Barac can be considered one of the biggest sleepers in this draft if he opts to stay in, given the great size and promising skill-set he possesses. He had quite an impressive season playing for Siroki in the Adriatic league, ranking 2nd and 3rd in rebounds and blocked shots per game respectively.
What made him a serious prospect is the growth spurt he hit in the last couple of years. Stanko was first noticed playing in the Reebok Eurocamp back in 2004, where he was overshadowed by the likes of Pavel Podkolzine
and Martynas Andriuskevicius
. While being praised for his shooting ability and fundamentals, Barac was considered too slow and weak for NBA competition. Since then he grew 4 inches and gained some weight, even if he is still a heavy footed Center who lacks some fluidity in his motions, it is a lot easier to deal with his lack of footspeed and vertical explosiveness at 7-foot-2.
Barac is still by no means an outstanding prospect, especially when considering the direction the NBA is heading these days, with the emphasis being on quickness and versatility, but he did a good job turning himself into a someone the majority of teams will consider in the 2nd round.
Despite being high one of the top players in the Adriatic League as far as his defensive stats go, Barac still has a lot of learn on that end of the floor, even if there are definitely some positives besides his sheer size. Barac shows solid toughness, not being shy about physical contact and taking pride in protecting the rim close to the basket. Sometimes he struggles making timely rotations and gives up deep position on the block too easily, while his perimeter defense is almost non-existent.
Teams often try to lure him away from the basket, which promptly puts him in foul trouble being due to his inability to stop dribble penetrations. Stanko will surely have to work on his foot-speed, but his presence around the basket often intimidates shooters and forces them to take low percentage shots.
Offensively, Barac doesnt have great polish and is a bit mechanical in his movements, but he can do a little bit of everything and put up points on the board. At this point his most consistent weapon is his perimeter jump-shot, but unlike some other European big men, Barac doesnt overdo it and spends most of the time in the paint, where his size is a great asset on offensive glass.
Back to his shooting capabilities, Barac is an above average static shooter with range out to the international three-point line. He doesnt have the fast release of a Zydrunas Ilgauskas
, but his mechanics are solid enough to get his shot off when given some space. If the defender plays him closely, Barac can take the ball to the basket thanks to the surprisingly good ball-handling skills he possesses as well as the long strides he makes.
In the low post he is not most skilled guy, but he can finish around the basket with both hands and shows good accuracy shooting the hook shot with his right hand. Barac has above average passing ability for a player his size, recognizing cuts and openings in the defense well.
Barac will be participating in the Reebok Eurocamp, and that could go a long way in determining where his stock lies, with an impressive showing there it is not out of question that Barac could get some looks in the late 1st round, even if the 2nd round is probably his most likely destination should he decide to stay in. If he decides to withdraw his name from the draft, Barac would give himself another year to work his way into the first round, which he certainly seems capable of doing.