Weight: 210 pounds (95kg)
College: International (Israel)
Standing Reach: N/A
| 7.7 PTS | 1.7 AST | 4.1 TRB | 0.5 STL | 0.6 BLK | 1.3 TOV | 51.4% FG | 33.6% 3PT | 52% FT |
Deni Avdija has the potential to be the second or third option on an NBA team as a playmaking forward. He has a great playmaking ability and can always spot the open man on the perimeter. He is really good at driving inside and kicking out to the perimeter. Avdija can run the pick and roll at either position which is a rare skill. Deni is an extremely confident player on offence and is never afraid to drive the ball inside despite his lack of strength. He has a solid pull up when attacking the rim, especially against larger defenders and has the ability to use pump fake to draw fouls near the rim. He also has really solid dribble moves which allow him to create space against his defender.
Unfortunately, despite his confidence to shoot the ball, Avdija’s shot is quite inconsistent. He has a slow release and questionable form which has led to poor shooting percentages from outside the arc, even when uncontested. He has the potential to provide decent spacing on the wing but needs to work on his three-point shot. If he can improve his shooting form and release, I can see him becoming mid-30’s three-point shooter in the future. The other concerning feature of Avdija’s offense is his poor shooting percentage at the free-throw line. He needs to improve this significantly as he moves into the NBA, especially given his decent ability to draw fouls.
Deni Avdija has the potential to be a positive player on the defensive end for an NBA team. He is a solid defensive rebounder and a surprisingly good shot blocker for his position and size. While his effort on the defensive end, his physical traits often let him down. He lacks the agility to keep up with the guards and he lacks the strength to compete with the larger player near the rim. He is also caught ball watching a lot of the time which allows opposition players to get past him with a quick first step. Due to this he needs to improve his defensive awareness and reaction times to make up for his poor lateral quickness or he will find himself becoming a defensive liability once he reaches the NBA. Avdija also has a short wingspan at plus one which means he does not have the ability to get as many steals as he should and finds himself committing unnecessary fouls at times. Having said all of this, if he can hit the gym and increase his physical presence, he can improve on all of his defensive weaknesses and become a net positive on defence.
No known major injuries to date.
Kelly Oubre Jr, Luka Doncic, Mike Miller.
Deni Avdija is a projected lottery pick in the 2020 NBA draft. He has the potential to move into the top five, but his placement will heavily depend on the results of the draft lottery. As there is no definitive top prospect in this year’s draft, NBA teams will most likely draft based on team need rather than talent.
Likely Team Fit
In the 2020 NBA draft, the best fit for Deni Avdija is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves do not have much depth at the small forward position and are in desperate need of a confidence boost after many disappointing seasons of not making the playoffs. Avdija would bring some effort and energy on defence to an extremely poor defensive side and can develop into a solid third scoring option for the young Timberwolves team. Minnesota have the third projected pick and are the top team in the lottery that would be looking to pick up a small forward. Avdija has the potential to develop into the missing piece that can help the Timberwolves make a playoff berth.
Deni Avdija is one of the hardest working and most confident players coming into the 2020 NBA draft. He is a solid player on both ends of the court but lacks some polish with his shooting and needs to develop some more strength and lateral quickness to match up against players in the NBA. His weaknesses can be addressed with quality coaching and work in the gym and I can see him developing into a 2nd or 3rd option on a playoff team as a playmaking forward.