Juan Carlos Navarro

Drafted #39 in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Wizards
Height: 6'3" (191 cm)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Position: SG
Hometown: Barcelona, Spain
Current Team: Barcelona
Win - Loss: 0 - 1


Blogging through the Copa del Rey (Part Three)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Feb 26, 2009, 07:17 pm
-Juan Carlos Navarro (#10 on rights held ranking) had an outstanding first game against Real Madrid and then an average second one against Tau. He’s a clear-cut NBA rotation player, but after his experience last year with the lowly Grizzlies—losing more games in one season than he likely did in the previous five years combined—it’s questionable whether we’ll see him in the League again. He signed a 5-year contract for 12.5 million Euro this summer with Barcelona, so it would be very difficult to envision an NBA team being able to compete financially, even if he were somehow able to get out of his deal.

2007 King’s Cup: A Look at the Oldies (Drafted Players/Free Agents)

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Feb 14, 2007, 02:52 pm
Juan Carlos Navarro (Washington Wizards)
Winterthur F.C.Barcelona, SG, 1980, 6-4


He didn’t come up with eye-popping stats this time, and the MVP award went to his teammate Jordi Trías, but still Navarro managed to emerge as one of the top performers in this Cup, if not the best. He was again a lethal offensive weapon that sprung to action any time F.C.Barcelona needed him, for example taking the scoring load in the dangerous third quarter in the quarterfinal against Unicaja Malaga (Barcelona has a history this season of dreadful third quarters), or building a definitive lead early in the final against Real Madrid. Navarro scored 14 points in each of the three games, which reflects on his consistency in this tournament over the years.

We could see the usual repertoire, including terrific off the ball play, impressive first moves after receiving the ball to anticipate his opponent's reaction, the ability to create his own shot attacking his rival and generating separation for a shot, his creativity finishing near the basket with high-arched runners, or his impressive shooting range that goes beyond the NBA three-point line. Still Navarro didn’t abuse his abilities (his moderate stats are a good proof) and played within the flow of the offense, making good decisions, sharing the ball and creating opportunities for his teammates, particularly the big men, dishing out 8 assists in the span of the tourney.

Nevertheless, the biggest news came on the defensive end, where Juan Carlos emerged as a very reliable defender, even in very complicated match-ups against the likes of Rudy Fernandez or Louis Bullock. This is a department where Navarro is steadily improving, showing better intensity and taking advantage of his quickness to stay in front of his man (he’s likely answering the demands of his very tough coach Dusko Ivanovic). Obviously he’s still a bit undersized and not the strongest guy around if we talk about dealing with very physically gifted shooting guards, but Navarro has reached a level of playing and maturity on court that should enable him to eventually succeed at the NBA level--meaning to establish himself as a useful player there. Still buyout complications (he has a 10-million escape clause) picture an unlikely scenario to happen unless he reaches some kind of agreement with F.C.Barcelona. Navarro wants to play in the NBA, though,and there is a sentiment that Barcelona might be willing to work with him on achieving that goal if it makes sense for them.

Euroleague: Who's Hot

Kristian Hohnjec
Kristian Hohnjec
Dec 21, 2006, 07:08 am
Juan Carlos Navarro established himself as the best scorer on European soil over the past few years, and after winning almost everything possible on the international and European scene, "La Bomba" seems ready to take the next step in his basketball career - joining the NBA.

Navarro is playing better than ever, hitting shots at an incredible clip, which enables him not to only top all scorers, but also lead the Euroleague in Index Rating (an efficiency stat). He is an amazing shooter with a lighting quick release and unlimited range, but also a dangerous penetrator, who knows how to get to the basket and finish despite lacking some vertical explosiveness and size. Navarro has a quick first step and moves very well off the ball, while he is also adept at drawing fouls, which is visible from his high Free Throw rate.

Navarro has good ball-handling and passing ability, but he might not be able to play the PG position in the NBA, unless he’s teamed in the backcourt with a bigger guard with more natural playmaking instincts. His biggest issue is his play on the defensive end, where he shows below average size, length and lateral quickness.

We are talking about arguably the best player in Europe here, and while undersized scoring guards aren’t really at the top of the priority lists of the Washington Wizards, they are certainly happy with the fact that they hold Navarro’s rights. It is very possible that Juan Carlos Navarro will finally fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA next season. Barcelona is reportedly finally willing to discuss a reasonable buyout to reward the loyalty of their franchise player, and from the whispers we are hearing from that part of the world, Navarro is ready and very much interesting in taking that next step.

Euroleague Final Four: NBA Prospects

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Kristian Hohnjec
Kristian Hohnjec
May 04, 2006, 04:40 am
The Euroleague Final Four was all in all a disappointing tournament for Navarro. We couldn’t see him in his typical high-scoring fashion in the game that mattered the most, the semifinal against CSKA, settling for only 10 points (3/8 from the field) this time around. He suffered against the very physical defense of the Russian perimeter, also getting less calls than he’s used to while driving towards the basket. Navarro is a very quick and skilled combo guard, really hard to keep out of the lane, and also a very dangerous perimeter shooter, but the aggressiveness of CSKA defenders didn’t allow him to operate comfortably, actually exposing some of Navarro’s physical weaknesses.

However, it might be significant to mention that right in the middle of the best season of his career, Juan Carlos lost some momentum after a minor injury he suffered in his left ankle about a month ago. Perhaps he’s not still 100% healthy, and indeed he looks a little less aggressive trying to get past defenders. Anyway, he came back fairly strong in the game for the third place against Tau Vitoria, scoring 20 points, most of them from the three-point line. Navarro barely elevates his feet to shoot treys, but his very quick mechanics and ability to shoot off the dribble, sometimes after faking his matchup, makes him hard to stop. Certainly the poor intensity of this game helped him to find his scoring habits again.

Navarro’s rights are owned by the Wizards, and until this season, there hadn’t been any buzz about him going to the NBA. He had always been focused on succeeding in Europe and the Washington franchise hadn’t shown a strong desire to actually sign him.

However, the excellent season he had has apparently changed the situation. Several weeks ago, Navarro made public his intention of trying the NBA adventure in the near future. This week, the Spanish basketball magazine Gigantes del Basket published that, according to Tim Connelly (Washington’s assistant director of player personnel), Navarro has already accepted the Wizards’ proposition to join the team after the World Championships this summer. Still, Navarro has three years more left off his contract with a huge buyout, and Winterthur FC Barcelona won’t open the door that easily: “we wouldn’t reduce even one euro in his buyout”, said GM Zoran Savic the to El Mundo Deportivo.

King's Cup: Drafted Players and Potential Over-22 Free Agents

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Feb 23, 2006, 02:46 am
One of the early candidates for the MVP trophy, Navarro and his team F.C.Barcelona shrank in the quarterfinals in an awful last quarter against their archrivals Real Madrid. Until then, during the first three periods, Juan Carlos showed the spectacular level he enjoys since the last summer in the Eurobasket, being selected to the All-tournament team then, and finishing second in scoring only behind Nowitzki. Offensively, he’s one of the top guards in Europe hands down. He already had a reputation of being a very talented offensive threat, but it hasn’t been until this season that he reached consistency in his playing level. Despite the final loss, this game only certified it.

Everything started as expected, with Navarro driving defenses crazy. Whether with his three-point stroke (he’s very quick releasing the ball as he barely jumps in the process, and can net it off the dribble) or slashing towards the basket using his excellent handles to finish with his trademarked elevated layups, while always working without the ball to receive in an advantageous position, he easily added points and facilitated his team’s offensive game.

Better defended in the second half, he put more emphasis on distributing the ball, successfully feeding cutters, playing the pick and roll or leading transition plays with creativity and showcasing his very nice court vision. During Barcelona’s drought in the last quarter, he was forced to reassume the scoring load, but found himself over-defended and not receiving much help from his teammates, which led to some mistakes and turnovers.

Drafted by the Washington Wizards in the second round of the 2002 draft, Navarro has reached his prime as a player. He’s such a talented guard that offensively he displays more than enough level to play in the NBA. A shooting guard in Europe, Navarro would be able to escape his undersized condition playing the point with ease in the American league, just as he used to do when he was younger and as he still shows nowadays in certain situations. His defense, average at best, is the biggest concern about him. Here he suffered whenever he was matched up with Louis Bullock or Igor Rakocevic. Anyway, he has a long and very lucrative contract in Barcelona, where he’s the franchise player, the club’s emblem, so it would be really difficult to buy him out of there.

Checking Stock at the King's Cup

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Mar 19, 2004, 12:00 am
Impressive performance by the Spanish guard. After a great quarterfinals game where he led his team to the victory, he was forced into the game in the second quarter of the semi-finals with an injured finger, as F.C.Barcelona were 17 points down in a game where they were heavy favourites. Navarro single-handed kept his team's hopes of victory alive until the last couple of minutes with an impressive outburst of 27 points in 23 minutes. He showed his typical array of offensive weapons, particularly a deadly three-pointer and his unstoppable high arching lay-ups after penetration, also drawing many fouls in the process. Selected in the second round by the Wizards in the 2002 draft, it's not very likely Navarro will end in the NBA anytime soon, as his stock in Europe is very high, there are some doubts about his ability to adapt his game to the League, and it doesn't seem that Washington needs another combo guard at the moment.

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