Draft Profile: Goga Bitadze's Versatility & Fitting Multiple Styles of Play
If the Hawks choose to add a big man in this month's NBA Draft, then one possibility is Goga Bitadze. The Mega Bemax center put together a fantastic season playing in both Euroleague and the Adriatic League. For more on Bitadze, Hawks.com spoke to Gabriel Andrade, who writes about scouting and NBA draft prospects for @JumperBrasil.
What does Goga do well?
Goga's best skill is his aggressiveness. He isn't afraid to play through contact, take jumpers or find his spots on offense. The Georgian is a versatile scorer for a player who is almost 7 feet tall: he has soft touch on floaters and post ups, and he can play out of the short roll and pass to cutters and shooters while punishing defenses who doesn't respect his effective mid-range game.
Furthermore, he is a very good rim protector who blocked 3.9 shots per 40 minutes in the last Euroleague season. His instincts rotating from the weakside as a help defender are well-developed for his age. He has elite timing when it comes to defending the restricted area.
How does his game translate to the NBA?
As a versatile scoring big who can pass, shoot, punish mismatches and play inside and outside, Goga is very playable on offense and fits the prototype for how centers are required to adapt to the modern NBA. He also had good flashes sliding his feet against smaller opponents; it is possible that he develops as an acceptable switch defender. In general, his game should be that of a skilled big and rim protector.
What can he do to improve?
Although he is capable of shooting from three-point range, his numbers have not been consistent from the outside, which also showed on his free-throw percentage. Foul prone, he commits a lot of fouls being super aggressive, jumping against fakes or not being careful about verticality rules. His perimeter defense is more flashes than anything at this stage of his development. He can do a better job staying in front of guards.
What style of play suits his game best?
As versatile as he is, Goga can probably fit his game to diverse styles of play but teams that like to play with floor spaced will suit him best. Constant motion and off-ball movement will allow for his short-roll passes. That type of offense would also give him the freedom to operate on the perimeter, where he has the capability to dribble, shoot and attack isolated mismatches.
To which current or past NBA player would you compare him?
Goga has Marc Gasol's type of athleticism, with size, wingspan and instincts as a rim protector, and decent-but-not-elite foot speed and explosiveness. His offensive game has shades of Nikola Vucevic, a skilled and fluid center, effective from the mid-range, who can also work from the three-point line and execute smart passes.
Gabriel is a Brazilian basketball analyst who loves both the NBA and scouting international basketball. He writes about both for @JumperBrasil and previously co-founded @TimeOutBrasil. He also studies the impact of statistics and sports management on basketball as well as competitive advantages of the sport.