Loukas Mavrokefalidis NBA Draft Scouting Report

Loukas Mavrokefalidis NBA Draft Scouting Report
Jun 29, 2006, 04:40 pm
At 6-10 or 6-11, Mavrokefalidis is tall enough for the center position in Europe or the NBA. He is a good post player, not soft the way most Euro guys are. His many years on his team's bench have strengthened his character and his game seems really polished offensively. He has a fine mid-range touch and a pretty good long-range one. He has a steady offensive pace and has a couple of nice moves inside too. Generally speaking, he seems to control his offensive game pretty well and this season he has been much of a go-to player for his young team.

Whenever needed, he can translate his game to a more team-oriented one, using his passing skills, which are generally above average. His ability to get out of the paint and either attempt a shot or pass the ball either creates alternatives for his teammates or creates free space for action. He is also a nice static three point shooter, but only when unguarded. His ball handling is fair for a man his size.

Defensively, he is not bad either. He likes contact and has a strong body, but not for up-tempo basketball. He has strong hands and understands the game's fundamentals on the defensive end. He is a good rebounder and prefers to guard close to the paint, when he will not have to run much. He is a fine blocker, a relatively nice player for a 3-2 zone defense, where he will have to stop a player with only small distance between them. His inside defense can generally be considered to be very good.

His game is very predictable both sides and hardly bares any resemblance to the NBA’s style. Take out his immense improvement and surprising stability over the past months and you have the same body and the same limited skills he had last season, when he averaged 4.6 ppg in ULEB Cup games. His athleticism is well below average, which leaves the most doubt about his future NBA potential.

Of course, nobody can doubt the guy's mental strength, continuous motivation and obvious will to succeed, but all the above only make a part of an NBA prospect.

Loukas is raw offensively, being forced to use his well worked basketball fundamentals quite often. Offensively, his moves might be well-worked, but his slow moves can easily be stopped, prevented or blocked and in the NBA this will happen quite often. His feet are not nearly that quick and thus this alternative is lost. At 21, very few players can improve their quickness ability.

His perimeter shooting skills can work only when he is free. He is a static shooter and a man to man defense lessens his stats and consequently offensive confidence, although he is hardly a let-down type of player. His dribbling skills are also nonexistent. He is raised like a center and cannot be effective creating for other players, especially when he has to move outside the paint with the ball in his hands. He also has energy, which is not effective as well due to the lack of physical tools, which forces him to struggle for some stretches and make him soft to cope up with stronger opponents, especially when he is needed to match them with his limited explosiveness either side.

Defensively, again he is raw and pretty vulnerable outside the paint. In the NBA, he is either too skinny at center, or a PF whom everyone can easily overrun. He is no PF, or not yet at least, but his coaches have not been using him at this position at all, so he has a center’s game on both sides. His rebounding and shot-blocking skills are fine for Europe, but his very limited athleticism will be enough to not secure him a place in the NBA. His leaping ability is non-existent and his strength is typical of many Europeans, often translated by rawness and aided by zone defenses. I seriously doubt that in the NBA he could be half the rebounder he is in Greece, let alone his shot-blocking abiliy which exists only in limited spaces. It would be difficult for him to stop an athletic, slashing wing player either. In general, movement is a big disadvantage in his game.

A 2003 U-19 World Championship Bronze medalist; a 2005 U-21 World Championship Silver medalist. An All-tournament selection in the last tournament.

His stats have been boosted this season to 15.3 ppg and 7.7 rpg. These are easily top in his team and top-10 in the Greek Championship.

Nobody can definitively say he is a lost cause, especially after playing so well and steadily this season and with the NBA scouts looking for weird guys to draft late in the 2nd round, but it is a bit unlikely he will be drafted.

His steadily improving game might be coveted by a team like the Spurs, the Pistons or the Bulls, but his rawness and non-athletic game will prevent most of his chances.

The good is that he is grabbing any chance he is given. He is a tough guy and performs according to his potential. This is a nice skill to have. He hardly gets disappointed and he plays for the team. The bad is that NBA teams don't always appreciate these skills.

The 2nd good is he is becoming draft eligible right now, at his best basketball season. The worst is that there are other big men who will always be more athletic than him.

Nobody can say no for sure, but he can be a surprise pick and not a risky one for anyone who gets him. He is one of those potential picks who would not be proven

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