AUGUSTAS MARČIULIONIS

BIRTHDATE: 3/21/02

POSITION: Point Guard

HEIGHT: 6'3"

WEIGHT: 180 lbs

TEAM: Rytus Vilnius

Draft Projection

Early second round pick for 2021 NBA Draft.

My Comments

He has good skills for an average career in the NBA. But his frame is a big problem. His offensive arsenal is wide. He's not a good defender for high levels. He's not a good player at a mentally critical level, at least, for now.

Background and Notable Stats

Augustas is the son of Sarunas Marciulionis, the legend of Lithuanian basketball. But first sport of 6–3 guard was not basketball. He played tennis when he was five years old. Augustas continued on tennis until he started school. After school started, he turned to basketball under the direction of his father. Rolando Peniko was his first coach. He learned the basic training of basketball at Sarunas Marciulionis Academy.

His favorite players are Michael Jordan, Brandon Jennings and Chris Paul. Mac and Cheese, pizza and home cooking are his favorite foods. Trying crossover in the match was his favorite move.

When he was in Lithuania, he was generally at the GYM. Every day he tries to develop a separate area of his body, but this development is slow for some reason.

Very good friends with Azuolas Tubelis, who transferred to Arizona in the past weeks. Apart from Tubelis, I think he is one of the most important prospects of Lithuania with Modestas Kancleris, Rokas Jokubaitis and Emilis Butkus.

Born on March 21, 2002, Marciulionis played in Lietuvos Rytas Junior Team in 2017–2018. He played six matches and averaged 4.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, four assists, two turnovers while shooting 51% from the court (8/15) and 0% (0/2) from 3PT.

He made his rise in 2018–2019. Augustas, transferred to Perlas Vilnius for the 2018–2019 season, played in 51 matches. The talented guard averaged 7.6 points, 3.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 2.1 turnovers while shooting %38 from the cour (131/340) and %27 (26–98) from 3PT.

In 2019–2020 season Augustas played 40 matches. He averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 2.9 turnovers while shooting 41% from the court (205/493) and 31% (49–158) from 3PT.

Mentality

Augustas is a player who does not give up the fight. He always gives his head to the match. Motor is always active. However, he doesn’t do a good job when he’s under pressure and needs to take responsibility. In my opinion, 6–3 guard’ leadership qualities are good in the normal course of the match but as I said, when things get tough, he is not a reliable player yet. He panics in difficult situations and makes wrong decisions.

 

Frame Overview + Athleticism

I think size and strength is the most important thing he should improve right now. He is 6–3 and 181 lbs. He looks like Jarrett Jack and JJ Barea’s college years. Augustas is not as short as JJ Barea, but his base is like Barea’s college year. And his height-weight like Jack’s college years. I have been watching him since 2017–2018 and he has improved a lot about size and frame in 2019–2020. But he has to work harder. He’s not a great vertical athlete. His shoulders are narrow, arm muscle mass is average, but his chest and whole lower body need improvement. Shortly; thin upper body and thin lower body. Things are worse in defense. He hardly defends guards who are not like his size. Especially for this reason, he needs to improve his whole body. Of course, there are some good things that he can add to his athleticism. He’s pretty quick laterally. Great good stop and go athlete thanks to his IQ. His hands are quick. He has solid burst. The Lithuanian guard can go with an excellent combination of speed and acceleration in open court attacks. His eurostep movement is excellent. Despite the fact that his size creates a disadvantage, Marciulionis can easily score with eurostep by reading the game well and taking his steps at a good time. I love his hip turns, very smooth.

 

Offense

Shooting is what I wonder most about his development in offensive repertoire. He tried only two three-point shooting in a professional match in 2017–2018. But he tried more shots in the last two seasons. In addition, his shooting mechanism is improved. At the end of the day, it might make sense to comment negatively about his shot, but I believe he will be a good three-point shooter in the future for three reasons. First, decision-making. Thanks to his game reading skill, he chooses the shot point well when he is playing off ball. In isolation shots, he can make the right decision. His shooting average low but the logic part is very efficient, I think. Second, quickness. When he’s coming baseline sets, AM needs little to no time to set his feet and barely curve his knees to elevate. Quick shooter. Third, balance. His balance in threes looks like Gabe York. His footwork is well, makes the decision fast, his body forward and shoots with an average jump. I think the angle between his shoulders and feet and the momentum he gets from his chest are impressive. For two major reasons, you should not buy his shot. First, release. His release is inconsistent. Sometimes he shoots with high and sometimes low. Second, mentality. In the past two years, he tried more shots. However, in some matches, when he misses the first three shots or his shots are block, he does not use any more shots in that match. It is reflected in the general game repertoire of Augustas, and the level of confidence in the match drops slightly. In my opinion, Marciulionis is very good finisher around the basket. He has good soft touch, great footwork and is patient in the paint. He doesn’t have much vertical pop around the basket but has really nice touch with both hands. His first step is quick; getting into the paint with good burst-acceleration balance. The range on Augustas floaters expands all the way out to the free throw line. Average finisher in traffic. I don’t trust his handling. I think what’s good about handling is change of direction, hesitation in and out and crossover. However, he does not translate well from handle to shot. While driving he is fast and smart but sometimes he goes to the wrong side of the defense and causes easy turnover. Also he cause easy turnover when he dives to traffic. In critical moments, I trust him to score but must have one good handler with him. He’s a pretty good passer. Marciulionis was one of the best passer international prospects I watched the last two years. He makes quick reads in the halfcourt. Quick and smart passer in transition. He does an impressive job at passing it to the open teammates. He is very cool in the PnR/P. He can hit the crosscourt skip pass when his defender is helping on the roller. Lithuanian guard has shown the ability to drive and kick it off to bigs. However touch on his passes needs some wark; some passes way too hard, too high, etc.

 

Defense

Nothing much in general. In my opinion, there are two promising things for now but should not be forgotten he is 18 years old. First, team defense. He hasn’t been the great team defender so far but Augustas does a lot of the little things like stunting, digging, tagging/helping on the roll man, and positions himself well. He’s quick on his feet laterally and has solid awareness positionally. Second, fast hands, so yes, steal. ISO, off ball, perimeter, in short, I think, steal is the best thing he did in all defenses. He has very fast hands. His eye-hand-foot coordination is almost perfect. Augustas can make quick and smart decisions. He can play mind games with his opponents and remove them from the drive channel. But that’s it I think. That’s all he can do well for the defense part. The biggest problem in cons: size. Augustas Marciulionus hasn’t been asked to fight over picks often but sometimes he was very inadequate when he fought. He is not a rim protector for now. In ISO, he relaxes out of his stance too much and goes for too many ball fakes giving up driving lanes. Guarding his man off screen is a mixed bag, as he’s prone to losing his man off screens or movement. The good thing about his off ball defense is fighting. He is a very good rebounder for his position. He can read the position well, take the rebound and quickly go to the transition. Thanks to his fluidity, he chooses the right place in traffic and takes rebounds.