It wasn’t clear whether the Golden State Warriors would even make a pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. After a flurry of trades, they came away with the last selection of the first round and took Nemanja Nedovic. Now the question is whether Nedovic, a 6′ 3″ guard from Serbia, will play for the team next season.
Nedovic turned 22 on June 16, and didn’t put up very impressive numbers in 10 Euroleague games last season: 9.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 2.1 apg on 36.7% shooting. His wingspan (6′ 6.75″) is decent, but what really jumps out about Nedovic (sorry) is his leaping ability.
Nedovic stands out first and foremost thanks to his excellent physical tools, ranking as one of the very best athletes in European basketball. He measured 6-4 in shoes at the adidas EuroCamp in 2011, with a 41 inch vertical, that places him amongst the most explosive leapers ever tested in our database.
Visually, it’s not difficult to tell that Nedovic is as athletic as virtually any prospect in this draft as you can see in the following scouting video we compiled, as he clearly has an excellent first step and is able to play above the rim with ease.
The addition of Nedovic coincides with Jarrett Jack hitting the free agent market, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything one way or the other in terms of Jack returning to Golden State. Nedovic could be a player the Warriors stash in Europe for a year, and then bring to the United States for the 2014/15 season when the contracts of Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins come off the books. But that 2014 season looms large as a chance for the Warriors to free up a significant amount of cap space and make a run at a high profile free agent. If the Warriors give a multiyear deal to either Jack or Carl Landry, a lot of that flexibility would be gone.
My first impression: the Warriors got a point guard prospect who has a great first step, can get to the rim and will impress with his dunking ability. The first step and his ability to get into the paint without anyone setting a screen for him makes him unique among the Warriors’ backcourt players, although he’s still learning how to put his athleticism to good use. He clearly has the size and athleticism required in to play guard in the NBA, but his perimeter shooting (he went from making 21.6% of his 3-point attempts in 2011/12 to making 34.3% in 2012/13) and decision making need to continue to improve. That’s what the coaches and video guys are for, I guess.
The Warriors started by acquiring the No. 26 pick and Malcolm Lee from Minnesota for a 2014 second rounder pick and cash. Then Golden State dealt the 26th pick to Oklahoma State for the No. 29 overall pick, which they subsequently sent to Phoenix for the No. 30 overall selection, with Lee also going to Phoenix. At least that’s what I think happened … all that really matters is the Warriors did something tonight, so I feel a little better about coming out to downtown Oakland to watch five straight hours of ESPN (including Bill Simmons almost crying when it was announced that the Boston Celtics had indeed traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets).