Igor Milosevic NBA Draft Scouting Report

Igor Milosevic NBA Draft Scouting Report
Mar 29, 2005, 06:03 am
Impressive point guard with a very developed offensive game. Quick and creative, Milosevic can beat anyone in Greece with his one-on-one game, while his shooting touch is very precise and his game lasts as long as his coach wants it to. His thin body and great flexibility help fuel a good motor, which allows him to run around the court for 40 minutes without getting tired. He can shoot from downtown and due to some nice slashing skills, he is not predictable at all offensively and thus, he seems to be able to score in many different ways.

He is very mature for his age, mainly due to his experience both in A1 and his leading role in the Greek Junior National Teams. His passing is very good and on any occasion he proves that he is a very smart player and his organization skills can be great too, but only when he puts his head to it. He is competitive and his leadership skills are definitely above average.

Defensively, despite the fact that he is small and skinny, he guards space well and can be a tough defender, actually a "bull" when he wants to, running around and following his opponents without ever giving up. His ability to get in the passing lanes and come up with steals makes him special, proving once again his smarts.

Milosevic is really skinny. According to rumors, he cannot bench more than 110-120 lbs. Despite approaching the age of 19, he hasn't bulked up, maybe thinking that he will lose his mobility. Moreover, he doesn't seem to be appreciated much this year and doesn't get much playing time, despite last season's excellent playoff games versus AEK, when he practically led Iraklis in the last two games. He gets zero playing time this season, something that probably reveals negative relationships with his coach and teammates.

Talking about his game, Milosevic needs to improve a lot in certain fields. Despite his offensive maturity, most of the time he doesn't really seem to play for the team. His games with Greece's U-19 National Team last summer prove the above statement, as his assists per game average revealed a first-shoot point guard, with little team-oriented mentality. His passing skills remain good (but not great), but if he doesn't take advantage of them and also look to improve them, then he is no point guard, especially not for the NBA.

Defensively, he might be great in guarding space, something vital in zone defenses, but obviously he isn't a factor in man-to-man. He seriously needs to bulk up in those cases, especially when the NBA uses man-to-man almost all the time.

Another issue is his potential in general. Even if he changes his mentality and also gets any playing time this year, a 19-year old player at 6-2, with a very developed offensive game and a very thin body doesn't seem to have much to achieve and certainly not in the NBA. If, at least, he was a couple of inches taller, he would be able to be dominant and also present his size as an advantage. But I think that at 6-2, his potential is limited and despite his skills, leadership and mobility, he can't get very high.

He plays for Iraklis, last season's third best Greek team, which almost ousted the eventual and former champions Panathinaikos in the A1 finals. But this team's last season's roster included superstars PG Dimitris Diamantidis and C Lazaros Papadopoulos, both starters in the National Team of Greece, which finished 5th in the Olympic tournament. Now, with those two gone, Iraklis is ranked 10th in A1 and Milosevic has seen almost no playing time this season, having played in 8 games and averaging only 9 mpg. His stats: 2.7 ppg, 0.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 37% FG, 70% in Free Throws.

His future? Unknown, but probably not in Iraklis.

He will probably not declare this year and he will expect a great U-19 World Championships tournament, where he could raise his stock again and help that to find a better team to play for, either in Greece or in Spain/Italy. If he has a fine tournament and a steady season next year, he will then probably declare and be a candidate for the 2nd round.

Milosevic has been an unlucky player so far. He was very highly touted and his offensive game is one of the most impressive amongst European point guards his age I can remember. But his improvement is not going to be great and certainly will never come on the team he currently plays for.

Why he is unlucky? Because Greek basketball doesn't really need new point guards right now. Players like Thodoris Papaloukas, Dimitris Diamantidis and Nikos Zissis are included in Europe's best right now, while youngster Vassilis Spanoulis, last year's draft pick by Houston, might even play in the NBA next year and he is still the 4th best Greek PG!

This means that Milosevic will not gain any publicity or hype playing on a very good team, unless he really deserves it. He needs to change his on-court and off-court mentality soon, he needs to change his team and he needs to bulk up. And all that should be done quickly, if he wants to be excluded from the "ex-talent" list, which is not a small one in Greece during the past decade.

After losing to Panathinaikos 2-1 in last year's A1 Play-off semifinals, Iraklis played AEK in a best of 5 series for the title of 3rd best team in A1. Iraklis' star Dimitris Diamantidis, A1's MVP got injured in the third game and Milosevic helped Iraklis make it 3-2, by scoring an A1 career-high 29 points in the 4th game and 17 in the 5th, outplaying AEK's star guard Nikos Zissis, who fouled out in the fourth game, as he couldn't cope up with Milosevic's running ability. As a result, Iraklis finished third last season, the best ever for the team.

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