|Team: Barcelona, International|
H: 6' 9"|
W: 225 lbs
(21 Years Old)
|Pick: 37 in 2017 Mock Draft|
Rank 6 in International 1995
|Agent: Nick Lotsos ||
Hometown: Nicosia, Cyprus
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz.
Aleksandar Vezenkov has accomplished quite a bit at the international level, despite being only 19 years old. The son of Sasho Vezenkov, a Bulgarian national team player, coach (in Cyprus and Bulgaria) and basketball executive, he's been a fixture on the various Bulgarian national teams for years now, scoring 17 points per game on average at the U16, U18 and U20 European Championships, as well as for the senior national team last summer.
A one-time Xavier commit, Vezenkov's father's ties to Aris Thessaloniki in Greece led him to sign there in 2010, where he enrolled in an American international school (Pinewood) that nearly led him on the NCAA track. He eventually decided to stay with Aris, and has been one of their most important players the past few seasons, averaging 14 minutes per game as a 17-year old, 28 minutes last year, and now 32 minutes this season, leading the Greek League in scoring for the fourth ranked team in the competition, an extremely impressive feat.
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At 6-9, 225 pounds, Vezenkov has decent size for the power forward position he mostly plays, even if he lacks athleticism in a serious way. He's not particularly quick, nor explosive, relying on his tremendous scoring instincts, basketball IQ and competitiveness to find productivity, rather than on his physical tools.
Vezenkov is one of the best scorers in European basketball, regardless of age, averaging an impressive 21.5 points per-40 minutes pace adjusted. What's impressive is how efficiently he does it, with a 58% TS% (54% 2P%, 38% 3P%, 78% FT%) and a minuscule 9% turnover rate. Only 10 players in our database (which goes back around 15 years) have accomplished that feat (21.5 points per-40+, 58%+ TS%) in a major European league at that age, five of whom were NBA first round picks, and all had a significantly higher turnover rate.
Vezenkov scores in a wide variety of ways at the Greek league level, but the one that looks the most likely to translate is his perimeter shooting ability. He has deep range on his jumper, with consistent lefty mechanics that aren't the most conventional, but certainly work for him.
With time and space, he dips the ball significantly on the catch, but can also get his shot off more quickly when he needs to. This ability to make jumpers in different ways is an indication of his instincts as a shooter, and a very good sign for his future.
Vezenkov shot nearly five 3-pointers per game this season, and made 38% of his overall attempts. His jumpers come in a variety of situations, be it as a spot-up shooter, in pick and pop situations, coming off screens, or attacking closeouts for pull-ups. His size helps him get his shot off over smaller defenders, and he's very crafty about using his body to create space. When a defender runs too quickly at him, he has great timing attacking the closeout and dribbling into open areas. He is not fast or quick by any means, but he uses his instincts and smarts to overcome that at the Greek league level.