POSITION: Point Guard
WEIGHT: 180 lbs
TEAM: Hapoel Tel Aviv
Late second-round pick or Undrafted
Background and Notable Stats
Yam Madar was born on December 21, 2000 in Beit Dagan, Israel. Madar's father, Zohar, is the former head of Beit Dagan. Zohar is currently on the parliamentary board in the country. In several corruption cases in Israel, Zohar's name has been mentioned but soon proved to be innocent.
Madar's older brother, Hof, played basketball when Madar was three years old. Madar started playing basketball in his backyard with Hof. Afterward, his older sister Medusa, Hof and Zohar supported Madar as a basketball player. But his mother was a little angry.
Apart from playing basketball, Madar loves boxing and swimming. In addition, he has been running exercises regularly for the last 1.5 years.
Madar was dating a girl between 2014 and 2017. But he left his girlfriend because of the three-year mandatory The Army mission in his country. He got a little angry when he learned that his ex-girlfriend was dating someone else last year.
While in The Army, he got up every morning at 6 am, GYM at 7, and he did basketball training from 9 o'clock.
Madar's favorite players are Trae Young, Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Every night when he felt good, he got up at 3 am and watched the matches of these names.
On June 24, 2018, a talented guard signed a four-year deal with Hapoel Tel Aviv. On September 21, 2018, he made his debut in a BCL qualifying round match versus Spirou Charleroi, playing 15 minutes.
This season, he averaged 8,3 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the court on 6.5 attempts per game, 28.9% from 3PT on 2.1 attempts per game, 77.8% from FT line on two attempts per game. Madar also averaged 2.27 rebounds, 3.14 assists. 53.6% true shooting an 48.5 effective field goal percentage.
I think Madar was perfect in the summer of 2019. At the U20 Euro Championship (they beat Spain in the final), Madar played 15.9 points, 7.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 steaks and 0.7 blocks while shooting 51.8% from the court and 47.6% from the 3PT. Yam is starring alongside one of the draft’s top prospects in Deni Avidja. He scored 17 points in the final and was named as part of the tournament’s All-Star Five.
In my opinion, 6'2'' guard has a winner mentality. Madar is not afraid of taking responsibility on big moments. I saw a lot of brave decisions from him in the end of the games. However, sometimes Madar overthinks and takes bad decisions. But when he learns more things about the game, I think Madar will be perfect leader with his winning mentality. I think being in The Army gave him discipline in every sense. As I said, at least as far as I know, Madar does not have a big problem in his off-court life. He likes to practice. I think the factor here is the atmosphere at The Army and the disciplinary mood of his father's political identity at home.
I think this part is valuable. Madar is only 19 years old, but for the past two years, he has played 54 games in the Israeli Professional Basketball League. I think the level of basketball in Israel has increased in the past two years. Madar played this season with Jordan Hamilton, who played 151 games in the NBA. Lenzelle Smith Jr and Joaquin Shuchman are not the best teammates for a young player, but I think they are good examples for Madar's development on training. Madar also gained good experience at FIBA Junior. They became a perfect duo with Deni Avdija, seeing what they are important in leading the team and winning the championship.
Obviously, Israeli guard is not the tallest guard in the world, and that always creates major question marks in the NBA but, to be fair, that matters a little more offensively than perhaps defensively. I think Madar's lower body is ready for good levels. The footwork of the 19-year-old player is impressive, hip mobility is solid, and he can make a good energy transfer from the lower to the upper in the shooting mechanism.
I think he needs to improve a lot on his upper body. YM's shoulders are narrow. Steph Curry also has narrow shoulders, but he has an excellent core strength. Madar has no core power. The power of the Israeli player in the chest and arms is not bad but needs to improve. I have heard that he did fitness for 2.5 hours at home every day during the coronavirus period. Madar's long hands that can help him in a lot of situations, especially on defense. But Madar may has problems physically on offense in the NBA.
Because he is not strong enough to finish through contact against big guards. If he adds strength to his upper body, in my opinion, he can perfect his ability to finish effectively around the basket he already has. Because the NBA, as you know, prioritizes offense. There is a job for only a select few that cannot ensure scoring but ensure solid defense, especially when it comes to guards. Because there are tons of guards in the NBA who cannot defend but remain in the team thanks to their offensive efficiency.
So, if Madar wants to expand the offensive repertoire, I think he must first develop physically. I like his lateral quickness. He is a smooth athlete. Pretty nice revere spin and crossover. I like his off-ball motion athleticism in terms of fluidity. Also, I like his shifty moves; crossoever and baseline spin. I think, YM's body coordination is good. Israeli guard is not an explosive athlete. You cannot usually see he on the rim. Vertical pop is low but has an average vertical pop for 6'2''.
At the end of the day, he is just 19 and has a working discipline. So those two things are a good sign of hope for him to overcome all his cons in this part.
Quick and little explosive (just dunks) on transition. I think his first step is dazzling with power and quickness. In my opinion, Madar is a good finisher in the paint. YM is very explosive and can rise off one and has shown some nice touch finishes as well. If Madar gets past his defender and the help defense does not come he can finish with easily but if any help comes Madar has big problems in finishing because his power is not enough.
19 years old Israeli guard does a good job keeping the ball shielding the ball from his man on drives. I think his layup package is ideal. He has good floaters also good rim layups, but he is not a good layup player who can finish over the bigs, in traffic or off-ball game. I really big fan of his handling, smooth handling. I think Yam Madar is a clever and quick (great burst) handler. He knows well how to use changes of pace, changes of team offense direction and hesitation to get past the defense lines. In ISO plays, he can pass his defender easily thanks to his handling and using a change of pace. I think, he really does a great job piecing moves together to throw the defense and create a bit of space on the perimeter or get downhill. I think he is a decent scorer off the dribble. He is like gazelle in transition. I mean, really has nice speed to get out in front of the defense line.
His feel for the game is impressive. Motor is always active. Passing is my favorite things about his offense. Madar can operate the PnR games as the ball handler. Very comfortable hitting the roll man with pocket passes. YM does a pretty good job taking defenders when possible doing to easier kickout to the perimeter or baseline or the roll man. I think, Madar is creative and good at that. He can read the game/court well and give decisions smartly.
In my opinion, Madar is a nice passer in transition too, doing a pretty good job getting his team in the right spot and pushing the tempo. But when he is on pressure, he makes simple mistakes. Sometimes he loses ball because he tries so much creativity instead of simple passes. He’s not a good three-point shooter right now, especially in terms of consistency. His shooting mechanics is solid and with versatility. I mean, he can shoot from deep range or mid-range or ISO or CnS role.
However, he is not a good shooter against intense defense. His decision-making mechanism for the shooting is not good, besides, the ball sometimes comes out with a low release but his shooting at least a small problem. End of the day, I have a big question marks about his offensive level for NBA. I think Madar is a perfect passer, skilled handler, can find scores in ISOs, smooth athlete, active off ball player and team player. However, he struggles to create for himself off of the dribble. I think the arsenal of YM is not good enough to make him a scorer in the NBA. He struggles to do anything. So, I have concerns about whether he is enough for the NBA.
I like this kid's defense. In my opinion, YM has good potential to become a lockdown defender. He is quick, but not super quick. Madar does a nice job getting top quickly and flipping hips. His lateral movement is good. His anticipation with the skill to beat the handler to his spot is very good.
However, he can get caught resting out of his stance, giving the ballhandler an angle to attack. Also, I think he has to work on core-body balance on defense. I really like his off-ball defense. Madar does a pretty nice job getting thru picks and getting back into the action, even when bumped off slightly from his trailing position.
In my opinion, his off-screen defense is also good. 6'2'' guard does a great job sticking with his man thru the pick and plays angles well with smartly and quickly. I think he is an average rebounder. Madar has good rebound knowledge compared to his position, size & frame and age. On defense, it is very valuable for me to enter the rebound area quickly and take the ball and start the transition. He can use big’s rebounds spacing. There is not much in offensive rebound. Sometimes, just a surprise rebound. Madar usually does a good job closing out with shorter steps and under control with high hand.
There is not much potential as a rim protector, which should not be surprising given Madar's lack of height and vertical pop. My biggest concern about his defense is PnR. Madar does a good job getting back into the action and either playing from passing line if the ballhandler is heading top or getting back to his assignment on the perimeter zone. However, when he matches with the roll man, he is almost disappeared because his size & frame are not enough. He does a pretty nice job staying balanced in an active stand.
I think he is a good team defender. Head is on a swivel keeping track of his man and the plays. Madar is not a major playmaker when it comes to shooting the gap for steals however, he does a good job using his quick hands, defense IQ and lateral movements. on digs to create turnovers. Nice job digging on drivers. However, end of the day I have one big question: Will he be able to physically defend the guards in the NBA?
My major questions
Will his shots be stable?
Will he be able to improve arsenal?
What will he do physically in defense?
Yam Madar is a smart, disciplined and talented playmaker. His effort on defense and what he reflects on the court takes him to a different place in his class. In my opinion, he is one of the two best defenders among the 2000-born international guards.
On offense, Madar's arsenal is limited in terms of finding individual scores, and this can cause him a big problem in the NBA. Because I do not think his physical tools ready for the NBA yet. In other words, a guard, whose physical and individual score generation is questionable, may not be able to do anything in the NBA. But he is just 19 years old.
After playing for 1-2 years in the G-League or Europe or NBL, he can become a good NBA rotation player. Because I think his discipline, defensive skills and passing repertoire make him important. Also, I think his role in the 2019 U20 Championship gives him hope. But is he ready for the NBA right now? I think not, yet.