|Team: NON-NBA College Team: Caserta|
H: 6' 11"|
W: 238 lbs
(33 Years Old)
|Agent: Matteo Comellini ||
Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Drafted: Pick 58 in 2005 by Raptors
Best Case: Troy Murphy
Worst Case: Eftimios Rentzias
A finesse player. You can see the talent and his elegance as soon as he touches the ball. A left handed player, he can shoot the ball from anywhere. He has very solid mechanics for a power forward that will allow him to improve even more. Never the less, he's not a great shooter yet. More of a reliable post player right now, but feels more comfortable facing the basket. Fine passer, good decision maker with the ball in his hands. He plays under control. Can put the ball on the floor and go strong to the hoop. Slokar started to play basketball really young, and it's easy to notice it because of his fundamentals. Decent mobility, rather fast for a big man, he can run the floor quite well, although he doesn't excel here.
Like many European prospects, Uros is still a skinny player. He needs to bulk up, as he can get easily banged in the paint. He's not always the most intense player on the floor, sometimes losing his concentration on the game. Because of this certain lack of intensity and his thin frame, his rebounding production is poor for a player of his height and position on the court. Slokar had a knee injury in 2000 that needed re-constructive surgery, but he seems now fully recovered.
Slokar is currently playing for one of the top teams in Europe, Benetton Treviso. He's not getting huge minutes, but the minutes he does get are consistent. It's hard for a player so young to get playing time on a roster so talented and deep. During the 2002/03 season, with Geoplin Slovan Ljubljana, he averaged 16.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game on 59% from the field and 42% from behind the arc. Participated in the FIBA Champions Cup as well last season, averaging 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1 block per game.
If he declares, a first round pick should be a must for him, somewhere between the end of the lottery and the late-twenties. Slokar fits the prototypical description of many European frontcourt players (at least, what it used to be): skinny, with nice mobility but not explosive, not very intense, and multi-skilled, with great fundamentals. He might not be physically gifted enough to make such a great prospect out of him, limiting a bit his potential in the NBA. But it's very hard to turn down a 6 foot 11 inch player with really nice basketball skills.
Slokar is an active and versatile power forward. Just like Luis stated, the second you see him play you can tell that the kid has talent. He has been extremely well coached and he seems to be a team oriented player. He is just extremely active when he feels comfortable with what he's doing on the court (not often because of the way he is being boxed in with his team) he likes being a hustling type of player: setting screens, hitting the glass with reckless abandon (not super efficiently but he does try), and trying to get in people's way to alter shots. Don't be mistaken, though, he has the fundamentals of the game down solid. Part of the reason he looks so energetic in the rare times he does get off the bench, is because he wants to prove his worth to the team. It should be mentioned that the only times I've seen him play is when he actually DID get minutes and stayed on the floor, so it's possible he's not always like that. Needless to say, he plays on one of the top teams in Europe, but doesn't see much daylight for them off the bench. When he does play, it's against some of the best competition you will find outside of the NBA, and he practices with some very good teammates as well, along with being coached by the highly regarded Ettore Messina.
Back to his strengths. He has a nice looking stroke from outside, picture perfect you might say even, but luckily for Larry Brown type coaches in the NBA in this case he has usually been instructed by his coaches not to stray out to the perimeter, even though he shows some promise from out there. He can also put the ball on the floor decently, his first step is nothing to write home about, but he is definitely an above average ball handler for a guy his size. Athletically he is decent for a European, he moves well north and south up and down the court, but struggles moving laterally east and west. As noted earlier, though, he is active at least and actually has decent timing for blocking shots. His team defense in general is pretty poor, it's not rare to see him getting lost on that side of the court. He could also use his wingspan to become a better rebounder, this is actually a must for him. His post moves are developing, but he will eventually become a decent back to the basket player in the NBA because of the way he has been worked with in Italy. He has a good frame, and shouldn't have too much of a problem putting on the pounds he really needs for the NBA. He has a nice midrange jumper already, and likes to use to glass with a soft touch. He also showed some nifty passing skills in the few times I got to watch him this year, both inside the paint to a fellow big man and from the perimeter to a streaking guard.
All in all he is a pretty versatile PF, he is a lefty and can play both inside and out and he brings intangibles to the table as well which should help him succeed, but it's unclear how much his lack of explosive athleticism will hurt him and his coaches haven't done his draft stock any favors at all with the lack of playing time he's gotten. If he can improve defensively, the Troy Murphy comparison will look pretty accurate down the road. If not, he might be stuck with the tag of a less athletic but not as soft Slava Medvadenko, which might not cut it in the NBA. It's hard to predict how a guy like him will react coming out of a strict coaching system and into the more free for all style of the NBA. He would make a pretty solid choice with a late first round pick in my opinion. His buyout has been all worked out so there are no problems there either. If he decides to pull out this year and try to impress next year with more minutes, I can see his stock rising as long he continues to improve.
Uros Slokar was named rookie of the year in the Slovenian League in 2002. He has been playing with the Slovenian National Team since he was a cadet.