Martynas Andriuskevicius

Martynas Andriuskevicius profile
Drafted #44 in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers
Height: 7'3" (221 cm)
Weight: 228 lbs (103 kg)
Position: C
Hometown: Kaunas, Lithuania
Current Team: Prat
Win - Loss: 20 - 9


Martynas Andriuskevicius NBA Draft Scouting Report

Jun 13, 2005, 06:55 pm
He is a versatile 7 footer plus with good agility, moves well up and down the court. Has a good wingspan, but doesn't use it enough quite yet. Offensively he is versatile, he can score from both inside and out. He has a nice shooting touch, and it's not a stretch to imagine him becoming a good midrange shooter in the NBA. He is a good passer, which lets his team dump the ball inside to him in the post and make things happen. He is good at using his height advantage to pass over smaller defenders to streaking guards. He actually is a good ball handler for a guy his size, although his dribble is a bit high. He can put the ball on the floor, going either left or right and finishing on either side. A good free throw shooter. Lots of potential to improve, especially on the defensive end because of his mobility and wingspan. Practicing in Sabonis' academy should certainly be helping his development.

While the potential is there, he is not much of a defensive presence yet despite his size. Very foul prone, bites for too many fakes and gets caught out of position on rotations. He does change the occasional shot because of his height, but nothing consistently yet. Might lack the timing and the vertical leap to become an imposing defender in the NBA, but he has plenty of time to work on that. He is very very skinny, almost rail thin, and unlike a lot of skinny Europeans his age, he is also very weak. This is probably his biggest weakness and the #1 thing holding him back right now. He has trouble not being pushed aside in the paint, even against players his age who are 6 inches shorter then him. His rebounding and effectiveness around the basket on offense and defense suffer because of this. He will often get manhandled out of the paint, which makes him drift toward the perimeter. He seems to have trouble being defended by smaller defenders, especially when he is being bumped around. This is a big one on the NBA level, he has to work on this.

He seems to have trouble catching easy passes sometimes, that might be because of a lack of concentration. Footwork needs a lot of work, on both sides of the floor. Defensively, he is often slow to rotate laterally and provide help. Offensively, he doesn't have any real post moves to go to in the paint just yet. If you consider the position he is expected to play in the pros, that needs to change and quickly. Playing with more composure and a consistent level of intensity is a must. Minor, but recurring injuries hurt him somewhat this year. Should teams be concerned by that?

Lacks experience playing against the higher levels of competition. Has yet to dominate players in his own age group. Would probably struggle right now in a league like Spain or Italy or in the more physical ones like Greece of Turkey.

Andriuskevicius has yet to get his feet wet playing against any type of serious competition. He plays in the second league in Lithuania (LKAL), for Zalgiris' B squad, a team of youngsters and puts up good (but not great) numbers.

Playing for Lithuania's junior national team in the U-18 European Championship qualifiers (the challenge round) in the beginning of April, he averaged 14.3 points (54.5% FG, 72% FT, 0% 3P), 9.3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3.8 turnovers and helped Lithuania make it to the real tournament this summer in Zaragoza.

At the end of the month in the Kamkabel International Junior Tournament in Tel Aviv, which is played alongside the Euroleague final four, Andriuskevicius did not live up to the hype and many came away disappointed from his overall performance. Some say that he had not fully recovered from his knee injury and came to Tel Aviv without practicing too much. See our article about this tournament to get a feel for the way he played.

He has had some small pesky injuries towards the end of the season. Before that U-18 tournament in Poland he was also injured and has missed some games in the LKAL (second Lithuanian league). He once again got injured in 4th game in Poland and missed the last meaningless game with Belarus. Due to that injury he missed almost all of the quarterfinal series in LKAL and his team which was the favorite and won the regular season lost to the 8th seeded team 3:1 (that same 8th seeded team won the championship later on). Andriuskevicius played in the last game, without participating in any practices beforehand, and after the game he felt that he went too early to play.

In the same exact youth tournament held alongside the final four just one year ago (this time in Barcelona) was when Andriuskevicius really burst on to the scene (contrary to what Chad Ford will tell you, it wasn't when he was first mentioned in ESPN Insider). Martynas helped his team win the tournament, and had a nice game in the finals—with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks.

In a perfect world, Andriuskevicius would be left alone to develop in Europe for the next few years. No would pay much attention to a guy that isn't dominating 6-9 players on the same age level, that hasn't even made a wrinkle on European basketball yet. He wouldn't read all the superlatives people are throwing at him, and he would be able to decide what his potential is for himself.

Unfortunately that is not the case. Every draft enthusiast knows his name and some of them can even spell it for you. His name has been entered into the draft this year, because there is a chance that someone will draft him right now in the lottery, solely based on what he might become in 4-5 years. From Martynas' and his agent's point of view, why not? International players do not operate under the same rules that NCAA players do. He basically has nothing to lose. Andriuskevicius can enter his name in the draft and pull out as many times as he wants to until the year 2008. Come draft day (if he stays in), the hype around him will be so intense that is almost going to be impossible not to give him a good hard look and start thinking about what a versatile and athletic 7-2 Center can do for your front line (way) down the road. And did we mention he practices with Sabonis? Write down how many times you hear that from now until the draft, it's usually the very first thing mentioned. From what his agent has told us, he (most likely) has no intentions of sending him over to the States for private workouts. Whatever teams know about him right now is exactly what they get. Considering the way he played last month in the junior tournament in Tel Aviv, he should feel quite fortunate that the word had already gotten out that he is not going to declare for the draft this year.

Martynas has all the talent in the world, but if the expectations from him are too high (like what is starting to happen with Darko Milicic) people are probably going to lose patience with him and they (fans/media/coaches) might kill his confidence and not let him reach his full potential. Sitting on the bench is not going to help him much. He could use at least another two years of regular playing time in a friendly environment, adding lots of strength to his body, learning to play like a true center inside the paint, and polishing his game. If he is drafted into the right situation (Portland with Sabonis anyone?), similar to the situation Nenad Krstic was drafted into, he has the chance to become an excellent player. If the situation isn't right he could just as easily be added to the list of 7 footers that never panned out.

An American Perspective on Europe: The Centers

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
May 28, 2005, 04:41 am
Possibly the biggest enigma of this draft, Andriuskevicius is a kid that few have actually seen quality minutes of, but many like to rank and talk about. Thanks to our contacts in Lithuania and other parts of Europe, we've managed to put together a decent chunk of this athletic, 7-3 teenager's minutes on tape over the past season. The results were pretty disappointing for me to watch personally, especially considering how highly most people in the States think of him. And while there is no doubt that this kid has awesome physical attributes and potential, he does very little to actually bring that out on the court right now.

First the good. In terms of height, he is absolutely huge, with a pair of arms that just refuse to end. He appears to have good hands as well. Martynas is indeed extremely athletic just as he is billed, 7 feet plus or not, the kid can move. He has excellent footspeed and is very quick to get up and down the court and move in all directions. He also can get off the floor very nicely to block shots thanks to a good vertical leap. To call him mobile would be an understatement. Offensively, he has a very nice stroke from outside, with range out to (and probably beyond) the European 3 point line. He can put the ball on the floor quickly and take almost anyone who tries to guard him on the perimeter off the dribble, being able to handle the ball with either his left or right hand equally well.

Now the bad, which unfortunately there is plenty of at this early stage of his career. Martynas looks physically and mentally overwhelmed every time he steps out on the court against players that are older than him (which at this point is basically everyone). The word skinny is thrown around a lot when it comes to European players, but with Martynas we are talking about something truly chronic. His frame is extremely frail, with narrow shoulders (almost like a young Keon Clark or Shawn Bradley, but with even less upper body strength) that leave you in serious doubt whether any type of weight lifting or nutritional program will help fix this in the next few years. He lacks the strength to do anything around the basket when he is being challenged, as even the slightest shove makes him completely lose his composure. 6-7 power forwards with a little bit of meat on their body toy and have their way with him with the greatest of ease at this point in his career.

Watching him play against decent competition is a little bit nerve racking. He looks like he is made out of glass sometimes, like even the most casual foul has the potential to shatter him into pieces. How this kid is going to manage to stay healthy while being pushed around every day in practice and in games in the NBA has to be a serious concern. He is a poor rebounder because of this lack of strength, but also because he does not even attempt to box out his man, as that would most likely be futile for him to even try.

Defensively, he can block some shots because of his size, wingspan and athletic ability, but he is also extremely foul prone; biting on pump fakes, using his hands too much, getting caught out of position on rotations, and lacking the footwork or lateral quickness to be able to stay in front of his man if he is taken out of the paint. This basically neutralizes any notion of him being able to guard power forwards in the NBA at 7-3, as he would be a huge liability defensively. I can't understand why one would want a long and athletic 7 footer anywhere else but in the paint altering shots anyway, but I guess that's just me.

On top of that, you have to wonder a little bit about his mental toughness as well. Beyond the fact that he floats to the perimeter way too much and doesn't appear to be the most contact loving big man in the world, it's not hard to see that he has a tough time dealing with the pressure of the Euroleague, whether it's at home or on the road. He looks very nervous and lost most of the time, missing free throw after free throw despite his excellent mechanics and shooting touch and getting very down on himself when things don't go his way. He just doesn't appear to be very comfortable in his own skin at this point, which is somewhat understandable considering that there just shouldn't be this much pressure on the kid at such a young age, it's just not natural. We can only imagine how much this problem will be magnified as a high pick in the NBA.

Watching him play, there was little doubt in my mind that he just isn't good enough at this point to get significant playing time in the Euroleague or maybe even the watered down Lithuanian league, especially considering the ambitions of his team (Zalgiris is and probably always will be the flag bearers of Lithuanian basketball). Martynas had a place (as small as it may have been) in his team's rotation for most of the year, but he is apparently not happy with the way he's being developed, and thinks he's ready to move on to the next level, before he's done anything at the one he's at right now. Instead of working hard to improve both physically and from a skills standpoint so he would be able to play a role for his team next year, he seems to be trying to take a shortcut and jump straight to the NBA. I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind that this kid is two years away at the very least from being able to play any type of role in the NBA. It's obvious that he should stay in Europe for at least another season to mature physically and mentally, along with gaining experience through playing time in a friendly environment, but he still insists on going over there regardless.

Looking at the history of the NBA draft, how many European players have been drafted after averaging less than 5 points per game (and he averages 2) during their last season and have ever had any type of impact for their team over the course of their career? If Martynas decides to make the jump this year and comes straight over, he's going to have "bust" written in big letters all over his forehead. And that's a shame, because he truly is a wonderful talent. It's just not his time yet.

We decided to pull him off the mock draft a few weeks ago already, and since then everyone else appears to have followed suit. Contrary to published reports, though, he has not pulled his name out of this year's draft yet. He will most likely be in Chicago during pre-draft week and, according to Lithuanian sources, will be escorted to the States by legendary Lithuanian trainer Aleksandras Kosauskas, who works with the Lithuanian national team.

Basketball Without Borders in Treviso

Pooh Jeter
Pooh Jeter
Aug 08, 2004, 01:00 am
Martynas was the most interesting player at the camp as far as the NBA is concerned, he is being touted as a lottery prospect for next year, and possibly the number one pick overall. After a U18 Euro Championship where he showed the ability to rebound and block shots, those skills were put on display once again in this camp. Coach Carlesimo did not let him hang outside the 3 point line and made him play inside. The competition here was very low so it's hard to jump to too many conclusions just yet. He is a very good offensive rebounder, but he still lacks the strength and agressiveness to finish under the basket, relying too much on turnaround jump shots instead. His hands might be a concern, they seem to be small and weak, as he didn't always catch the ball too well and usually needed two hands on it to dunk. He's a great talent, but don't expect him to come and contribute in the NBA anytime in the near future.

Andriuskevicius & Petro: Centers of Attention

Luis Fernández
Luis Fernández
Aug 01, 2004, 01:00 am
It's impossible not to feel astonished while taking in the combination of physical and athletic characteristics this kid displays. As he was running around on the court, I almost had to pinch myself to believe it. A 7-3 well-proportioned specimen that is gifted with great quickness and an amazing leap vertical leap considering his height. And the kid has some serious skills too. Too good to be true? Well it is, at least, this part of the story.


Considering his physical and athletic characteristics, it wasn't surprising at all to see him leading the tournament in both rebounding and blocked shots (13.4 rebounds and 3.9 blocks). He's not just as long as an NBA regular season, he also shows nice timing, so you can see him getting boards and handing out rejections while skying almost to the roof. Furthermore, he has the agility to jump very quickly off the floor several consecutive times while fighting for a rebound. For a 7-3 guy, that's pretty impressive stuff.

The strong impression kept getting better as you watch him shooting near or even from behind the arc with very good mechanics and a nice stroke. After all he IS Lithuanian. Some developing moves in the post and the ability to put the ball on the floor complete a decent set of skills for this youngster.

So what's the deal? You have to wonder how a guy with his physical presence and abilities can't dominate the game. It's unusual for his Lithuanian team not to advance to the quarterfinals, especially while playing in the weakest group and featuring a player like Andriuskevicius surrounded by the habitual bunch of nice wing players that always takes part in this national team, as much as the absence of a reliable point guard may have hurt them.

Andriuskevicius simply doesn't take advantage of his size enough. To start with, his post-up game is still poor, showing limited post moves that aren't really fluid, so it's not as easy for him as you would think to translate a decent position in the paint into an easy basket. He needs to work on his footwork and expand his arsenal to finish near the basket with more diverse skills; he barely uses semi-hooks, often settling for turn-around jumpers instead. At a junior competition that's okay, as the height differences are huge, but at the next level it would be really useful to have a wider array of options. Even more important, he gets pushed around too easily. In Zaragoza, gaining a good position in the low post seemed to be too much of an unusual accomplishment for him. On the defensive end he faces the same problems, as shorter and usually stronger match-ups can outplay him physically.

He's still very young, though, and his body is quite raw too. He needs to bulk-up and gain strength, but there should be no special hurry considering his youth. He has a nice frame to put weight on, and he shouldn't have problems doing it while hopefully maintaining his athletic ability. What's perhaps more concerning is a slight lack of aggressiveness on his part. He's not as intense as you would hope for on defense and he would benefit from being more active and showing a killer instinct around the basket (I would like to see him try to take the ball up strong after every offensive board he picks up near the basket). What all of this means is that he needs a lot of work still, both physically and skill-wise. Otherwise, he won't be playing consistent minutes at top European level anytime soon.


Martynas needs to realize that he probably won't be a power forward (or god forbid a small forward like some have suggested) on the next level. I think his future is set at the center position inside the paint where he should make a good part of his living. He's not that quick for an NBA power forward and he rarely penetrates from his frequent perimeter position facing the basket. His handles are average because of his height which makes it hard to keep the ball low while dribbling against smaller defenders. He has quite good defensive lateral movement, but again, perhaps not good enough for a forward. He's a 7-3 guy, and as useful as it is to have a good jumper, he won't fulfill his immense potential unless he takes advantage of his size near the basket.

I also think that on the court he acts a little bit too much like a star. He will sometimes yell at his teammates, not in an exaggerated fashion, but I'm not sure he has earned that privilege on the court yet. On the other hand, it shows that the kid has some character, which is not a bad thing at all.

Of course, I'm opting for a critical approach to his game. We are talking about a player who hasn't played with Zalgiris' first team yet and was rumoured to be expecting a top 5 promise from some NBA franchise in the past draft in order to not withdraw. Naturally, it didn't happen, as the Tskitishvili example is too fresh in the NBA's memory for something like that. But we are talking about a guy with enormous possibilities as a basketball player here. The sky's the limit for him and that saying has rarely ever been more true.

2004 Reebok Euro Big Man Camp

Pooh Jeter
Pooh Jeter
Jun 03, 2004, 01:00 am
We'll see more of him in the other camp and hopefully he'll show more. He's very quick and athletic, but he didn't impress all that much beyond his raw skills. He's credited as a great shooter, and you could certainly see that, but so was almost everyone at the camp. He has extremely quick feet, and he's a very good offensive rebounder because of his athletic abilities and wingspan. He really really needs to work on adding strength, his body is just really holding him back right now because he is forced to play on the perimeter instead of providing a presence inside the paint. He's not a bad defender, he's just too weak and inexperienced to match up with NBA post players. With another year of hard work a top 5 selection is not out of order, he seems to be focused and well coached, but he just really needs to grow into his body and work extremely hard on his post play offensively and defensively. His perimeter skills are extremely impressive, especially his ability to put the ball on the floor and pass, but again, how effective that will be on the NBA level is still up the air. At 7-3 there is little doubt he will have to play the 5 in the NBA, unless he wants to play the 5 the way Nowitzki does for Dallas, and unfortunately for him there is only one Don Nelson in the NBA. We expected a little more out of a guy that is being touted as a top pick in this draft, although he is extremely young and inexperienced. He also didn't seem to feel the need to showcase himself. You can tell that he doesn't want to be the next Sabonis, he would much rather be another Dirk. Watching him play during the Eurocamp games will make analyzing him much easier and we'll have much more to share after that.

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