Taking advantage of a unique opportunity last season when Cibona Zagreb's financial troubles pressed him into extended minutes in the Euroleague and Adriatic League, Leon Radosevic
was an early entry candidate for the 2011 NBA Draft, but was forced to withdraw after injuring his foot at the adidas Eurocamp. Changing scenery and signing with powerhouse Armani Milano last summer, the 2012 season has been a change of pace for the Croatian big man. Playing a much less prominent role for a much more talented club, Radosevic has not gotten the opportunity to showcase his skill set, but remains one of the most prominent names in this year's crop of auto-eligible international prospects.
Standing 6'10 with a solid 240-pound frame and near 7'0 wingspan, the Croatian big man has good size for a NBA big ma. He lacks a degree of strength and is not a tremendously springy athlete, but has added some weight to his frame since last season, is quick off his feet, and plays with energy. He does not have ideal physical tools for a NBA player, but is not a complete slouch and has the offensive polish, high basketball IQ, and unselfish attitude to offer value as a role-player.
Unfortunately, Radosevic's role for Milano has offered little opportunity for him to showcase his offensive game. Scoring from the midrange and in the post with a simple, but polished offensive repertoire last season, Radosevic has functioned almost exclusively as a catch-and-finish option this season, doing what his coaches ask of him. He spends most of his time setting screens, rolling to the basket, and ducking in behind the defense when his teammates penetrate. Converting 61% of his finishing opportunities according to Synergy Sports Technology, Radosevic's touch around the rim does help him make the most of his limited scoring chances, even if he has only attempted a pair of jump shots this season.
Knocking down 40% of his jump shots and seeing a couple of touches every game in the post last season, Radosevic faces a unique challenge in terms of reaffirming his value offensively to NBA scouts. He's filled the roll he's been asked to in Milan, and done so very efficiently, but he'll need to remind scouts what he brings to the table on the offensive end at the Eurocamp in Treviso and in workouts in the coming months, as his current role does not paint him in a light that reflects his talent.
Defensively, Radosevic has struggled with the same things he had issues with last season. Asked to play the center position for stretches, Radosevic is simply not strong enough to effectively defend more physical post players around the rim, giving up too much ground and unable to deter interior scorers when they make decisive, aggressive moves to the rim. He's also a questionable rebounder, lacking the strength and explosiveness to pull down boards at a prolific rate. He does play with energy, helps his teammates, and does a decent job denying dribble penetration, but will need to get stronger and more active on the glass to alleviate concerns about his abilities on the defensive end.
Automatically eligible for the 2012 NBA Draft, Radosevic is our top ranked 1990 international prospect for a reason. He is a fundamentally sound all-around player with good size who can step away from the rim, run the pick and pop, and make savvy plays to score inside the paint. Scout have gotten to see very little of that from him this season, and considering his limitations defensively, his ability to show what he brings to the table offensively at a few key moments in the pre-draft process will likely play a role in what his draft stock looks like closer to June 28th.