This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors selected Nemanja Nedovic with the 30th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Nedovic is a 22 year-old combo guard who is from Serbia and has played professionally for four years in Europe. He’s currently playing for the Lithuanian club Lietuvos rytas in the Lithuanian A League, and he’s averaging 11.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 18 games.
In a conference call yesterday with members of the Warriors media, he said he has a commitment to the Serbian national team, but he still plans on playing in the Las Vegas Summer League. It’s not clear yet if Nedovic will play for the Warriors in the 2013-2014 regular season though. If he does, he could prove to be a valuable asset off the bench for the Warriors for several reasons.
First of all, he’s very athletic, and the Warriors could surely use some more athleticism. His stat line might not sound that amazing, but he has been called the “European Derrick Rose” because of his speed and explosiveness. He uses his speed to beat his man to the basket, where he can either finish with a layup or explode to the rim for a dunk. Standing at 6’4″ and 195 pounds, he has good size for a point guard, and he can guard shooting guards too. He has a 41″ vertical, so he’s an incredible dunker for his size.
Second, he’s extremely effective in the open court. Again, he can use his speed to get steals on defense and break away from a defender to get an easy dunk in transition.
Third, he attacks the rim and is fearless. He finds ways to get into the paint, and he has a quick first step. He utilizes his ball handling skills to get past a defender, and he can finish strong above the rim.
Fourth, he has shown improvement in his ball distribution skills. When Nedovic drives to the basket, his ability to finish draws defenders in, which allows him to pass to open teammates. He’s improved his drive-and-kick skills, and this skill could be extremely valuable to the Warriors, given how they spread the floor with three-point shooters. Nedovic claims that he’s more of a point guard than a shooting guard, but he’s willing to play whatever position the team wants him to.
Lastly, Nedovic says he’s a hard worker, and he knows what he needs to improve on, which is an admirable quality for a young player. He also said he’s had 12 or 13 different coaches since 2007, so he knows how to adapt to a new coach, new system, and new teammates.
Check out a full scouting report below:
Nedovic can improve on his shooting, his defense, and his decision making. In terms of his shooting, he has a good release and mechanics, and he’s slowly gaining more confidence shooting off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations. He raised his field goal percentage this season from 27% to 34%, but he still needs to work on consistency.
On defense, Nedovic has the physical tools to guard both point guards and shooting guards, but he needs to improve on his focus. He needs to work on helping his teammates more, recovering if his man beats him, and defending through screens. He believes he can guard quick, athletic point guards, which would really help the Warriors, given Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack’s weaknesses on defense.
He can also work on his overall decision making as a point guard and decreasing his turnovers. However, with Curry and maybe Jack playing in front of him, Nedovic could fluorish as a secondary ball handler who can help create shots for his teammates and attack the rim.
Nedovic will wear #8 for the Warriors. This seems fitting, because a lot of his skills seem similar to the last player to wear #8 for the Warriors: Monta Ellis. Nedovic has also said that his biggest NBA idol growing up was Kobe Bryant, who also wore #8 in the beginning of his career.
Nedovic is an intriguing, young player who could really provide a spark off the bench for the Warriors. It will be interesting to see how he does in Summer League, and, hopefully, he’ll be able to play for the Warriors next season.