Yotam Halperin NBA Draft Scouting Report
Apr 15, 2006, 02:49 am
Listed at 6-5 (196 centimeters), Halperin has terrific size for an NBA point guard. He compliments that with a nice frame featuring solid lower body strength, and a good wingspan as well.
Halperins biggest strengths revolve around his offensive versatility, intelligence, and the experience he brings to the table. Halperin has the potential to play either backcourt position in the NBA depending on what role his team is looking for from him. He started playing the point guard position at a very young age and has done it fairly extensively at the European level.
Offensively, Halperin is intriguing since hes the type of player that can score from anywhere on the floor, being both a terrific shooter and slasher as well as possessing a solid mid-range game.
He has terrific form on his jump-shot, getting nice elevation off the floor and releasing the ball quickly with range that extends to the NBA 3-point line. He shot 50% from behind the 3-point line on a sizeable amount of attempts (4 per game) in the Adriatic league. In the Euroleague his percentages dropped a bit to 37.2%, but much of this has to do with the poor way his team was built and the lack of support he got from his teammates on the offensive end. Halperin is equally comfortable shooting in rhythm off the dribble as he is in catch and shoot situations, and has been forced to take a large amount of attempts of these sort this past season.
As a slasher is where Halperin really made a name for himself at the European level, though. Hes first and foremost an outstanding ball-handler, particularly with his crossover, and he has the ability to change speeds quickly and show an extra gear on his 2nd and 3rd step that most would not anticipate. Halperin reads the angles presented to him instantaneously and makes quick decisions with the ball in his hands, changing directions, contorting himself with superb body control, changing hands and finishing beautifully off the glass, often with contact. He gets to the line at a pretty nice rate and converts 90% of his attempts at the Euroleague level.
Halperin is not an explosive athlete by any means, but he does a great job getting by defenders using his head more than he uses his feet. He has an assortment of crossovers, hesitation moves, and head or body fakes he can throw at opponents, being extremely shifty in his movements and constantly keeping his man off balance and on his heels with his herky-jerky style of play. He has a really nice crossover he can go to in particular. He creates his own shot very well at the European level, and is more than capable of going to a pretty polished mid-range game if the lane is not available for him. Halperin likes to stop on a dime and pull-up off the dribble, and shows very nice elevation on his jump-shot when doing so. His release is silky smooth, and his shot falls for him at a very good rate thanks to his excellent touch. In the Adriatic League Halperin shot 58% from inside the arc on a sizeable number of attempts, while at the Euroleague level he shot 52.2%.
As a point guard, Halperins ball-handling skills, court vision and basketball instincts all lead to believe that he has what it takes to continue to play the position in the NBA as well. He is a fine passer in both static situations as well as on the move, driving the lane with his head up and picking up plenty of assists on the drive and dish.
On the pick and roll is where Halperin particularly excels, as getting a screen set for him by a teammate is all he usually needs to create offense by getting into the lane and either finishing himself or finding the open man, or pulling up off the dribble for the jump-shot if the passing or slashing angle isnt there. Halperin is the type of point guard who will regularly create something out of absolutely nothing, threading the needle unexpectedly with a bounce pass from the baseline to a cutting man for a wide-open layup, throwing a sudden lob from the perimeter for an alley-oop, or just finding the open man simply and unselfishly coming off a curl for a jump-shot. His peripheral vision allows him to make difficult passes in all directions, and he shows no hesitation to go and make the play once he starts seeing it develop. His basketball IQ is generally considered terrific and the word heady always comes up numerous times when discussing him with scouts and basketball people.
In terms of intangibles, Halperins are very strong. Beyond his excellent feel for the game, Halperin has played and performed extremely well at every single level of play Europe has to offer. Starting with the junior categories with the Israeli national team, Halperin was always the top scorer in Europe at every competition he attended, whether with the cadets, the U-18s, the U-20s or the U-21s as recently as last summer in Argentina by scoring 23.5 points a game. Halperin played for four seasons with Maccabi Tel Aviv and won four Israeli championships, four Israeli national cups and most impressively, two Euroleague championships. Halperin only played marginal roles on these teams, but still garnered valuable experience everyday in practice by going up against the likes of Sarunas Jasikevicius, Anthony Parker, Arriel McDonald and others. This year Halperin was arguably the best young player in the first stage of the Euroleague, scoring nearly 14 points a game, with 3.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals in 36 minutes a game.
On the court, Halperin has a cool and calm demeanor to his game, which can often be taken as apathy or passiveness. Hes highly coachable and an outstanding teammate who first looks to get everyone around him involved in the game, and only then will start to look for his own points. The fact that his extremely well respected coach never takes him out of the game should tell you plenty about how much he is appreciated by him. Off the court, Halperin is considered a pretty impressive kid as well, well-spoken and not known to cause any problems.