Before Vlade Divac was fired, many would not have been surprised to see him look at a foreigner with the 12th selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. Especially when there is such a unique and high upside talent available in Aleksej Pokusevski.
After a disappointing performance in the bubble for Sacramento, I have come around to the idea that they should place a premium on upside in the draft to shift their focus to a future around De'Aaron Fox. Aleksej Pokusevski may contain the highest ceiling in the class and is likely to be on the table at pick 12.
PD Web (@abovethebreak3) recently watched all recent games of Poku and gave his two cents on the polarizing prospects. He was kind enough to join me on KP to discuss the fit for Sacramento, various potential Poku outcomes, his skillset, and more. You can find his written breakdown on Pokusevski here.
PD also shared his thoughts on other fits for Sacramento at 12.
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Love it. I’m a big fan of Poku. I think high upside stashes like Poku & Bolmaro (yes, I would try to stash him for a year or two. Bring him over during the offseasons to work, train, and play summer league.) and underrated upperclassmen like Tillman, Bane, Riller, Flynn, etc. are the way to go in this draft.
Personally, I would try to end up with two picks in the 15-30 range and take Poku and Tillman/Bane. Then hope one of the others falls to 35. If not, look at other fallers and guys like Reed, Riller, Flynn, etc.
This kid is really growing on me. He sounds like he could be that new prototype big man like Zinger or Jokic. A big man that can defend, pass, and shoot is the new NBA. If our new GM picks him at #12 it would signal to me that the GM realizes things need to be rebuilt over time and he is not going to try and fix things on the fly.
All that being said, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Spurs snag him at #11, because it is such a Spurs thing to do.
IF you had to do a contemporary ceiling comp for him, it’s probably Zinger with a bit less length (so a bit harder to overcome his lack of width inside) but more passing/playmaking ability. From what I’ve seen, Jokic isn’t a great comp. Jokic is more of a generational passer, but less fluid/athletic.
I was thinking he has the making of somewhere in between those guys. I’m not sure he is the scorer that Zinger is but is definitely a better passer. He may never be the gifted passer of Jokic, but may be a better defender and has more athleticism. Maybe a better passing and more raw Jonathan Issac, perhaps? That would mean he is very very raw. A year away from being a year away!
I mean, the extreme unrealistic high end comps, which is what we’re already talking about considering Jokic is a top 5ish player, is probably someone closer to Dirk or Durant. The somewhat less crazy version could be something like, I don’t know, Gallinari? A taller version of Siakam?
Or 4 years away from being Yi Jianlian?
I like him but I fear his bust potential is much bigger than his boom potential. If you can grab him later, that is fine.
Given the lack of sure-fire players in the draft this year, a long-term project like him who has a HUGE ceiling might be one of the best options for us, since we’re not going to make noise in the next couple years anyways. The question is trying to figure out where to snag him: do we do it at 12, or can we get some value by trading down or some other deal?
I’m seeing a young Josh McRoberts in those highlights.
which would be a 2nd round draft n stash
Josh McRoberts’ skills with better health and a better mentality would be an excellent player.
I think I’ve got a comparison:
* Irrational confidence
* Surprising passer
* A bit showy
* Prone to lapses
* Fluid for his size
*Good shooting mechanics, if not the best numbers
*Thin, a bit soft.
* Doesn’t draw a lot of fouls.
He seems to be a hybrid of: Mario Hezonja and Willie Cauley Stein.
That right there shows you his volatility as a prospect. Two very polarizing players, but a player who combines those skills capably is interesting as hell.
Thanks. Now everyone knows. 🙂