Bucks NBA draft profile: Aleksej Pokusevski
Winter is approaching and the days are getting shorter. That means the 2020 NBA season is almost here!
Due to the redone 2020 season schedule, the NBA draft will be held Nov. 18 while the 2020-21 season will begin Dec. 22.
The Milwaukee Bucks own the No. 24 overall selection in the draft. Who might they be interested in with that pick?
In this edition, we take a look at Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski.
While Pokusevski might not be a lottery pick, he’ll certainly be a lottery ticket for the NBA team which drafts him. In 11 games for Olympiacos B (Greece) last season, the 18-year-old averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 blocks in 23.1 minutes per game. He drained 17 of 53 attempts from downtown (32.1%) and shot 78.3% from the free-throw line. Although his stats don’t jump off the table, keep in mind his age at which he was playing professionally. His combination of size and a skillset fit for the perimeter make “Poku” an intriguing long-term project.
An overseas player, Pokusevski did not participate in the 2020 NBA combine.
MEASURABLES (via nba.com)
Weight: 195 pounds
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Plays at both forward spots even though he’s more suitable at the four. Can shoot, put the ball on the floor and playmake, a combination that makes him a great fit for what NBA teams are looking for in modern bigs. The ball comes off his hands smoothly and his release point is high thanks to his elite height. His understanding of the game and basketball IQ is off the charts.” – NBA.com
“Spacing 4 – can shoot C&S, off screens, and attack closeouts off the bounce. Will probably not be the only offensive hub that you can run an offense through, but he should be able to find the open man and create plays for others given his high-level passing skills and fluidity handling the ball (and he has shown the ability to do so this year with Olympiacos B).” – Spencer Pearlman of The Stepien
“Aleksej Pokusevski is a lanky, versatile big forward with a high skill level, exceptional passing ability and a lot of upside. In our book Poku is challenging both Deni [Avdija] and [Killian]Hayes for the top international player in the draft. He’s been playing against lesser competition and so it’s a bit harder to get a read on him but the flashes of talent that he shows are special. Aleksej has a really nice feel for the game and really knows how to pass the ball and make the right decisions. He’s really a 7-0 guard who makes dribbling and passing the ball look effortless. It’s very rare to find a player his size and age that can dribble, play-make and see the floor like Poku.” – NBA Draft Room
HOW HE FITS
Combining Pokusevski with Giannis Antetokounmpo would give the Bucks two 7-footers that can (potentially) do just about everything. Even better, Pokusevski can handle the basketball with the best of them. Of course, the results likely wouldn’t come right away. Still weighing under 200 pounds, Pokusevski needs to bulk up to be an effective NBA defender and to survive a full NBA schedule. But the Bucks can afford to have another project develop for a few years under Antetokounmpo.