POSITION: Combo Forward
WEIGHT: 215 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Shot maker/Can create his own shot off the dribble and has some offensive creativity
Comfortable shooting 3's off the dribble
High level passer with good vision and instincts
Can make plays for others in transition, pick & roll, as a ball mover and out of the post
Can attack closeouts
Dangerous threat in transition/Grab & Go
Can post up smaller players and exploit mismatches when he gets a switch on a big
Shows flashes of being crafter ball handler
Can shoot when defenders go under screen
Capable shooter on the move
Plays with passion and flare
AREAS TO IMPROVE
High risk high reward passer - Turnover prone
Lacks ideal pop and explosiveness around the rim
Inconsistent shooter; More of a scorer than a shooter
Can be overconfident in his abilities and take tough shots
May struggle in isolation situations vs superior athleticism
Needs to add some step backs and become a little more craftier around the rim
Foul shooting is a major concern
What makes Avdija a special prospect in my eyes and separates him for the other wings on this class is his playmaking ability.
I’m a big fan of players than can rotate between the 3 and 4 but also serve as a secondary or even primary ball handler in certain matchups....
Avdija is a high level passer that I feel didn’t really get an opportunity to showcase his skills as a playmaker this season since he was on a team that featured proven guards like Scottie Wilbekin, Nate Wolters and Aaron Jackson. But when he did have the opportunity to play with the ball in his hands he showed flashes of what he’s capable of when it comes to creating for others.
Avdija is a relentless driver that was a very effective finisher in Europe by beating defenders off the dribble with straight line drives to the rim. He’s a good ball handler for his size and underrated athlete that looks to attack poor closeouts at every opportunity. He shot a crazy 69% around the rim and should translate to a good finisher in the NBA due to spacing..
I really like Avdija as a playmaker in the open court and believe this is where he’ll really thrive in the NBA..
He’s deceptively fast with and without the ball and always aggressively sprints the floor on fast breaks...
He converted over 68% shots in transition this season between the EuroLeague and the domestic league in Israel. In my opinion Avdija is just as effective creating for others as he is finishing fast break opportunities.
I really like him as a rebound and run threat as he looks to turn missed shots into transit.
Hopefully he goes to a team where the offense is based on ball movement or he ends up with coach that will take advantage of his basketball IQ and utilize him in off the ball motion plays. He’s an active cutter that does a good job of finding the holes or gaps in the defense when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands..
This season Avdija was 33 out of 40 which equals out to 82.5% on cuts to the basket.
On paper his shooting percentages don’t look good is he shot in the low 30s on jump shots and 3 pointers, but I like his potential as a shot creator that can make pull up J’s off the dribble. He has the creativity and handle to do it, just needs to improve his shooting consistency.
Lastly I think Avdija could be effective on the block exploiting mismatches when he gets a switch on smaller guard. He’s not afraid to bang, had good touch around the rim and can finished post plays with either hand.
He’ll definitely need to get stronger to maximize his potential in the post so I don’t see him getting many post plays early in his career. Getting stronger and becoming a threat in the post will also unlock his passing skills..
The most obvious and glaring weakness or main area for improvement for Deni Avdija is his outside shooting… The numbers don’t look good at all… Before the 2019-20 season was postponed he shot only 30.6% on jump shots, 21% on jumpers off the dribble and 33% on 3 pointers…. Even in his dominant performance last summer at the Under 20 games he only shot 23.8% on jump shots. You can make a case and say his percentages are low due to the number of pull up contested 3’s he shoots off the dribble, but he also struggles knocking down catch and shoot J’s when he doesnt have the ball in his hand… IMO his jumper will determine if he’s an All Star or a versatile complimentary NBA starter…
As bad as his 3 point shooting his… His free throwing numbers are even worse. Considering the fact that driving to the rim and cutting to the basket are a major part of his game, you have to wonder how effective or aggressive he’ll be in late game situations if he continues to be a liability at the foul line… He only made 52% of his free throw attempts this season and his poor percentages at the line have been consistent over the past few seasons and in the summer.
Rafael Barlowe - April 29, 2020