About Luka Samanic
Luka Samanic is among the more athletic European forwards to come through the draft in recent memory. He came on late in his first season in Slovenia before putting together a strong showing in the competitive portion of the NBA Draft Combine. Samanic emerged as a prospect early in his career averaging 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for Croatia at the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship. Spending the next two seasons with FC Barcelona’s second and junior teams, the Zagreb native built a strong resume at a junior level turning in stellar performances at and last year’s FIBA U18 European Championship and adidas Next Generation Tournament. Carving out a small role in the Spanish 2nd Division, the fluid forward moved to Petrol Olimpija this season averaging 8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game across the Basketball Champion’s League, Adriatic League, and Slovenian 1st Division.
Possesses terrific size for a power forward measuring 6’11 in shoes with a steadily improving 227-pound frame but has only a 6’10.5 wingspan. Fluid athlete with impressive leaping ability on the move and very good feet. Has room to continue getting stronger but has come a long way physically in his late teens already.
Played significantly more minutes some nights than others this season putting together several strong stretches showing promise as an inside-outside scorer off the ball, the ability to make straight line drives to the rim, and competing with a solid energy level.
Improving defender with intriguing versatility. Has very good feet for his size and plays with more toughness than he did early in his career. Could be more active off the ball and as a rebounder.
Allowed 0.771 points per Post Up possession [66th percentile] and 0.515 points per Isolation possession [89th percentile] finding more success with his ability to slide on the perimeter than bang inside at this point in his career.
- Croatia native has played professionally in Slovenia and Spain.
- Competed in Spain’s LEB Gold, the country’s second division, in 2017-18 for FC Barcelona’s second team.
- Played for Barca’s U-18 team in the adidas Next Generation Tournament in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Averaged 13.3 points and 8.6 rebounds in 12 ANGT career games.
- Had a prolific career at the U-18 and U-16 levels for Croatia (15.8 points and 8.4 rebounds in 21 European Championship games).
- Participated in 2018 Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Los Angeles. 2018-19
- Joined Union Olimpija after playing the previous season in Spain’s second division.
- Saw action in Slovenia’s domestic league schedule, the Adriatic League and the FIBA Champions Cup.
- Across games in all leagues as well as domestic cup competition, posted averages of 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 18.0 minutes as of May 6.
- Great size and agility for a modern forward.
- Good athlete who plays above the rim in space.
- Capable spot-up three-point shooter.
- Post skills are steadily improving.
- Former teammate of the Brooklyn Nets’ Rodions Kurucs with FC Barcelona’s second team.
- Loved breakdancing as a kid.