As we get approach the 2013 NBA Draft, we are reaching out to local experts to help us scout some of the players the Hawks may take in the first round. We had Christophe Ney from EuropeanProspects.com help us scout France center Rudy Gobert.
What are his strengths? Weaknesses?
Rudy Gobert has, first of all, terrific length with an incredible wingspan and great size to play as a center. Additionally, he is quite explosive and a good finisher in the paint. He runs the floor well and has a good timing to reject shots. From a physical point of view, Gobert is still quite underdeveloped. He struggles against stronger or shorter players because of a lack of strength. He has no real go-to-moves in the low post and mainly scores on put-backs and after passes from his teammates. He needs to work on his individual skillset to develop a more varied offensive package.
What did he add to his team in Europe? What do you think he’ll bring to an NBA team?
He mainly helped his team with shot-blocking on the defensive end and an athletic dimension all over the court. He suffered though a bit from a team structure that did not really favor him, as there was not a great playmaker to create opportunities for him. He has to be considered as a long term project for the NBA team that drafts him. Gobert has no significant experience on the highest European level as he played only in the French League so far. He has rarely faced opposition of his size, which will become an issue for him once playing in the NBA. Nevertheless, he will bring a great physical and athletic profile to build on for the future.
What kind of style is he best suited for?
I think that Gobert would fit best in a quick and free-flowing style with a good passing team. He will not be a force in the low post from where the offense can start. However, if a team is running a lot of fast breaks, Gobert can be highly effective as initiator with his shot-blocking and follow-up the break as a trailer.
What sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position?
Gobert is standing out because of his physical profile with a superb wingspan and excellent mobility for his size.
What NBA player would you compare him to?
Gobert himself has named Javale McGee as comparison to which I would agree in most parts, especially from a physical point of view.
What’s your favorite memory of him in Europe?
During the Adidas Eurocamp 2012, Rudy Gobert was playing there with his French U20 National Team. You had the impression that nobody in attendance has ever seen him play as Gobert did 2-3 dunks in a scrimmage and the whole gym was coming up with some “uuhs” and “oohhs” in an environment that is generally quite silent and “professional.”
Here’s what some of the national mock drafts are saying about Gobert:
ESPN.com Analysis: Atlanta is in rebuilding mode and can afford to swing for the fences. Gobert’s best attribute is a 7-foot-9 wingspan. He’s played adequately in the French League this year, but he’s still very much a work in progress. With most of the team heading into free agency, they need depth everywhere — especially on the front line.
NBA.com Analysis: Gobert’s play this season has not helped his draft stock, but the NBA sees real potential. The NBA also sees 7-foot-1, with a good chance to add needed bulk, and a 7-foot-9 wingspan.
YahooSports.com Analysis: He has a massive 7’9” wingspan and moves very well for a guy standing 7’2”. He should be able to clean the glass and play well enough offensively to make an immediate impact in the league.
Photo courtesy of Basketnews.net