2018 NBA Draft Profile: Rodions Kurucs
Rodions Kurucs is a skilled shooter with budding scoring ability and great size to go along with plenty of potential to improve on both ends of the floor. A highly decorated youth player in his native Latvia, Kurucs emerged as one of the best players in the Latvian Basketball League 2nd Division at the tender age of 16, subsequently signing with Spanish power FC Barcelona ahead of the 2015-2016 season. Kurucs missed much of that season with a knee injury, but has played the majority of the last two seasons with FC Barcelona II in Spain’s second division amid some brief stints in EuroLeague and ACB play. He declared for the 2017 NBA Draft before withdrawing late in the process and went on to average 10.7 points per game this season. Kurucs had several big scoring performances and made his Latvian National Team debut in the November FIBA qualifying window.
- Listed at 6’9 and 220 pounds. Has solid size for a power forward and an improving frame, but just average length for a forward. Fluid athlete with a strong first step who can play above the rim pretty impressively. Lacks a degree of shiftiness.
- Played a more significant role some nights than others for FC Barcelona II, appearing in only half of their games this season while splitting time with his clubs first division team. Did his best work pushing the ball himself and running the wings in transition, but also had some positive moments making shots from the inside and outside alike.
- Scoring in a variety of ways this season, Kurucs excelled in transition. A smooth, coordinated forward, he showed the ability to grab and go off the defensive glass, turn defense into offense impressively in spots, and make shots with range extending out to the arc. 24% of his possessions came in transition which he converted for 1.333 points per Transition possession [83rd percentile]. Long strider who can play above the rim pretty effortlessly on the move. One of the more gifted athletes in LEB Gold scoring as many easy baskets in the open floor as almost any player in the league.
- Promising all-around scoring wing who can make a set shot, attack closeouts, and make shots with range off the dribble. 20% of his possessions were Spot Ups with another 24% coming on a combination of Isolations and Picks & Rolls. Capable straight-line driver who can take what the defense gives him and create a bit with a strong first step. Reliable spot up scorer who has some room to improve his mechanics and range as a set shooter, but averaged 1.031 points per Spot Up possession [66th percentile] making pull-up jump shots at a terrific rate of 1.125 points per pull-up jump shot [94th percentile] in limited attempts. Not a bad passer either.
- Finds some success posting up smaller forwards facing up and making sweeping moves across the lane. Not overly polished, but scored 0.952 points per Post Up possession [74th percentile] largely on touch and coordination alone. Tosses in some fallaway jumpers impressively when he can’t get all the way to the rim.
- Has plenty of role player potential offensively as he evolves as a jump shooter.
- Ranked 3rd in LEB Gold in Transition scoring (3.7 ppg)
- May not have great length, but has the potential to improve significantly on the defensive end. Has a very difficult time guarding without making avoidable fouls which often limits his minutes. Not the most physical defender. Does a better job closing out shooters and chasing on the perimeter. Sells out on fakes, but has some recovery speed to be a capable team defender as his fundamentals improve. Can be disruptive in the passing lanes showing good anticipation. Has a lot of room to grow as a rebounder.