Draft Lead

2020 Draft Prospects Around the World: Deni Avdija

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Despite the 2020 NBA Draft process likely changing, teams and their front offices are still trying to piece together their draft boards, and a major part of that is international scouting. TLSM’s “Around the World” series will introduce to the casual fan the international players who will become top draft picks. First up: Deni Avdija.

  • Home Country: Israel
  • Current Team: Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League

Strengths

Avdija has great ball skills. He can handle it well and is a creative playmaker with good passing instincts, averaging 2.4 APG. He stands out due to his 6’8″ stature, making him a clear candidate to play a point-forward role. Offensively, Avdija is strong as well, averaging 12.3 PPG this season. He isn’t afraid to attack the rim, primarily getting his points as a driver. On defense, Avdija ended this season playing with great intensity, disrupting passing lanes and rebounding well. He seemed to make great strides on that side of the court. Avdija’s experience playing against pros for a couple years will also be a great asset as he transitions to the NBA.

 

Weaknesses

Avdija’s greatest weakness is his shot. This past season for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Avdija shot 32% from three and 58% from the line. Although greatly improved in recent years, it still needs a lot of work before it can considered a weapon. Additionally, he doesn’t do any one thing extremely well, which could lead to him being overwhelmed in the NBA. There are also questions about his athleticism, and whether his skills and change of speed tactics will work against NBA defenders. Even though the Israeli’s passing ability is strong, he sometimes forces passes. Avdija is also incredibly right-hand dominant, and will need to work on his left. It would also not hurt for Avdija to gain a few pounds, as long he retains his mobility.

Outlook

Avdija is a gifted and versatile basketball player. He can do a little bit of everything, a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type. His shot, however, needs work but it’s not completely broken. His greatest strength is his passing ability and in-game intensity. In order to improve, Avdija will need to put in many hours fine-tuning his shot and lefty layups. The passes that he forces will most likely decrease with experience. Avdija may never amount to a top option, but he can surely become a strong starter.

Projection: Anywhere from 3rd to 9th overall.

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