For those curious what kind of toll the draft process can take on these players, look no further than George De Paula's measurements here in Treviso. Many people liken the NBA pre-draft process to a job interview, but that seems to take for granted the sheer volume of workouts, travel days, and time spent away from home these prospects endure, especially players like De Paula who start their campaign at the Hoop Summit in April and can't take a quick flight back home. Tipping the scales at 202 pounds back them, De Paula subsequently weighed in at 197 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine before coming in at 194 pounds here in Treviso. There's something to be said for the randomness of weight measurements, but it also seems clear, that even for a well-conditioned athlete like De Paula, life on the road for an NBA prospect can be a real rough grind.
Up a quarter inch in every size measurements, De Paula has steadily measured right under 6'6 in shoes with a 7'0+ wingspan. Needless to say, he has tremendous size for his position.
-Teaming up with Dragan Bender, George De Paula bounced back from a 4-turnover performance this morning to play well in today's nightcap. More aggressive looking for his own shot, the 6'6 Brazilian point guard got to the rim repeatedly thanks to his creativity and ball handling. He's still a work in progress offensively and needs to improve his perimeter shot, but De Paula showed the type of assertiveness he's lacked at times at the more visible points of the draft process. Though his numbers weren't outstanding, he looked as comfortable as we've seen him in some time.
Defensively, De Paula was a menace, picking up full court and coming up with some superb steals and blocks. Making things extremely difficult for the smaller Greek guards, De Paula had a nice showing despite this being his second game of the day (as well as testing and drills in the morning) and his status as one of the most well-traveled prospects in this draft, having been on the road non-stop for almost 2 months.
George de Paula seems to be taking the opposite route of his teammate in Brazil last season, Bruno Caboclo, by attending every single NBA-oriented event he's invited to. He was at the Nike Hoop Summit, the NBA Combine, and now the Adidas EuroCamp, which is a rare trifecta that's probably never been pulled off. He also participated in a workout in Los Angeles organized by his agency (Octagon) that was widely attended by NBA teams. De Paula just turned 19 last week, and his freakish measurements, combined with his impressive passing ability, will surely get him some looks in the late first round or the early second.
The youngest player participating at the Combine, and also possibly the most highly touted, George de Paula stepped into a very difficult situation and ended up having a fairly positive performance that will undoubtedly help his draft stock moving forward.
De Paula was significantly more aggressive than he was in Portland at the Nike Hoop Summit, making some outstanding passes using both sides of the floor, playing at different speeds while showing off slick ball-handling skills, strong court vision, and very nice creativity for a 6-6, 18-year old point guard. He absolutely towered over any of the opposing point guards he matched up with, which helped him see over the top of the defense and also match up with a few different positions, displaying nice versatility in the process. His defense is more potential than actual production right now, as some of the older players were able to take advantage of him with their superior strength and experience, despite trying to be competitive, and he wasn't quite able to figure out how to utilize his tremendous length as much as you might hope considering how physically gifted he is. He also had a few moments showing his youth, airballing a 3-pointer and making a few careless passes.
It would not have surprised anyone if De Paula went into a shell and had a very quiet outing here in Chicago like he did in Portland, but instead he stepped up, was assertive and showed all 30 teams in attendance just how talented he is, even if he remains at least a few years away from reaching his full potential.
-George de Paula: The young Brazilian guard largely matched his Nike Hoop Summit measurements. Standing 6'4.5 without shoes with a 7' wingspan, Lucas has outstanding size for a player who spends time at the point guard position. De Paula is pretty much the same size as Marshon Brooks was coming out of Providence, except he plays exclusively at the point and not on the wing like Brooks. Brooks measured 6'4.25 without shoes with a 7'1 wingspan and a 195-pound frame. De Paula has an impressive frame in his own right tipping the scales at 197 pounds with a very low 6.7% body fat ratio, finished 7th in hand width and 2nd in hand length among all players here (largely surrounded by power forwards and centers on the list), and is still only 18. Needless to say, he's one of the most unique physical specimens at the point guard position in this draft, or any draft for that matter. It's safe to say that NBA teams will be watching him very very closely the next few days.
George de Paula also had possibly his best practice of the week and is finally starting to come out of his shell seemingly. On his very first possession of the game he drove strong into the paint for a dunk (which he missed), and he did not look bashful at all firing up shots from the perimeter all scrimmage long. Like the rest of the team, he looked to make things happen early in the shot-clock as much as possible, using his big strong frame to power his way into the lane and draw fouls. Defensively, he was a constant presence, switching seamlessly onto bigger players (like Ben Simmons) and not really giving up anything when he did, which gives his team terrific flexibility. Lucas is far from a finished product, but it's impossible not to see how talented he is. The only question is whether a team will feel they have the patience to let him grow through his initial struggles and develop his game through playing time and learning from mistakes, which may not be all that much fun early on.
George de Paula also had a better outing than he did earlier in the week, making some outside shots, passing the ball effectively in transition, and coming up with a handful of very impressive defensive plays. His lack of confidence has been evident, and it's caused him to hesitate badly throughout the week, being a step-slow with his passing, passing up open looks to step into a contested one, and look extremely shy and withdrawn from the group.
Still, the flashes of talent he displays at times is undeniable, particularly on defense, where his incredible physical tools makes him an absolute terror, but also with his shooting and passing as well. He seems to know how much of an unfinished product he is in an interview we conducted with him, and talked repeatedly about the things he still needs to work on, mostly discussed above.
After two very ugly days at times, George Lucas had a slightly better outing today, finally starting to slow down a bit and not telegraphing as many passes as he had earlier in the week, which rendered him incredibly turnover prone. There is no denying the talent Lucas possesses, he has amazing physical attributes and huge potential defensively, while also being capable of knocking down the occasional jump-shot and making some impressive ball-handling moves in the open floor. But the game clearly moves a little too fast for him right now and his lack of high-level experience has been a real hindrance for him. The fact that he seemingly speaks no English and has barely uttered a word all week hasn't helped matters either. He'll pull off a handful of plays at times that very few point guards in the world can at his size, but for the most part is an extremely raw player at this point in terms of experience and feel and is very far from being able to help a NBA team.
George de Paula Height (w/ shoes): 6-6 Weight: 202 Wingspan: 6-11 3/4 Hand Width: 10 3/4 Hand Length: 9 1/2 Standing Reach: 8-6 1/2 Country: Brazil
Lucas is obviously huge at 6-6 in shoes, which will measure out similar to some small forwards in this draft. His near 7-foot wingspan and outrageous hands is what really sets him apart though. No point guard in our database has ever measured a wingspan as large as his, with the closest being Tyreke Evans at 6-11 ¼, and Shaun Livingston at 6-11. Just for comparison's sake, Lucas would tower over someone like Dwayne Wade in terms of both height and reach. There really aren't many comps for Lucas' unique combination of size, length and strength at this age. Lucas has the largest hands of any player in attendance despite the fact that he's just a point guard. He possesses similar size to Utah shooting guard Alec Burks who measured 6'6 in shoes with a 6'10 wingspan and a 193-pound frame at the 2011 NBA Draft Combine. Needless to say, Lucas is one of the more impressive physical specimens in attendance here.
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz
A record 101 internationals made up the 446 players on opening day NBA rosters this past October, reiterating once again how much the game of basketball is growing globally. Brazil continues to be one of the most fertile recruiting grounds for NBA teams, with their seven representatives trailing only Canada (12), France (10) and Australia (8) as the countries producing the most NBA talent.
The next Brazilian to make the leap over to the NBA could be in Sao Paulo right now, playing for Bruno Caboclo's old Pinheiros squad in the Brazilian league.
George Lucas (full name: George de Paula Alves De Paula, nickname: Georginho) is a 6-5 point guard with a strong frame, a very long wingspan (reported to be around 7-1), and absolutely gigantic hands.
Georginho has already made somewhat of name for himself at the international level, playing for Brazil's national team at the U18 FIBA Americas Championship in Colorado Springs last June, where he averaged 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3 turnovers and 2 steals per game in a tournament that was dominated by the US. Later that summer, he made his way back to the States again, playing at the Nike Global Challenge against some of the best American high school players in the country. He fared very well according to all accounts in that more wide-open setting, averaging 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals, although with 5.3 turnovers per game.
Stronger than he is explosive, Lucas has filled out his frame substantially in the past six to eight months and does not look anywhere near a finished product athletically. While not a high-flyer at the moment, he's a fluid and shifty ball-handler who can operate at different speeds and is able to get to almost anywhere he wants on the court thanks to his terrific size and strength, particularly in transition.
His gigantic mitts, reminiscent of baseball gloves, give him an added dimension as a ball-handler and distributor, allowing him to execute some advanced moves with the ball and whip passes all over the floor. While still at an early stage of his development as a playmaker, he's a very creative and unselfish passer, a willing facilitator who sees the floor well at his high vantage point of 6-5, and does a nice job particularly in drive and dish situations. The point guard position appears to be his natural spot on the floor, as he's not a combo looking to convert to the position.
His terrific physical attributes give him tremendous potential defensively as well, as he's big enough to guard multiple positions, quick enough to stay in front of most players, and is quite a playmaker already in terms of getting in the passing lanes, rebounding and blocking shots on occasion. He doesn't have great fundamentals or technique here, and doesn't always really know how to use his tools to his advantage, particularly off the ball and in the team setting, but he has a great deal of room to improve with good coaching and added experience.
Not having played a great deal of high-level basketball at this stage (he rarely sees the floor for Pinheiros' senior team), Lucas' decision making and overall polish are still lagging somewhat behind his overall talent. He overdribbles, forces the issue and can get a bit sloppy with the ball at times, turning the ball over more than you'd like, and can still improve his ability to finish around the basket, particularly with his off hand.
The area scouts will likely want to see Lucas improve the most in over the next few years is as a perimeter shooter. His mechanics are good, but not great, as he has a bit of a slow release and sloppy footwork, particularly shooting off the dribble, which will require some work and attention in the future.
What's encouraging is that he is not a total non-shooter at this stage, as he's made a decent amount of 3-pointers in basically every setting he's played, and is not someone the defense can really leave wide open on the perimeter. Combining his stats from this season's Brazilian Development League and the games he played at the FIBA Americas U18s and Nike Global Challenge, he's hit 22/77 or 29% of his 3-point attempts in 26 games, which is certainly not great but still leaves room for optimism. His free throw percentage in those three competitions was 71% (67/94).
Not turning 19 until the end of May, Lucas has plenty of time to continue to improve upon his highly correctable weaknesses and become a very interesting player down the road. Still somewhat of an unknown at this stage, he is rumored to have already garnered an invite to the Nike Hoop Summit this April, and should he choose to attend, can improve his draft stock dramatically there with a strong showing.
In a draft that is looking fairly shallow at the point guard position, Lucas' impressive physical tools and overall upside could be very attractive to a forward-thinking team drafting in the bottom half of the first round. While he is still a long ways away from being able to step on an NBA court, there is reportedly a strong chance he will enter his name in this year's pool and see where he stands among NBA teams.
Strengths -Great size for a point guard at 6-3 -Excellent frame -Extremely long wingspan. Big hands -Very good athlete -Outstanding in transition -Very nice first step. Can create off the dribble very effectively in a straight line -Can finish around the basket thanks to strong frame and long arms -Willing passer. Makes some very creative passes at times. Sees the floor fairly well. Likes to drive and dish -Has outstanding potential defensively thanks to terrific physical tools
Weaknesses -Still at a very early stage of his development -Has very ugly shooting mechanics -Passes up wide open jumpers, doesn't appear to have much confidence in outside shot -Average ball-handler in the half-court when game slows down. Dribble is fairly high -Doesn't have much of a concept of how to play defense. Fundamentals are poor. Plays off his instincts, which works sometimes at this level thanks to his terrific tools -Somewhat of a shy kid, doesn't seem to know how good he is. Still figuring out when to pick his spots -Floats in and out of games. Needs to improve intensity level
Outlook Raw and unpolished Brazilian guards with tremendous physical tools and natural talent. Has a lot of tools that simply cannot be taught. Still has a long ways to go as a ball-handler, shooter and overall player, but has great upside long-term.