Bojan Popovic NBA Draft Scouting Report

Bojan Popovic NBA Draft Scouting Report
May 31, 2005, 01:42 am
Popovic is an extremely smart point guard with great instincts and feel for the game, often being looked at as an extension of his coach out on the floor.

At 6-4, Bojan has great size for the PG position. He also has a well built body and frame, which could handle some more pounds. He has a very good wingspan and quite a nice first step as well.

Popovic excels in half court sets, possessing decent court vision, having a knack for getting his teammates involved and just knowing how to move the ball around and run his team's plays. His movement without the ball is exceptional and he doesn't need to have ball in his hands necessarily to be effective. Popovic is a very good if, not great penetrator. He uses his quick first step and good handles to get by defenders with ease at this level. Bojan has a reliable mid-range jumper, which he can perform off the dribble as well if needed. He gets to the free-throw line often and is almost automatic from there.

Popovic is a very solid defender, who shows good intensity and desire on the defensive end of the floor. He reads passing lanes extremely well and comes up with lots of steals, finishing 1st in this department in the Adriatic league.

Popovic has one of the highest basketball IQ's of any player his age in Europe. He has great knowledge of the game and plays like he is a 35 year old veteran. Popovic is the leader of his team and has a great demeanor on the court. He is also a hard worker who never gives up.

Athleticism is biggest Popovic's flaw. His lateral quickness is rather poor, so there are major doubts regarding whether he could handle NBA points guards. Because of his limited vertical leap, he has trouble finishing in traffic. Traditionally, this has been the biggest hurdle for European guards to overcome to make the jump to the NBA, and Popovic is no exception.

Besides his athletic ability, his biggest weakness is his jumper. Popovic has limited range out to about 20 feet and his 3 point shooting is going to need a whole lot of work. He isn't accurate even when he gets wide open looks at this point. Also, his mechanics aren't the best and his release point is low.

While Popovic has good court vision, he is not gifted as Sergio Rodriguez and Roko Leni Ukic for example and isn't great passer.

He is somewhat predictable, because of the fact that his left hand is poor he almost always drives to the right. Also, he never uses his left hand around the basket. It takes NBA scouts about 3 seconds to pick up on something like this, and this is the type of weakness that the opposition's scouting report on him would feast on.

Popovic suffers against quicker players and sometimes risks his defensive position excessively. Should he make it, he could very well be a defensive liability at the NBA level.

Popovic had a breakthrough season this year, leading his team Reflex to the semi-finals of the Goodyear Adriatic league. Popovic averaged around 15 points, 3 assists and 3 steals in this competition, shooting around 50% from the field and just around 20% from beyond the arc.

Popovic is a 1983 prospect so he is automatically eligible for the 2005 draft. As of right now Bojan is on the 2nd round bubble and will need to show in workouts (if he will make it over) that he can handle quicker players in order to establish himself as a legit prospect.

Popovic is not the type of PG that scouts love. He is better suited for European basketball and is already one of the best point guards in his league. Because of the severe injury of Suns draftee Milos Vujanic, Popovic has a very good shot of being selected to the Serbian and Montenegro National Team for this summer's Eurobasket tournament.

Even if he goes undrafted, Popovic has a shot at becoming an NBA player later in his career. Certainly he is not as talented as many other PG's in this draft, but players with his intelligence and knowledge of the game are rare today. Also, knowing his work ethic and approach to the game Popovic will certainly develop his game even more over the next few years. Developing a consistent jumper would make his game much more complete and dangerous.

This profile has yet to be completed.

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