About Marko Simonovic
Marko Simonovic is a mobile big man from Montenegro who has been drawing NBA attention over the past years thanks to his intriguing combination of a developing physical profile and advanced shooting skills for his size and position. Among the top international prospects in his class, Simonovic made his first serious steps in basketball abroad, playing in Italy from 2015 to 2018. He spent two years with PMS Moncalieri in the third-tier Serie B in Italy and one season at Siena, playing in the second division for Mens Sana 1871. A constant member of the Montenegrin youth national teams, Simonovic had a breakout performance at the 2017 U18 European Championship in Slovakia, finishing second in rebounds and third in scoring.
From that point, he dominated the paint at the following two U20 European Championships, being the top rebounder and averaging double-doubles at both events. In June 2018, he signed a multi-year deal with Olimpija Ljubljana, but after a season, in which he played greater part of his games in the Slovenian league, he was sent on a two-year loan to Mega Bemax. In the 2019-20 season Simonovic played a major role on his team, increasing his numbers and presence on the court dramatically.
Standing at 6-foot-11, Simonovic has good size for a center to go along with length and athleticism. Light on his feet, he runs the floor hard. His body is still developing which is characteristic of players at such a young age. He has the ability to stretch the floor, hitting threes off the catch, primarily off pick and pop actions. He demonstrates a solid shooting stroke from outside for his position and size.
Has the potential to become a constant pick and roll threat at the next level thanks to his length, mobility and good sense of setting screens. Within the paint he is more of a crashing-the-boards type of scorer, putting back teammates’ misses, than a skilled low post player at this point. He has a lot of room to get more consistent in the post, improving his touch and working on his moves close to the basket, but consistency should come along with his frame improvement.
An important key for improving his overall defensive performance on the court would be filling out his frame by adding strength to his upper body and gaining muscle. This would allow him to more effectively guard in the post and finish more effective through contact on the other end of the floor.
He might be a liability in defensive mismatches against quicker perimeter players due to his average lateral quickness, but he could compensate it with his length, good awareness and shot blocking ability. He’s a solid rim protector, but doesn’t seem to have a big vertical pop, which might hurt his stock in a fast-paced game.
- In 2016 Simonovic helped the youth team to win the gold medals at the U20 National Championships and at Cholet Mondial Basketball, a U19 International Basketball Tournament, taking place every year in Cholet, France.
- Won the gold medal at the U18 European Championship Division B in 2016, helping the Montenegrin national team to get a promotion to Division A for the following summer. Averaged nine points and close to six boards in about 22 minutes of playing time.
- In the summer of 2017 finished second in rebounds and third in scoring at the U18 European Championship in Slovakia, averaging 8.4 boards and 17.7 points, playing close to 30 minutes a game.
- Played at the U20 European Championship in 2018, finishing second in rebounds, averaging a double-double of 14.7 points and ten boards.
- At the 2019 U20 European Championship in Israel, the Montenegrin center once again averaged a double-double with 17.3 points and 13 boards per contest and led the tournament in rebounds.
- In July 2019, Olimpija Lublijana sent him on a 2-year loan to Mega Bemax, a Serbian team competing also in ABA league, well-known for its results in developing young prospects.
- Averaged 16.2 points and 7.6 rebounds for Mega Bemax in the ABA league, playing close to 30 minutes and starting in 19 of his 21 games.
- Pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll threat
- Stretch-four potential
- Huge shooting upside
- Light on his feet, runs the floor hard, and is a solid rim protector
His favorite player is Vlado Scepanovic, a Montenegrin professional basketball coach and former player, who won gold medals with FR Yugoslavia at the 1998 FIBA World Championship and the EuroBasket 2001 in Turkey.
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