|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Istanbul BSB|
H: 6' 11"|
W: 225 lbs
(30 Years Old)
|Agent: Marc Cornstein ||
Hometown: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Drafted: Pick 59 in 2006 by Spurs
Best Case: Vladmir Radmanovic
Worst Case: Dan Langhi
Markota brings an intriguing mix of European skill and American athleticism to the table. He is quick, fluid, and highly coordinated for a player his size, running the floor extremely well and capable of finishing very strong around the basket. He makes sharp, quick cuts to the basket and is difficult to keep up with on the perimeter with his off the ball movement. He prefers mostly to face the basket and is a deadly shooter with his feet set and with range that extends all the way to the NBA 3-point line, despite his extremely unorthodox mechanics. This is the extent of his potential at the moment, and the reason he’ll likely be drafted somewhere in the 2nd round and stashed overseas to continue to develop.
While Markota plays the power forward position in Europe and has great height and athleticism to continue to do so in the NBA, his other physical attributes are below average. He lacks both bulk and the type of frame that can be expected to continue to add much weight to it. His wingspan is well below average as well, which hampers his potential as a defender and rebounder at the 4-point in the NBA. Markota also lacks any real tools to become a significant threat in the paint to take advantage of his great size and athleticism, showing little to no post footwork or back to the basket moves and limited scoring options besides his turnaround jumper.
If deemed a small forward, there are other significant question marks that Markota will have to answer, starting with his defense. His fundamentals on this end of the floor are extremely poor in man to man defense, using his hands too much, showing unpolished footwork and very average awareness, picking up careless fouls and being late to rotate in the team defense concept. Offensively, his shot selection can be very poor and his overall decision making questionable. His ball-handling skills are rudimentary at best, dribbling the ball with his head down and being quite turnover prone. It’s probably too late to fix his shooting mechanics, so there are some question marks even here about much potential he has as a perimeter shooter.
Futher concerning about his upside and more-so his likelihood to achieve it are the many off the court problems Markota has had over the past few years, mostly in terms of his affinity for the night life scene in Zagreb and some issues he’s had with coaches and teammates. Markota has noticeably matured recently, but the light bulb still hasn’t fully come on as evidenced by quotes from his teammate Scoonie Penn in the Croatian media about whether he has NBA potential: “Yeah, when he wants to. I said it to him two years ago; and I’m still saying it to him. When I see him not working hard, I say: ‘Are you kidding me, you’re 21 years old, do you know what kind of life you have ahead of you?’ It all depends on him and his attitude. If he wants to, if he realizes what it takes to be a true professional on and off the court and he dedicates himself to it, he could be an NBA player, and a good one.”
Despite these concerns, Markota is still an intriguing prospect with quite a bit of room left to develop. His size, athleticism and perimeter shooting skills could already make him a serviceable NBA player when considering what his likely role in the league would be, and there is always the upside of stashing him overseas for a few years to see how he continues to improve. With the depth of this year’s draft crop taking a hit with the age limit and a weak Orlando pre-draft camp, combined with numerous teams in the 2nd round possessing multiple picks, Markota’s standing in the draft has improved almost by default.
This was a breakout season for Damir Markota, after spending the last two years on the end of Cibona Zagreb’s bench. While this season certainly helped his career, now that Europeans are less en vogue and it’s become obvious that he is a full-time PF, his potential might not seem as sexy anymore.
This season Markota proved things that we already knew already for years--he is highly athletic and a very good shooter, but he also showed many flaws that came to play because he didn’t see much action earlier in his career. In the second part of the season Markota was having trouble with a pesky groin injury, and his play suffered considerably. In the meantime he had surgery and returned to the floor this past weekend for the Adriatic League Final 8.
Markota shoots the ball very well, but considering how much he relies on his jumper, you would think that he is a dead-eye shooter, which he isn’t at this point with his unorthodox mechanics. Occasionally Damir showed some slashing skills, but he isn’t a very confident ball-handler and often looks out of control driving to the hoop. Damir also doesn’t have many post skills to speak of, scoring some points this year with jump-hook shots, but being much more comfortable playing on the perimeter. The skill that hasn’t been exposed as much as before is his passing, which is well above average for a big man. And while he might not be anywhere near as good a defender as his coach wants him to be, Markota has made some serious improvement in this area from two years ago when he seemingly couldn’t guard a chair.
The best part of his athleticism – his explosive vertical leap, helps him to come up with many rebounds since he is able to get off the floor quickly and jump high to snatch rebounds out of his area. He will need to improve his rebounding fundamentals, though, since he doesn’t always box out and has trouble holding his position on the block against stronger opponents.
The biggest drawbacks of his long-term potential are his very short arms and unimpressive frame, which leads us to believe that he will never become anything more than just an average defender. Markota is going to declare for this year’s draft according to his agent in the States, and as long as he doesn’t tank in workouts should be picked somewhere in the 2nd round…if he stays in. Given his fair share of weaknesses and the situation at Cibona, where he could get a more prominent role next year due to their financial troubles, Markota might be able to improve his stock by playing another Euroleague season before becoming automatically eligible. He already declared once and withdrew since he couldn’t get a first round guarantee, but has no problem withdrawing again according to what the NBA has clarified to us.
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In the latter stages of the regular season Markota suffered through some minor injuries that may have cost him a spot amongst the top-5. His game suffered, but he was still able to put in some decent efforts and participate in Cibona Zagreb’s qualification for the next phase of Euroleague competition.
Damir started the season red-hot from behind the three-point line, leading the Euroleague in 3-point percentage for the first couple of weeks. Since then he cooled off and missed 20 of his last 26 attempts from downtown. He showed a little more versatility in his offensive game lately, but still scores mostly with outside jumpers. Markota attacked the basket more aggressively in the second part of competition and even showed some post game, but not consistently enough. He will need to work on his ball-handling skills hard this summer, because this could open up a whole another dimension to his game, as he can blow by most Euroleague power forwards with his speed.
Defensively, he improved on the glass, boxing out better and increasing his rebounding numbers. He still makes some foolish mistakes on defensive rotations and finds himself out of position from time to time, but is consistently improving in this area and is on the way to becoming a pretty solid defender. Some doubts about his NBA position seem to be resolved this season, as it has become clear that he is incapable of defending perimeter players due to his lateral quickness not being up to par with his other physical gifts. He will definitely be a power forward in the NBA and in order to enjoy some success there will obviously need to add bulk to his skinny frame.
Markota can be happy with the level of performance he exhibited this season, being back on the NBA radar after a year and a half of decline. If he decides to put his name in the draft in June, barring dramatic improvement in the last few months of the season Markota should be picked somewhere between the late first and early second round.
Damir Markota is a perimeter oriented power forward with a good shooting touch and a decent physical set.
At 6-11 Markota has excellent size for the power forward position. He’s very athletic for his size, being highly fluid running up and down the floor, extremely coordinated and showing a good motor to put those things to work. Markota has good speed getting up and down the floor. His vertical leap is one of his biggest assets as he can jump high and get off the floor quickly. His footwork is the paint is above average, but could stand some further improvement.
Offensively, Markota’s only reliable tool and probably his best strength when discussing his NBA potential is his jumper. His mechanics are somewhat ugly, but he gets good enough elevation to get his shot off even with a defender in his face. Damir needs some time to settle his feet--think about Dirk Nowitzki’s odd stance at the free throw line--but has enough size and lift to get his shot off against anyone. He is an accurate shooter from beyond the arc with excellent range from behind the international three-point line.
Inside the paint, Markota has a soft touch around the rim and is good finisher using both hands. Once he gets the ball close to the basket he can release an effective hook shot.
His off the dribble play has been inconsistent, but he can put the ball on the floor just enough to create space to release his shot on the perimeter. He especially likes to use a series of fakes and jab-steps when is guarded closely on perimeter. He has shown potential at times to hit shots in difficult situations even without his feet set, being off-balance or fading away His first step is very good and that leaves the impression that he could be a dangerous slasher threat if he improves his ball-handling ability.
On defense Markota has improved significantly over the past year and that is the main reason why he is getting consistent playing time now for a Euroleague team. He is a very active defender and plays hard despite his skinny body. Damir is already a good rebounder at the European level, with potential to become an excellent one due to his height and vertical leap.
Markota is a gifted passer with court vision that is well above average for a big man, but he often risks too much which leads to an increased number of turnovers.
When speaking of his intangibles, some time ago he was labeled as a problematic player with off the court issues, mainly surrounding his coachability and professional attitude or lack thereof. This seems to be behind him right now and he actually shows a very good demeanor on the court.
While his improvement over the past year has been very encouraging, Markota is still a raw prospect that is still a few years away from making any kind of contribution at the NBA level.
His wingspan is very poor, appearing to be shorter then his height, which limits his shot-blocking, rebounding and defensive potential tremendously. Speaking of shot-blocking, Markota is below average for someone of his height and leaping ability. He bites on pump fakes too often, and his timing is sub-par.
Another physical weakness is a normal one for European prospects-- body strength. Markota has gained some pounds this past year, but he is still weak especially in the upper body. His frame doesn’t look very promising, but he should be able to add at least some weight to his frame as he doesn’t appear to have fully grown into his body yet.
Defensively, he has some problems against stronger opponents in the post, but he shows good toughness in this department and should improve somewhat as he gains more strength. He is a good help defender, but at times will overreact and leave his man with too much space and therefore risk his position for rebounds. Markota would have potential to play small forward in the NBA on the offensive end, but would probably struggle on the other end of the floor. His footwork is poor in man to man defense, especially trying to defend the perimeter. He does appear to move laterally well enough, as his fundamentals are lacking in this area. On team defense at times he is late on rotations and not quick enough getting out to defend the perimeter. He is sometimes not focused enough mentally on the court, gambling for steals and biting on pump fakes.
Some will wonder whether Markota is a tweener at the NBA level. Offensively he is probably a small forward, but at 6-11 his most natural position physically is probably as a power forward. The problem is, he lacks the bulk to hold his own consistently defending this position and there are concerns about how this along with his poor wingspan will affect his rebounding. We must say that in Europe he often does quite well here thanks to his quickness and vertical leap.
Related to his NBA potential as a power forward, offensively, he doesn’t have any type of back to the basket game to speak of at this point. He looks helpless even when trying to post up significantly smaller opponents to take advantage of his size. He can release an effective hook shot when he gets good position under the rim, but those cases are far and few between. His finishing around the basket is improved, but he is still slow to react at times. His free-throw shooting needs work, as he shoots just around 60% from the stripe.
His ball-handling ability is probably the thing that limits his offensive production the most, especially on the perimeter. He can get into the lane occasionally, but only when driving to the right. He should work on this since his speed would enable him to beat almost any power forward in Europe, and make his outside shot that much more dangerous, but at the moment he is unable to capitalize on this. This would also enable him to create offense for others due to his court vision and passing skills. When he does put the ball on the floor at the moment, he drives with his head down and a bit out of control.
Markota isn’t the greatest decision maker, taking ill-advised shots from perimeter early in possessions or trying to make spectacular passes instead of simple ones. His basketball IQ can be questionable at times, but he is a teenager playing with grown men in the Euroleague, which makes things more obvious than it would at the NCAA level. He is definitely not your typical European who is 100% fundamentally sound and very cool and smart about the things he does on the court, particularly with his shot selection, defensive rotations and decision making.
This is the first season in which Markota is getting consistent playing time with Cibona Zagreb. Currently he averages 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 21 minutes per game in the Euroleague, while shooting 40.5 % from downtown and 52% from field. In the Adriatic league he has similar stats: 8.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game with almost the same shooting percentage as in the Euroleague.
Last summer Markota led the European Under-20 Championships in both scoring and rebounding with averages of 18.3 and 10.8 respectively. Later he was invited to the training camp of the Croatian senior National team.
In 2004 Markota won the Dunk contest at the Croatian All-star game.
He already declared for the draft in 2004, but was forced to withdraw as he couldn’t get guarantee that he would be drafted in the first round. This year he could be very well in for good, even is he doesn’t get a first round guarantee. It all depends on whether his club and agents will be able to come up with a reasonable buyout figure, as he has a multi-year contract in Croatia with no exit clause.
His very consistent play in the Euroleague gives him a decent shot at going in the first round, but workouts will probably be the deciding factor. Teams will have to decide what is his NBA position and how much potential he has left there.
Even if he gets drafted this year, it’s not a give-in that he has to come over right away. He probably isn’t physically ready for the NBA yet and still could use consistent playing time to polish his all-around game, but unlike last season you can definitely see the making of good player in him right now.
Markota grow up with Hornets PF Maciej Lampe in Sweden, prior to returning to Croatia when Balkan war ended.
As predicted, Markota has made significant progress this season, becoming a main factor in Cibona’s surprisingly good effort in the first stage of the Euroleague along with Scoonie Penn.
Markota has been red-hot from downtown, hitting more than half of his three-point attempts (even nailing 10 in a row at one point). His mechanics look smoother than last year, but there is definitely room for improvement. Still, the most important thing is that he can get it off even when an opponent is guarding him closely thanks to his size and leaping ability, and also of course the fact that it goes in more than not. His off the ball movement is very good and this helps him in this area as well. Markota is also a gifted passer with very nice court vision, but sometimes risks too much here which leads to an increased number of turnovers. Speaking of offense, he leaves a lot to be desired in terms of slashing. He can take his man off the dribble occasionally thanks to a very good first step, but his ball-handling skills prevent him from doing so more consistently. In general, he needs to develop more of an in-between game, as he hardly takes any shots from mid-range.
His post game is probably the worst part of the package; looking helpless even when trying to post up smaller opponents to take advantage of his size. He has a nice hook shot and is able to release it when he gets good position in the post, which is not often due to his lack of strength.
Defensively he has been rock solid, showing good effort and footwork to stay in front of his man, while being very active as a help defender. Defense is the biggest reason why he is getting consistent playing time, unlike last year.
Markota needs to improve his rebounding skills as his potential is this department is good. He gets off the floor very quickly and has a nice vertical leap, but often doesn’t position himself well and lacks a bit of length. It’s the same story with his shot-blocking, where he’s below average when you consider his athletic ability. He bites on too many pump fakes and needs to improve his timing.
One of the biggest concerns regarding Markota in the past was his attitude, and he seems to have improved and finally appears to be fully concentrated on basketball.
Markota still has a ways to go with his development, but being able to produce at the Euroleague level the way he has at his age has to mean something. There are some serious holes in his games, but you must like his potential. Being a 6-11, athletic shooter with solid defensive ability should him right in the mix for the first round this June.
It was truly a great game for Damir Markota who is looking much better than last season. Even during the warmups you could see that he has much more confidence in himself then before, Coach Spahija’s call-up to the National team and a good performance at the U-20 European Championships apparently had something to do with that. Markota was hot almost immediately after missing a dunk and being blocked by Ante Tomic, starting his show by scoring 11 points in the first 8 minutes of the game. He hit two-three pointers with authority with his mechanics looking smoother than usual. Another five points came after the counter-attack, where he showed his tremendous speed in the open court and a good vertical leap by throwing the ball down strong inside the paint. His off the ball movement was exceptional and he truly was putting in a great effort.
Unlike last season, Markota was getting many touches on the offensive end and was playing a lot of pick and roll with Scoonie Penn. His lower body strength looks improved, although his upper body still needs quite a bit of work. You can tell that he has been hitting the weight room, but the results will be tougher to come by because of his narrow frame.
Defensively he was guarding Tomic pretty well, disrupting him from establishing position in the post and contesting many shots. Damir moved his feet well and was often helping his perimeter oriented teammates with good results. He rebounded well as he can simply jump a bit higher than anyone else on the floor thanks to his excellent athletic ability. Markota also came up with one monster block on Zagreb’s point guard Ozren Misic. Coach Anzulovic replaced him with Luksa Andric with 2 minutes left in the 1st period and Markota stayed on the bench until 5 minutes to go in halftime. When he came in again he made another three-pointer that capped off an excellent first half for him. In the 2nd he didn’t get nearly as many touches and came away with just 2 points off a beautiful hook shot after a spin move under Zagreb’s basket.
Markota plays on offense more like a small forward, showing great speed and shooting touch, but at nearly 7-foot he can’t guard perimeter players with much success, so adding some more post moves and bulk might be a priority for him. If he continues to play like this Markota could very well be one of hottest international names for the 2006 NBA draft.
Perhaps the biggest improvement has come in Markota’s attitude as he is now playing with great effort and is looking very motivated to prove himself at this level. The good news for him is that his main competition at power forward, American Bennett Davison, is injured and will be out for the next 2-3 weeks.
Despite being only 19 years old, Damir Markota (formerly Omerhodzic) has been known for quite some time already as one of most talented young forwards in Europe. Up until this summer, though, he was also known as a player that hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations of such a dynamic young player who showed such great potential at a young age. Part of that had to do with the situation he was in, playing for Cibona Zagreb, a team with a long history of success at all levels that has always been considered a powerhouse team in Europe and Croatia, up until recently. In the last two seasons with the Euroleague team, Damir logged 67 DNP’s in 99 games. Coach Drazen Anzulovic didn’t show much faith in Markota and Cibona was even trying to shop him at one point last season according to sources. Fortunately for them, nobody was ready to pay their asking price, as Markota now looks ready to have a breakout season and be a major contributor for them.
Markota (previously known as Omerhodzic) played some good minutes. He grabbed some offensive rebounds and showed off his very good athletic ability. He was running up and down the court very well for a 6-10 player and was not liability on the defensive end. That is pretty much it from what he was able to show in this tournament in such limited minutes, but we've seen enough of him this year to know that there is more. There are no plays set up for him at Cibona and generally his role on offense is limited to setting screens, rebounding and occasionally attempting a 3 pointer. He should get more playing time and a bigger role next season, but I have my doubts since his club Cibona doesn't have a good reputation for developing young and raw players like Markota. He is not expected to even test waters this year, but if he improves next season and is given a chance to produce he could be a surefire first round pick due to his physical attributes.[Read Full Article]
Last season Markota played mostly in garbage time, but this season after starting off slowly he became part of his team's regular rotation while playing in almost all games and starting in many of them, even in the Euroleague. Expect him to get even more PT next year. Damir showed off his excellent athleticism and the nice range he has on his jumper a few times this season. His best game of the season was in the Euroleague against arch-rivals Partizan, when he led Cibona to victory with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Markota still hasn't improved significantly enough in some key areas that he is lacking in: he is still a defensive liability and he can't play with his back to the basket. He is more of a SF for the NBA, because of his great athletic abilities and very good shooting skills, but this season coach Anzulovic (who is actually very pleased with his progress and attitude) didn't even try to use him at his natural spot, although Damir has indicated that he does not mind playing PF for his team, another sign of his improved maturity. He desperately needs to put some pounds on his frame to be effective in the post. Markota has as much potential as anyone in this league, except Aleksandrov, but we are still waiting for his breakout season, which could very well come next season. Most likely he will not declare for this year's draft, as he is in an excellent situation and all sides appear to be very content with his progress. As of right now Markota is in the status of a 2nd round sleeper, but as he continues to improve he could become a lock for the first round.[Read Full Article]