DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Oklahoma City along with draft rights to Vasilije Micić (No. 52 pick in 2014), a protected 2025 first-round pick and Al Horford
About Theo Maledon
Theo Maledon is one of the top international prospects in the upcoming NBA draft with a high basketball IQ and all the intangibles for becoming a top point guard. At the age of 16, Maledon made his professional debut in France with Lyon-Villeurbanne. In the following season, he started several games as a combo guard and tallied a season high of 20 points against Le Mans Sarthe. He became the youngest player to play in a French Pro A league all-star game and finished with an MVP award in the French Cup finals as well as being named the Best Young Player in the LNB Pro A.
In the 2019-2020 season his playing time has increased in spite of a brief absence due to a shoulder injury. He has been utilized as a point guard and has proven himself as a game manager. His smooth playmaking ability and composure is notable, especially at his young age.
Maledon possesses good size at 6-foot-5, 180 pounds with a +3 wingspan. His playing style is that of a more traditional point guard. He has a nice feel for the game and a deceptive quick first-step when attacking the hoop. He uses his body well to maintain possession of the ball and limit turnovers. Maledon’s court vision and precision point-passing are two of his best offensive attributes.
With his solid shooting form and smooth follow-through, Maledon hits from all three levels on the court. He could stand to improve the quickness of his release as he often needs to be open in order to hit outside shots. He has excellent footwork around the hoop, displaying a variety of crafty moves and a nice touch when using the floater. His unleashed talent has only come in glimpses, but he needs to become more aggressive on the offensive end while continuing to get more consistent shooting from deep.
Maledon has solid lateral quickness when he maintains a low defensive stance. His length allows him to guard multiple positions and as he grows stronger, he will be better able to body up stronger point guards.
Maledon does a decent job rebounding since he does well in pursuing the ball on missed attempts. He also does well in playing help-side defense.
- Played the last three seasons (2017-20) in France’s top league, Pro A, with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne.
- In 2018-19, won a league title with ASVEL, was selected to the All-Star Game and earned the Rising Star Award as the league’s top young player.
- Began his career with ASVEL through its junior team in 2017-18.
- Played two seasons (2015-17) for INSEP in France’s 3rd division.
- Competed in the prestigious under-18 EuroLeague Adidas Next Generation Tournament for INSEP and ASVEL from 2015-18. 2019-20
- Finished his third season with ASVEL with averages of 7.3 points and 2.7 assists in 17.3 minutes in 46 games in the French League, French Cup and EuroLeague.
- In 22 EuroLeague games, averaged 7.4 points and 3.1 assists in 17.7 minutes while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three-point range.
- Excellent size for the point guard position.
- Efficient and poised for his age.
- Takes pride on the defensive end
- Clean and compact shooting mechanics.
- Mother, Sylvie, played for France’s Junior National Team.
- Father, Claude, played in France’s 3rd division.
- Sister, Lena, played college basketball at Southern Arkansas.
- Attended the same Paris training academy (INSEP) as San Antonio Spurs great Tony Parker.
“You feel like you’re dealing with a 28- to 30-year-old adult. He is mature and doesn’t seem in any way vulnerable in this new environment, which could impress [NBA teams].”
-- Team France general manager Patrick Beesley
* * *