Manu Ginobli is arguably the greatest non-first round talent in NBA history (Dennis Rodman certainly warrants consideration, as well).
And with one of the most important drafts in Cavaliers history nearly upon us, it's time to move past that glamorous number one overall and look at the team's other pick: the 33rd. It's worth noting that the 33rd pick was actually from the Orlando Magic, while the Cavs own 2nd round pick was traded to the 76ers in the Spencer Hawes trade.
That pick could be important. It could be a strong roleplayer for a revamped Cavs team. It could the sixth man of the year. Hell, it could be Cleveland's version of Manu (though, come on, not likely). So who should we take?
- Vasilje Micic from Serbia (Don't know how to pronounce that? Me neither);
- Mitch McGary from University of Michigan
- Patric Young from University of Florida
- Cleanthony Early from Wichita State
- Glenn Robinson III from University of Michigan
I don't know much about Micic. A quick bit of research tells me that he's a fairly tall point guard (about 6'4" or 6'5" depending on his shoes) with a decent wingspan (6'7"). DraftExpress says he struggled to stay in front of quicker American guards during a camp, something that is common for Euro players. A YouTube search of the guy didn't reveal much. He isn't a super flashy passer, from what I can tell, so this definitely isn't Ricky Rubio. On the other hand, he seems to have a decent outside shot, so this definitely isn't Ricky Rubio.
Micic also has an injury history, having torn his ACL in 2011-2012.
But I won't pretend I have much insight on Micic. Here's a 20-minute mixtape of his game. You definitely don't need to watch all of it.
Tracking down his international stats was a wee bit difficult but you can take a look at this link.
In 2012-2013, Micic got his first long-stretch starting. He averaged 11.8 points, 4.95 assists, 3.6 rebounds, .442 field goal percentage, .384 3-point percentage, .667 field goal percentage and less than a steal a game.
His advanced metrics look like this: 13.27 PER, 100.5 offensive rating, 107.1 defensive rating, and a .557 TS percentage. His OWS was .53 and DWS was 1.30 and total WS 1.83.
His 2013-2014 season saw minor increases: 12.1 ppg, 46.2 fg percentage, a dismal 28.9 3-point percentage, 5.8 assists, 3.2 turnovers, and 1.8 steals.
Based off those stats you might think Micic was a good defender, at the very least a competent one. Problem is, his athleticism doesn't look fantastic. His wingspan is solid for a point guard and his size will prevent him being posted up too often. But his lack of speed, sluggish first step, and syrup-y side-to-side will likely leave him open to pick-and-roll feasting and iso-drives to the rim. Now, maybe he never had to showcase those features in international play and he's quietly a good defender. I doubt it though.
His shooting numbers will likely drop at the NBA-level as well. He's not a sniper from deep but in the international leagues he looks competent and at times streaky. His shooting percentages increased in 2013-2014 (except that godawful 3-point percentage) and Micic seems to have a good floor command. But he's going to have an adjustment period. He will be playing bigger, faster athletes; guys that are unlike anything he's played in the Adriatic leagues.
How he adjusts to that step-up in competition will determine whether or not this kid can play NBA ball.
Micic might turn into something good. My guess is that he's a back-up PG for a decent team (or a starting PG for the Miami Heat). He's never going to a be a knock-down 3-point guy but he could adjust his tempo and become a better floor general.
Does he fit with the Cavaliers though?
Depends on who our coach is. Blatt or Price would likely install a pass-heavy Eurosystem and Micic would likely have a chance to blossom. Hiring a Gentry or Hollins would likely see a post-heavy, iso-heavy offense (more traditionally American ball). Micic would struggle there. His first-step isn't explosive enough to let him get to his spots on the floor. His handle, in the footage I've seen, looks good but not great. He'll need to show more skill with the ball.
With two ball dominant guards on the team already, Micic would probably be better suited dropping to another team. At best, he's going to be competing with Delly and Jack for a back-up guard role. He'll likely see very few minutes and very little chance to develop.
The Cavs should pass on Micic.