RODIONS KURUCS

BIRTHDATE: 2/5/98

POSITION: Small Forward

HEIGHT: 6'8"

WEIGHT: 200 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: FC Barcelona (Spain)

Nationality:  Latvian

STRENGTHS

Athleticism - Very good run and jump athlete. Good fluidity and explosive leaper who can play above the rim

Size - Ideal positional size for an NBA small forward

Physical attributes - Has the combination of size and athleticism to be a versatile wing defender

Transition - Good finisher in transition when he fills the lanes and runs the floor opposed to spotting up

Toughness - Plays with toughness and confidence

Finishing - Good potential as an off the ball cutter 

Scoring - Best at scoring on the move

Potential - Has the tools to be able to elevate to shoot over the top or post smaller players, foot speed to beat bigs off the dribble

Free throw shooting - His good free throw numbers are promising for his long term shooting potential

WEAKNESSES

Shooting - Average shooter at best, mixed with questionable shot selection. Streaky rhythm shooter

Shot selection - Despite his athletic ability, tendency to settle for long jumpers instead of filling the lanes in transition.

Playmaking - Not much of a playmaker for others especially out of pick & roll

Mechanical - Good run and jump athlete but still a little stiff and mechanical and lacking great fluidity

Creativity - Lacks imagination and creativity with the ball. Mostly straight line drives to rim. No mid range, floaters or creative finishes around rim

Turnover prone - Tendency to get out of control and forces passes

RAFAEL BARLOWE - OCTOBER 15, 2017

SUMMARY

​Rodion Kurucs is an exceptional athlete anywhere but his athleticism really stands out against less athletic European players. He has the ideal size, length and physical attributes of an NBA small forward and shows promise of being an inside/outside threat as he develops.

I understand why scouts are high on Kurucs but I think his flaws outweighs his strengths. He reminds me of a poor man's Rudy Gay. He's a very good run and jump athlete but mostly a straight line driver that will rely on tough contested mid range shots when he can't beat his man off the dribble. While I do like his potential as a player who can use his vertical and length elevate over the top of smaller defenders or post them up, he'll really need to improve his 3 point shooting and ability to play off the ball. He's a decent ball mover when he wants to be, but he's usually looking to score and does not really make plays for others. 

One of the things I like about Kurucs is he's aggressive, plays tough and isn't afraid of contact. He's looking to dunk on the big man if he gets an open lane to the basket and is a good free throw shooter when fouled. Kurucs is a solid ball handler who mostly dribbles in place to get his shot off, but lacks advance ball handling skills and the fluidity to shake and bake his way past defenders. At this stage in his career he's an average shooter at best and really streaky, but can get hot if he's in a rhythm. A lot of his 3 pointers made from last season were unguarded  as teams didn't rotate out to him in the half court. Although shooting is not his best asset, he's not shy about letting 3's fly and even chooses to spot up in transition instead of filling the lanes and attacking the rim. Kurucs also lacks creativity to his game, its usually a straight line drive to rim or long jumper. I'd like to see him add a floater, dunk finishes to his arsenal and improve his ball handling.

I personally think Kurucs would be best used as a hard off the ball cutter and spot up shooter. The numbers say he's really good in isolation but I don't think that's the role he'll play going forward.

​RAFAEL BARLOWE - OCTOBER 15 , 2017