ACB break out youngsters 2007-2008

Previously, I’ve posted the lists of top prospect in the ACB league and veterans who could help NBA teams right now. Here’s a list of some young guys who are currently blips at best on the international radar, but could become top prospects by season’s end.

Mirza Teletovic PF TAU Cerámica 22-

One of Luis Scola’s replacements for TAU Cerámica. The 6-9 Bosnian is a natural scorer who put up good numbers in limited minutes last season, and has really stepped up after Scola’s departure to become TAU’s starting PF. He’s a good athlete who runs the floor well and is very effective cutting to the hoop. He’s got a great touch from the perimeter (41.38 3p% last season, and 45% through 4 games this season), and can dominate the boards at time with his athleticism. We now that Mirza is capable of the spectacular; unfortunately, he’s struggled with more mundain aspects of the game such as passing (4.9 ast-rate last season) and 2 point shooting in the past (40% last season) and has put up weak rebounding numbers (5.96 reb/40 last season) despite his obvious abilities.

Mirza is an easy pick to lead off this list because he’s already broken out. He’s opened up the 2007-2008 ACB season on fire (27 mpg, 12.3 ppg, 89 2P%, 45 3P%, 100 FT%). He also had an impressive showing in TAU’s Euroleague loss to Greek powerhouse Olympiacos: 35 min, 19 pts, 17 rebs, 9 off rebs, 1 blk, 1 stl, 1 PF, 3 TO.

Teletovic’s breakout season comes just after his NBA draft eligibility expired, which could be a blessing in disguise as he’ll be a free agent if he ever makes the move to the NBA. Before he considers such a more, however, he’s going to have to continue working on his inside game. He’s started the season shooting 90% on 2s, but this number is a little deseptive because he takes about half as many 2s as 3s (2.3 vs 5.5). He also shot only 4 of 10 on 2s in the Euroleague opener against Olympiacos. Of course, being a perimeter player at the 4 isn’t the end of the world if you’re as efficient as Mirza’s (54.55 eFG% and 1.12 PSA last season, and 70.1 eFG% and 1.52 PSA though 4 ACB games this season). Where he’s really going to have to improve is on the glass: he obviously has the ability to be an above average rebounder, and just has to get inside and hit the glass.

Marko Tomas SG/SF Alta Gestión Fuenlabrada 22-

Tomas has actually been on the radar screen for several years as a 2nd round prospect. He went undrafted last spring after struggling to stick in Real Madrid’s crowded rotation. He’s shown a very well rounded game: efficient scoring ability from inside and out, ballhandling and distributing abilities, solid rebounding for a wing, a great frame, and good athleticism. Yet failed to assert himself for eventual league champions Real Madrid. His unselfishness was perfect for that situation, but after moving to Alta Gestión Fuenlabrada this season he has a chance to play serious minutes and a bigger role in the offense. He’s taken advantage through the season’s first 4 games, leading the team in scoring, 14.5 ppg, in 30 mpg. He’s been money inside the arc, 71 2P%, but his perimeter shot has struggled a little, 28% 3P%, for an overall eFG% of 57.69 and PSA of 1.27.

Pablo Aguilar PF Real Madrid 18-

The young Spaniard isn’t getting off the bench for Real, but is one of the league’s youngest players and should develop into a good player over the next couple seasons. Aguilar is about 6-8, long and athletic. He’s a good spot-up shooter out to 3 pt range, and makes some bigplays defensively. He’s going to have to round out his offensive game a little more before he starts seeing minutes in Real’s crowded frontcourt.

Dmitry Flis PF DKV Joventut 23-

Has missed the first 4 games of this season with a shoulder injury, but was pretty impressive last season. The 6-8 Russian is long, athletic, and can put point on the board from the perimeter or inside. His upside is somewhat limited, but could be one of the better PFs in Europe in a couple seasons. Reminds me a lot of Jordi Trias. Flis is really going to have to hit the glass harder (only 6.37 reb/40) before he becomes an elite PF, but is a good fit in DKV’s uptempo attack with young playmakers Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, and Pau Ribas getting him easy looks.

Pau Ribas PG DKV Joventut 20-

Ribas isn’t nearly as highly touted as backcourt mates Rudy Fernandez and Ricky Rubio, having played in only 1 ACB game last season. Through 4 games this season, Ribas has been very impressive in 15 mpg off the bench: 71.89 eFG%, 1.42 PSA, and 5.8 ast/40min. Definitely someone to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season, could be the next in a long line of excellent Spanish PGs.

Ersan Ilyasova SF FC Barcelona 20-

Played a season for the Milwaukee Bucks and had trouble getting off the bench. Hasn’t faired much better for FC Barcelona, playing only 14 mpg over the first 4 games and struggling to get his shots to fall. Ersan has all the skills to be one of Europe’s elite players or a solid starter in the NBA: consistent perimeter shot, solid passing/playmaking, good athleticism, and great length. May need to spend a few season playing a larger role on a weaker team to develop his game, as Marko Tomas is doing.

Joel Freeland F/C Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas 20-

Raw British bigman struggles to get off the bench for Gran Canaria, but was drafted #30 in 2006 by the Blazers in hopes that the ahtletic 7 footer is a late bloomer. Picked up the game late, and has yet to show much progress on the court. Did put up good numbers in extremely limited minutes last season (78 minutes in 15 regular season games). He hit 15 of 30 2-pointers, and grabbed 8.72 reb/40min, although he also showed that he was overmatched by commiting 8.72 PF/40min. Freeland is still only 20 years old, so he still has a chance to develop into at least a solid bigman in Europe. At this point it’s too much to say he’ll ever make an impact in the NBA.

P.J. Ramos C Alta Gestión Fuenlabrada 22-

Ramos spent some time on the Wizards’ roster after they picked him up early in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft, but only appeared in 6 NBA games. The 7-3 Puerto Rican has the size and athleticism to become a defensive and rebounding force, but is still raw. Ramos still has work to do, as TOs and fouls are among his highest box score statistics this season. He has flashed his potential, averaging respectable reboudnng and scoring numbers (9.33 reb/40 min and 12.8 pts/40 min on 47% shooting) and a jaw-dropping 4.8 blocks/40 min.

Eduardo Hernández-Sonseca C DKV Joventut 24-

The oldest guy on the list, but he’s really excelled in DKV´s uptempo attack after rotting on Real Madrid’s bench last season: 12.88 reb/40, 21 pts/40 min on 74 2p% and 67 3P% through 4 games. Is only on a one year lease from Real Madrid, it’ll be interesting to see if Real makes room for him in their crowded frontcourt next season. Hernández-Sonseca has a chance to be one of Europe’s best bigmen, and if he continues to produce like this the young 6-11 pivot should get a chance in the NBA.

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