Dusan Sakota NBA Draft Scouting Report

Dusan Sakota NBA Draft Scouting Report
Mar 15, 2005, 04:57 am
Promising, long-term talent, with an excellent shot for his height. Despite being only 18, he has the type of experience that other players could only dream of. He "plays" for one of the best teams in Europe (Panathinaikos, Greece) and has been a factor offensively in the few times his coach has asked him to enter the court during the past two seasons.

He is not afraid to take the crucial, last minute shots. He has cold blood and is able to release a trey even when he is being guarded closely. He is a smart player, making good decisions and taking the shot in such a way that it is impossible to be blocked. His shooting style shows that the guy is as pure a shooter as they come, with a curvy way of getting his shot off.

He has developed a nice slashing game, which allows him to create mismatches with opposing SF's, as he is too tall for other players at this position at close to 6-11.

In defense, he may not be big, but he can steal the ball in a very smart way, due to his quick, long arms.

Considering his age (18) you could say that he has a lot of potential to improve down the road. His father is a coach in Greece and therefore has been around basketball his whole life.

Except for a sweet outside shot, his all-around game is not developed at all.

First of all, he is a liaility on defense. He is very skinny, needing to add at least 15-20 pounds, and a bit clumsy defensively. He misses almost all of his opponents on D, regardless of their size, strength or quickness. After he was acquired by Panathinaikos, one would think that he would be hitting the gym on a daily basis, but that never happened.

His rebounding is OK, but really nothing more than that. When other stronger or bigger players are in the box he has no chance of coming up with the board. His offensive rebounding ability is basically nonexistent. He'll grab an offensive board only if the ball lands perfectly into his hands.

Offensively, he hasn't rounded out his game as much as you might have expected practicing everyday with a top Euroleague team over the past two years. All he can do right now is shoot, which is good, but this makes him extremely predictable once the scouting report on him is out. Only rarely will he try to slash to the basket, but when he needs to pass the ball, we realize that he doesn't excel here either.

His skills are not bad in general, but he has lacked the playing time to really work on them. His athleticism is below average, but it can definitely improve as he continues to gain strength. Right now, he is very weak and he hasn't shown any kind leaping ability. His quickness isn't bad but he rarely runs the floor at full speed.

He plays for Panathinaikos Athens. This is the best team in Greece, the champions last year and a top-16 team this year in the Euroleague, with high possibilities to make it in the quarter finals.

After some games with very limited playing time, his coach has now excluded him from the 12-player squad, after adding some important veterans for the Euroleague games. In the Greek A1, he has only played in 8 games, averaging 12 mpg, 6.1 ppg shooting off 50% from the field and 44% from behind the arc and also 1.0 rpg and 0.5 spg. In the Euroleague, he played 6 games, averaging almost 6 mpg, 2 ppg and 1rpg.

Despite his size, shooting touch and smarts, it isn't difficult to realize that a player like him who is seriously lacking in strength, experience through playing time and also has not shown any specific signs of athleticism, shouldn't really be thinking about the NBA right now.

What is good for Dusan, the son of successful coach Dragan Sakota, is his age. He is only 18, he already has been a major star for the younger National Teams of Greece and his potential is high, at least concerning his size and shooting ability.

According to rumours in Greece, Sakota will be leaving Panathinaikos this year, maybe for Spain, but preferably to a team that will actually play him. But even then, he will need to show much patience and persistence, in order to gain some increased playing time and also bulk up and become an all around player offensively and less of a liability on defense. This sounds like a very heavy burden for a young player to handle, and this will probably take Dusan a little while at least.

As for this year's draft, Dusan has already declared, but will only keep his name in if he's a mid-first rounder, which means that he probably won't be in the draft this year after all. His chances next year, assuming that his work ethic will improve significantly, will definitely be higher. He might reveal some hidden secrets of his game too.

Sakota was completely unknown before the Summer of 2003 when he played at the Junior world championships. Here he first appeared as the 12th man for the Greek U-19 NT. He was the youngest and least known player for a team that included Clippers draft pick Sophocles Schortsianitis and two other players that are featured on DraftExpress, Costas Vassiliadis and Panayiotis Vassilopoulos. Greece finished 3rd in the competition and in one game, Dusan scored 14 points in 4 minutes, while making all his shots.

Last summer, he was the best scorer of the U-19 team of Greece in the very competitive European Championships. In a crucial game versus the highly touted big man Martynas Andriuskevicius and Lithuania, he scored a career-high 35 points on 7-12 treys and grabbed 11 boards.

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