moves or turn around jumpers in the post. On the perimeter if his defender gets too tight on him, Teletovic moves really well for his size and can take him off the bounce if necessary. This leads to the second strongest part of his game, finishing at the rim. For a little taste, check out what he did to Bennet Cantu center Georgi Shermandini in maybe the Euroleague dunk of the year.
Defensively he’ll have trouble against stronger post players who want to bang but he should do a better job against more mobile power forwards. Rebounding isn’t one of his strengths because of how much time he spends outside the paint, but if given the assignment, his decent hops and strength can gobble up some boards.
Player Comparison: I’ll go Ryan Anderson on the high-end and Channing Frye on the low-end because of their size, shooting ability, and willingness to put up endless amounts of shots as a comparison. Overall though, he probably has more offensive skills than both if given the right system to work in.
How He Could Fit With The Nets: On a good team Teletovic could be a strong offensive weapon that may be strategically deployed and harnessed by a good coach and point guard. On a bad team where he might have free rein, Teletovic could put up endless amounts of shots and be one of your team’s best scorers, but it might not be in the most efficient fashion.
I’m not sure what team the Nets will be after this offseason but he would be a great compliment to Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace’s games. He might make a bad pair with Brook Lopez as neither are really good rebounders, but they would force opposing big man to defend outside the paint. Pairing with Williams could be a dynamic pick and pop combo like Deron had in Utah with Carlos Boozer, just more extended.
Final Word: Enjoy Mirza. He likes draft beers, scrappy facial hair, and hasn’t flinched at a scary movie, ever.