2020 NBA Draft Profile: Deni Avdija
Forward, Maccabi Tel Aviv(Israel)
**DISCLAIMER: The following is an aggregate of player analysis from various media outlets and does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.**
NBA.com(click to read full analysis):
After a strong performance at the 2017 U16 European Championships, which Avdija led in rebounds and assists, he signed with powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. He made his pro-debut in the Israeli League against Ironi Nes Ziona in November 2017, becoming the youngest player to ever play for Maccabi. In November 2018, the Israeli talent made his first appearance in the Euroleague, scoring two points in three minutes of playing time in a loss to Fenerbahce.
In 2018 and 2019 he won back-to-back gold medals at the U20 European Championships, cementing himself as the top European prospect in his class. He then gained more exposure and popularity, winning MVP honors at the Basketball Without Borders European Camp in 2018 and at the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp in Charlotte in 2019.
ESPN/Draft Express (click to read full analysis):
- Big enough to play PF but has the ballhandling, creativity and playmaking skill of a PG. At his best operating out of pick-and-roll, where he displays excellent timing and vision, allowing him to make every read and pass in the book. Aggressive offensive player who is in attack mode every time he steps onto the floor. Loves shooting pull-up 3-pointers in transition. Brings toughness, competitiveness and swagger.
- Was learning how to play without the ball this season in a more compact role at the pro level. Elite cutter thanks to his strong feel for the game. Capable of playmaking out of secondary ball-handling situations.
- Has made significant strides on defense. Covers ground well and plays with real intensity getting over screens, battling on the glass and rotating to protect the rim. Gets in passing lanes, blocks quite a few shots and rebounds well.
Projected role: Big playmaker
The Ringer (click to read full analysis):
- Great playmaker for his position. He’s savvy in the pick-and-roll, rarely makes mistakes, and attentively locates cutters and shooters. He keeps the ball moving in the half court and pushes the ball ahead on the break.
- Solid ball handler. At 6-foot-9, he doesn’t have much shake, but he knows how to change speeds with enough aptitude to clear room for his passes.
- His best role could be as a playmaking hub from the post and on the short roll due to the combination of his height and passing ability.
- Strong finisher who can use either hand and scores through contact. Loves to pump-fake. He’ll fearlessly drive into the paint and challenge rim protectors.
- Excellent team defender who rotates well and typically finds himself in the right position. He’s not an athletic player, but can make an impact with his positioning as a reliable help defender.
- Good intangibles. He knows how to use his strength: He plays hard and constantly competes. He also takes analytics-friendly shots by mostly scoring on 3s and layups.
-- Kevin O’Connor
NBADraft.net (click to read full analysis):
All-around talented wing with great size … Versatile, he can play from shooting guard to power forward … Great feel for the game … He possesses a high basketball I.Q … Very competitive, not afraid of the big stage … Jack of all trades, he can do just about everything on the floor … Has all the necessary tools to become a point forward in the future and work as a secondary play maker … Has been exposed to high level competition from a young age and has held his own … He is a better athlete than most people think … Great ball handler for a wing … Can create his own shot … He has shown great signs on Pull Up situations and shooting off the dribble … He already has a very good looking Step Back 3 that helps him punish switches … Attacks closeouts and can go all the way and finish plays at the rim … Very good in the open floor, either as the ball handler or filling the lanes as a wing … Elite court vision, he can see angles that few players his size can … Creative passer … Can play the Pick and Roll at a very good level as the ball handler, since he can either shoot, drive, or pass to the rolling big … He can see the weakside while driving to the basket … Very good in drive and kick situations … Has a good basic post up game which helps him score against smaller opponents either with brute force or with nice footwork … He can turn from either shoulder when he is posting up… Has improved considerably at moving without the ball and is an amazing cutter … Very good rebounder for his position… Versatile on the defensive end, he can guard from point guards to light power forwards … Has a nice low stance on defense … Good lateral quickness combined with his instincts help him stay in front off perimeter players when he is motivated … He gets in passing lanes and his active hands help him make steals … Terrific shot blocker for his position, understands the law of verticality and can make blocks coming from the weakside … --Stefanos Makris