There are a lot of true centers coming out from the USA this year, so true European centers are getting noticed. Klimenko has some skill and should be selected from the late 1st round to the mid-2nd round.
Klimenko had a very productive year against decent competition in Russia. He had a streak of 13 straight double figure scoring games while shooting over 60 percent from the field.
13.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.8 bpg, 23.7 mpg, .543 2PT, .731 FT (Russia)
In a three game stretch early in the season Klimenko made 21-of-25 shots from the field and scored a total of 54 points in 67 minutes of court time.
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What Insiders say:
Chris Denker, NetScouts Basketball
“One of the biggest, longest prospects in the draft. When you have a 20 year old kid who is 7’1 and has even longer arms (7’4 wing, 9’4 reach) he’s going to be considered by someone picking late in the 1st round and definitely drafted by mid-2nd. Good mobility for such a big guy, runs floor well, and can finish around the basket. Very good shooter for a guy his size and plays pretty hard defensively. Does he end up being similar to Zydrunas Ilgauskas or more like Timofey Mozgov? Only time will tell but he has the upside to develop into a solid backup center someday and potentially better, worthy of a draft pick.”
Carl Berman, NetScouts Basketball
" Anytime you have a 7-footer with offensive skill and decent mobility, he's got a chance. Klimenko has great size and has produced well against decent competition in the Russian Superleague. He's intelligent with a good understanding of the game. Probably not ready for the NBA now, but definitely should be drafted and have his skills honed in Europe for another year or two."
-- Carl Berman and Chris Denker are Managing Partners of NetScouts Basketball, "The International Basketball Connection." You can follow NetScouts Basketball on twitter here, or follow Chris and Carl.