|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 5"|
W: 194 lbs
(25 Years Old)
|Agent: Marc Cornstein ||
Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Pick 30 in 2007 by 76ers
Best Case: Beno Udrih
Worst Case: Teemu Rannikko
|Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert||Bench Press||Lane Agility||3/4 Court Sprint||Class Rank|
|NA||6' 3.75"||194||6' 5.5"||8' 1"||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA|
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|Las Vegas Summer League Day Five|
July 16, 2008
The young point guard came up big once again today. He made a number of incredibly difficult shots fading away off of one dribble from college three point range. He’s not an elite level athlete, but he plays the game at a consistently high pace offensively. He knows how to control tempo relatively well for a young guard and possesses above average court vision. The young guard's ability to run the point at his size and age is pretty impressive, but his defense still has a ways to go. Koponen's potential is incredibly intriguing, and the Blazers will have the opportunity to bring him over when Oden, Roy, Aldridge, and Bayless are hitting their stride.
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Las Vegas Summer League Day Four
July 15, 2008
The Finish guard has good size for a point guard in the NBA, and is quite physical as well. He showed pretty good quickness off the dribble throughout the day, and it seems like he'll have the ability to get to the rim against a higher level of competition. The most impressive display from the guard came in terms of shooting, where he made a number of ridiculous jumpers off the dribble. His shooting mechanics aren't picture perfect, but he has a very high and quick release on his accurate stroke. As a point guard, it's clear his decision-making will need to mature, but he enjoys playing a leadership role on the court. The guard also shows good vision on the pick and roll, and the ability to dish the ball on the drive. In the coming days, Koponen will need to work on playing at different speeds, and not forcing the ball into tight spots.
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Exploring European Draft-Day Storylines
June 17, 2007
Continuing a distinct trend that has followed him to every workout he’s attended so far, Petteri Koponen had himself another outstanding showing in front of multiple NBA teams, this time at a workout organized by his agent Marc Cornstein in New York City.
Eight Pinnacle Management clients worked out for at least ten NBA teams in separate workouts this past weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Teams that were in New York on Saturday/Sunday included Denver, Memphis, Boston (Danny Ainge), Houston, Utah, Portland (Kevin Pritchard), Toronto, Golden State, Seattle, Charlotte, Phoenix, Dallas, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami, the LA Lakers, and the New York Knicks.
According to an NBA executive that was present, the workout was well run and featured a good mix of shooting drills, and competitive one on one or two on two matchups. The players that were in attendance for the first session were Stanko Barac, Vladimir Golubovic, Marko Lekic, and Milovan Rakovic—a group of big “bangers” who did a good job beating up on each other and neutralizing each other for the most part—even if Milovan Rakovic did well to separate himself from the pack.
The second session—featuring Petteri Koponen, Casey Hughes (Yale), Zoran Erceg and Artem Zabelin—was reportedly more informative. Erceg did a terrific job shooting the ball, although his flaws (rebounding, shot-creating ability, athleticism) were evident. Zabelin looks to be “oozing with potential,” although he still has a “very long way to go” as his body looks years away from filling out.
According to two separate NBA people who were in the building, it was Koponen that stole the show once again, showing good ball-handling skills, an ability to change directions quickly on the fly, excellent leadership skills, great poise, a high intelligence level, terrific intangibles, and a real winning attitude that made him standout in everything he did. The same “plays like an American guard” compliment that we heard from a different scout who saw him in Orlando conducting another multi-team workout was again repeated here—meaning he doesn’t suffer from the same athletic short-comings that other international guards do. His shooting mechanics were critiqued, but apparently his jumper went in at a good rate, particularly on pick and pop plays.
|Joe Murphy / USA Basketball|
Koponen has a difficult decision ahead of him as the deadline approaches on Monday. Does he settle for being drafted in the late first or early second round of this year’s draft, or does he instead decide to go back to Europe, join a good team in a high-level league where he can get plenty of playing time, and attempt to boost his stock into next year’s lottery? That’s a tough call indeed.
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Nike Hoop Summit World Team Player Recap (Part One)
April 11, 2007
Koponen easily boosted his draft stock more than anybody during his week in Memphis. The young point guard from Finland had been a relative unknown to most scouts in attendance, but proved in the end to have what it takes to play against athletic competition.
During the practices, Koponen ran the World Select team like a veteran while making great reads out of the half court offense. Great awareness in terms of knowing where the defenders are as well as what the offensive players were doing within the offense allowed him to run the team like he had been playing with the group for a period longer than a handful of days.
When scoring in the practices, Koponen relied mostly on his ability to knock down three pointers with nice consistency. In addition to a high release point, he also elevates well when shooting the perimeter shot. Though he doesn’t look for his own offense unless other options have been exhausted, Koponen can hit the three pointer on the move or on an open kick-out with his feet set.
After his great play throughout the practices, the final concern surrounding Koponen related to his ability to play against the pressure defense of more athletic players. He had no problem operating against Aleksandar Ugrinoski and Chen Jianghua throughout the week, but it’s a whole new task to play against guys like Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo.
Statistically, the 6 assists and 1 turnover were the most important numbers for Koponen, but his impact on the court went far beyond the numbers. The young point guard ran the pick and roll like a veteran, making many great reads and showing the awareness to find the open cutter nearly every time. On the pick and roll, Koponen had picked up the instinctual tendencies of his teammates on the offensive end after only a week of practices. During one possession, he was running a pick and roll with his back facing the right sideline when the man guarding Nicolas Batum ran over from the blindside to steal the ball. Showing great awareness, Koponen spun and threw the ball simultaneously right before the help defender arrived, hitting Batum who took the ball to the hoop for an easy two points.
The young point guard rarely looked for his own offense in the game, choosing to play the distributor role instead. Early on in the game, Koponen received an outlet pass and took the ball all the way in transition for an easy two points. This basket ended up being his sole points inside the paint during the entire game. From behind the three point line, he only made one of his three attempts throughout the game, despite the fact that he can usually knock the three down at a better rate. The three he did make came on a high pick and roll, where Koponen found the bottom of the net from a couple feet behind the NBA three point line. On his other two attempts, one was forced up quickly at the end of the shot clock, and the other nearly went in from NBA range.
The athleticism of Team USA didn’t seem to bother Koponen at all, and he looked pretty quick himself throughout the game. Against the press, Koponen took it coast to coast twice, finishing inside the first time and drawing a foul the second. In the half court, he only made on ill-advised drive in the lane, choosing to be patient working within the offense throughout the rest of the game.
Throughout the week, Koponen proved he has a future in the NBA. He proved to have quickness and athleticism to play the American game, and his command of the pick and roll offense is extremely mature for a teenager. In addition to great size for a point guard, he also shows great composure and developed shooting ability. Petteri Koponen may potentially declare this season, but could possibly boost his stock with a year against top level European competition. Either way, he can enter and pull out before the deadline if he doesn’t receive the feedback he’s looking for this season.
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Batum '99% Sure' in Draft, Koponen Shines
April 8, 2007
Coming into the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit, point guard Petteri Koponen had a large task at hand. A 6’5” point guard out of Finland, he was faced with the task of grabbing the attention of the various NBA scouts in attendance, while proving he could play against more athletic competition. Koponen succeeded at both tasks, displaying the ability to run a team and making his way past more athletic players throughout the game.
Born in 1988, Koponen plays for a team called Honka Espoo. Honka currently ranks 2nd in the Korisliiga, the top league in Finland. While many players in his age group struggle to gain minutes, this hasn’t been a problem for Koponen. The Korisliiga ranks as one of the weaker leagues in Europe, and can probably compared to the leagues in Sweden and the Czech Republic in terms of competition level. While the league isn’t the strongest, it is probably safe to say that Koponen would likely receive at least some minutes in most of the stronger leagues in Europe.
Koponen reportedly plays 30-35 minutes per game with Honka as their started point guard, and has enjoyed recent success in Korisliiga playoffs. In a recent game, the young lead guard lead his team to a victory while scoring 27 points and shooting 7 of 9 from behind the three point line.
What makes Koponen impressive isn’t his scoring, but rather his command of an offense at such a young age. He perfectly fits the mod of the new age point guard with ability to see the court and break down the defense, in combination with his height and the way he moves on the court. During the Hoop Summit, his ability to see the floor and work the ball around the perimeter led to 6 assists and only 1 turnover in the final box score.
Due to the impressive play of Petteri Koponen, Memphis Grizzlies GM Jerry West made the trip to Finland this year with the sole intent of watching Honka play.
Both before and after the Hoop Summit, Koponen stated he’d potentially look into testing the waters in 2007 by placing his name on the early entry list. The fact that he reportedly has no agent makes the situation all the more interesting. He clearly stated after the game on Saturday that he’d move to a higher level of competition next season, citing the NBA as a preference, but mentioning a higher league in Europe as another potential destination.
Though Koponen plays a polished game for an 18 year old, he could clearly boost his draft stock with a good season against better competition in Europe. He will still be a relative unknown should he decide to declare this year, and it would be wise of him to pull his name out unless he receives a promise in the late first or early second round.
No matter what Petteri Koponen decides to do, he has clearly established himself as a player for NBA draft enthusiasts to follow. His combination of size, decision making, and shooting ability will give the soon to be 19 year old a chance to succeed in the NBA, whether he decides to make the jump this year or in the future.
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Nike Hoop Summit Practices-- World Team (Day 4)
April 7, 2007
Petteri Koponen continued to show great maturity running the offense and knocking down jump shots from behind the three point line. Though he struggles to finish near the basket against bigger players, the young point guard can usually make something happened when able to penetrate past the free throw line. Tomorrow will be a big game for Koponen, where he will get the chance to prove he has the physical tools to compete against American players.
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Nike Hoop Summit Practices-- World Team (Day 3)
April 6, 2007
Petteri Koponen continued to stand out in the practices today, particularly on the offensive end of the floor. He displayed the ability to break down the defense in the halfcout and pass with good success. He understands the right time to attack, and generally will cycle through the various options of the offensive set before trying to create a play himself. On the perimeter he continued to sink the three point jump-shot with great consistency, showing a quick release despite the lack of lift. The most enjoyable part of Koponen’s game came when the ball wasn’t in his hands, but instead when he’d end up in the paint setting a screen in the offense. He isn’t afraid to lay a hard hit on bigger players and gave out many John Stockton type of hits in the paint to anybody who crossed his path. Even if Koponen doesn’t have the quickness to play the point in the NBA, he probably has the size to play the 2.
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Nike Hoop Summit Practices-- World Team (Day 2)
April 5, 2007
Petteri Koponen was one of the more intriguing prospects of the day. He possesses great size for a point guard at around 6’5” and has the quickness to penetrate past the other international players. What really stands out is how physical he plays the point guard position. In the paint, he really excels when setting screens, and isn’t afraid from contact from any player on the floor. As the day progressed, it was easy to appreciate how well he can run a team. Koponen controls the game well, can find the open man off the dribble, and is very crafty with the ball in his hands. Also, his shooting stroke has great consistency - he can make it both while set and off the dribble. The interesting thing for Koponen will be to see how he stacks up athletically against the American players. He may not have the quickness for the NBA level, but if he does he could be a really interesting prospect to watch.
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