Not a prospect who was very high up on our scouting list going into this trip, Stefan Markovic nevertheless made a fairly strong impression with his performance in the Serbian Cup.
A point guard with excellent size at 6-5, Markovic has average length and strength for an NBA guard prospect, but is probably a better athlete than weve given him credit for in the past.
Showing quick feet, strong ball-handling skills and an excellent knack for getting to different places on the floor, Markovic is a very dynamic shot-creating threat at this level, showing the type of shake and flair that you dont usually see out of European point guard.
Hes a crafty guy who rarely hesitates in anything he does, being very effective running the pick and roll and showing terrific court vision and an excellent basketball IQ. He is an advanced passer who whips the ball all over the floor with some extremely creative passes, looking very flashy at times in transition in particular, but also having no problem running his teams half-court offense and especially getting the ball into the post.
His biggest Achilles heel throughout his career has always been his perimeter shot, and while hes shooting the ball at a very good rate this season (40% from 3-point range in the Adriatic League, on under 3 attempts per game), he had a very hard time sticking open jumpers in the Serbian Cup semifinal game we saw against Partizan Belgrade. Hes also had his fair share of difficulties in European competition and with the Serbian national team (going 0/16 at the Eurobasket this summer in Poland), indicating that his struggles as a shooter may not yet be behind him.
From a technical perspective, there isnt a great deal wrong with his shot, besides the fact that his release might not be the quickest and he doesnt get much elevation on his jumper, so there might still be hope for him to improve this part of his game down the road. His mid-range pull-up jumper does need work, though, as his percentages tend to fall off dramatically when he isnt able to simply catch and shoot. Becoming a consistent shooter is a big key for him considering that hed likely have to spend more time playing off the ball in the NBA than he currently does as the all-controlling floor general for Hemofarm.
Markovic puts a good effort in defensively and certainly has his moments putting strong pressure on the ball and doing a decent job staying in front of his man, but there are some question marks about his ability to defend his position at the NBA level, which is a significant concern. His average wingspan, frame and lateral quickness will not do him any favors in this area, and could be the main thing NBA teams will want to study in a private workout setting before making any definitive conclusions about his NBA potential.
One thing working in Markovics favor is the wealth of experience he brings to the table as a seasoned veteran, something that simply cant be compared with the resume of your typical college senior. Markovic has been seeing significant playing time at the senior level with Hemofarm (a good team in both the Adriatic League and often on the European stage) for years, and was a major contributor on the Serbian National team that made a deep run in last summers Eurobasket competition in Poland. His intangibles look quite strong, as hes a vocal guy with solid leadership skills and a high level intensity levelall big pluses considering the position he plays.
There have been guards with some similarities to Markovic who have made it in the NBA, such as Goran Dragic or Beno Udrih, but there are quite a few who havent as well. Considering how weak of a class this appears to be in terms of point guards, Markovic may have a chance to hear his name called in late June, but he has just as much of a chance to go undrafted as well.