|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 9"|
W: 225 lbs
(34 Years Old)
|Agent: George Bass ||
Hometown: Venado Tuerto, Argentina
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|FIBA World Championship Preview: Group A, Part One|
August 8, 2006
We have dealt with Walter Herrmann many times here in DraftExpress, to the point that he’s apparently finally getting his shot this upcoming season in the NBA. He’s guy who despite sometimes having looked on the verge of international stardom, has become pretty clear now that he has settled down into a complementary role. That’s how he looked in Unicaja Málaga this season while helping his team to win the ACB League, and that’s how he looks playing for his native Argentina.
Herrmann draws attention because of his excellent physical set, which is truly NBA caliber. He has the right size for a small forward, he’s strong, enjoys a good wingspan and amazingly big hands that allow him to snatch the ball out the air like a tennis ball. He’s also an athletic guy who gets rather easily off his feet.
Offensively, we’re basically talking about a finisher. He has a nice perimeter shot, but it’s a static one and he needs space to effectively knock it down. He looks pretty well for the open corner to deliver them when being left alone.
He has a very basic mid-range game, especially off the dribble. If he attempts a slashing move, it’s usually to go all the way to the basket and take advantage of his big right hand to leave the ball in the net. even against opposition. His ball handling is average, but enough to penetrate if it doesn’t mean changing directions in the process. Defensively, Herrmann perhaps lacks a bit of lateral movement to battle quicker wings, but he can usually get the job done relying on his excellent physical set.
On a team like Argentina, with a rotation that is pretty well settled and with Andres Nocioni ahead of him, it’s not likely that he will enjoy any major role. Instead he will likely settle for a few minutes here and there every game off the bench, perhaps trying to become an offensive spark just like he was in the last Olympic semifinal against the US Team. Still, it looks like Carlos Delfino will enjoy significantly more action off the bench on the wings than him.
Herrmann is on the verge of signing with the Charlotte Bobcats. Apparently there’s already a verbal agreement, so he will join his countrymen Ginobili, Nocioni, Delfino and Oberto in the NBA.
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The Top Overseas Free Agents on the 2006 Market (Part One)
July 6, 2006
Herrmann has been on the NBA radar for some time now, and has been brought up as an NBA candidate repeatedly on DraftExpress. Although not having fully blossomed as expected when he first arrived in Europe, he has established himself as a valuable role player at the top level of the Old Continent, and his characteristics make his transition to that role in the NBA conceivable despite the more physically demanding requirements we find on the other side of the ocean.
When Walter Herrmann came from Argentina (after leading Atenas Cordoba to the domestic title) to Spain for the 2002/03 season to play for Fuenlabrada, he soon became the big sensation of the ACB League, averaging 22.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. In the summer of 2003, though, disaster struck for the Argentinean. A tragic car accident claimed the lives of his mother, sister and girlfriend. Signed by Unicaja for the next season, his play was disappointing. The psychological impact of the accident, playing for a new team with higher expectations and a more competitive roster were probably the reasons. In the summer of 2004, fate struck again when he lost his father, but he somehow managed to put that in the back of his mind for at least a little while to help out his national team in the preparations for the Olympics. He ended up playing a key role in a couple of games in Athens to help Argentina win the gold medal.
These last couple of seasons, Herrmann has shown a nice progression, finding his place in Unicaja, and becoming an important contributor on a team that won both the Spanish Cup (in 2005) and the Spanish ACB League (this last season). This last campaign, he averaged 10.5 points and 3 rebounds in less than 23 minutes per game in the ACB League, enjoying a starting status even if the prolific wing rotation of the team limited his minutes on the court.
There are little physical or athletic flaws in Walter Herrmann. At 6-8, he enjoys excellent size for a small forward, paired with a great wingspan and enormous hands that he uses to snatch the ball out of the air like a tennis ball. Besides, he’s a strong player and rather explosive. All in all, his body is ready to step onto an NBA court.
Hermann’s main strength rests in his slashing ability. He has a nice first step and some fairly average ball-handling skills (especially with his off hand) to start moving, while his athleticism (he has won several dunk contests in his career) and big hands do the rest. But as much as his penetration attempts, his perimeter shot has become another valuable asset to his game. On a team where other players (Jorge Garbajosa, Marcus Brown, Pepe Sánchez or Berni Rodríguez) take care of creating offense, he perfectly takes advantage of the spaces created from three-point land. He shows the shot of a forward, a static jumper with average mechanics, but he has delivered an impressive 43% accuracy this last season while taking more than 4 attempts per game.
Herrmann can also take advantage of his size and strength in the lane to score over smaller defenders, which he has usually done this season, filling the spaces created by the power forward Jorge Garbajosa from the perimeter. Besides, Walter is a pretty intense player, like most Argentineans, showing great character on the court.
Herrmann is not too fundamentally sound; a combo forward that has evolved into a small forward. There’s something wild and rude in everything he does on the floor. You will hardly find the finesse game that is often expected from international players.
Skill-wise, he shows obvious flaws. His ball-handling is certainly improvable, his shot lacks any versatility to use it in off-the-dribble situations and there are question marks about his adaptability to the further NBA three-point line. His left hand is also almost useless and his court vision rather poor. Given that his basketball IQ is not off-the-charts, he’s not always as effective as you would like him to be. Defensively, he might lack some lateral quickness that athletic wings might exploit, while he’s not tremendously smart to make up for it.
Indeed, all these weaknesses have limited him to role player status at the top level in Europe, never being able to reach star status at this point in his career.
Why sign him?
At the end of the day, to play in the NBA is a matter of talent, but also, and perhaps more importantly, about having the right tools. For Walter Herrmann, the transition between both competitions wouldn’t be as tough as it is for other players with physical or athletic liabilities. Indeed his game might be more suited for the American competition. On the other hand, he has less skills and talent to translate, so it’s a matter of figuring out what would be the outcome. Personally, I’m not particularly confident about his chances of succeeding in the NBA, although it’s hard to get a clear picture.
Herrmann has finished his three-year contract with Unicaja Málaga, and the Charlotte Bobcats are reportedly very close to reach an agreement with him. Otherwise, he will become an appreciated good in the European market, particularly given the scarcity of quality big wings the Old Continent is currently suffering from, as some of the best have already moved on to the NBA.
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2005 Spanish King's Cup
February 23, 2005
The story of this player is well known in international ball. When Walter Herrmann came from Argentina to Spain for the 2002/03 season to play for Fuenlabrada, he soon became the big sensation of the ACB League, averaging 22.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. In the summer of 2003, though, disaster struck for the Argentinean. A tragic car accident claimed the lives of his mother, sister and girlfriend. Signed by Unicaja for the next season, his play was disappointing. The psychological impact of the accident, playing for a new team with higher expectations and a more competitive roster were probably the reasons. In the summer of 2004, fate struck again when he lost his father, but he somehow managed to put that in the back of his mind for at least a little while to help out his national team in the preparations for the Olympics. He ended up playing a key role in a couple of games in Athens to help Argentina win the gold medal. This season, after a slow start, he finally got hot lately, scoring 45 points combined in the last two games he played before arriving to Zaragoza to play in the King's Cup.
And he didn't slow down here either, at least not until the final. In the semifinals against Pamesa Valencia he scored 30 points behind a fantastic shooting display, going 5/6 from behind the arc. His shooting had been excellent all weekend long, and extremely consistent. But he also used his nice post-up game and his slashing skills, while being OK on defense.
Herrmann is a strong small forward, with the right size, a great wingspan and enormous hands that he uses to snatch the ball out of the air like a tennis ball, showing the ability to find the way to the basket in traffic with just one hand. He's athletic (he has won dunk contests both in Argentina and Spain) and fairly quick. He shoots the ball with accuracy, and he's a nice slasher that can take advantage of his physical set in the low post. On the other hand, he's not too much of a passer, nor is his basketball IQ especially high, and his left hand needs serious work.
Herrmann is perhaps the player who has improved his stock the most during this tournament. Anyway, he's under contract for Unicaja Malaga until the summer of 2006, and a hypothetic NBA adventure still seems like a distant possibility at the moment.
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The Top Overseas Free Agents on the Market
July 8, 2004
Walter Herrmann- A 6-8, 25 year old, athletic Argentinean small forward that plays for Unicaja Malaga in Spain. Played for Fuenlabrada the year before and was named ACB player of the year (2002/2003) after averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds. Did not adapt well to moving to a bigger, more stacked team in Malaga and had a very average season this year (around 10 points 5 rebounds in Spain and the Euroleague). If he can regain his old form from last year he should easily work his way up on to next year's list. He lost his mother, sister and girlfriend to a tragic automobile accident in Argentina on the same day he signed his new contract with Unicaja and that undoubtedly affected his play.
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