Notes: Insider Only
Notes: Podkolzine, for those who can't remember, is the 7-foot-5 Siberian sensation who took the NBA draft by storm last June and then, just as quickly, disappeared from the radar screen. After being projected as a lottery pick by many NBA scouts and GMs, a diagnosis of acromegaly (a growth hormone secreting pituitary adenoma) just before the deadline pushed him to withdraw from the draft. This year, with the acromegaly under control and a ton of exposure, Podkolzine will definitely be in the draft. His agent already has an NBA buyout in place based on where he's drafted. At this point he has very little to lose. A gaggle of NBA scouts watched him play very week at the Reebok Big Man camp in Italy in early June.
|Siberia's Pavel Podkolzine|
Upside: He's enormous. He's got a thick body, is very strong, yet is coordinated and an above average athlete for someone his size. He has soft hands, a very nice jump shot from 18 feet in and can really run the floor. He's even shown the ability to put the ball on the floor and hit the open man in transition. He's not afraid of contact and has the tendancy to pummel people.
Downside: Inexperience. He's only been getting real playing time in the last two months of the season. He still is very raw in his post play. He's just learning the game and still doesn't take advantage of the size and strength advantage he has over just about everyone Teams are still a little concerned with his health after the acromegaly incident last year.
Insider Projection: By all accounts Pavel is a much better draft prospect than he was last season. Considering that he was a likely mid-to late lottery prospect last year, what does that mean for this year? He impressed just about everyone in Treviso two weeks ago. He's really starting to come on. He has as much or more upside than anyone in the draft. He could go anywhere from 5 to 14 on draft night however because of the risks involved.