Draft Notes: Avdija, Paul, Maxey, Bey

Deni Avdija is one of the few draft prospects who has played competitive basketball in the past seven months, writes Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The Israeli forward, who is considered a top five-pick by some draft analysts, elected to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Winner League tournament in June and was named league MVP.

“There was a choice to either rest before the draft and just work out or play,” Avdija said. “Me, I’m competitive. I couldn’t leave my teammates and my coaches so I thought I needed to fight, and I wanted to win this championship to go off in a good and positive way.”

Avdija is already a fan favorite in Israel. He was only 16 when he signed with Maccabi in 2017, becoming the youngest player in team history. He was also part of the Israel junior national team that won the European Championships in 2018 and 2019. Avdija has been in Atlanta since August, working out with fellow European prospect Theo Maledon and waiting for his shot at the NBA.

“I hope to show teams how big of a competitor I am. How I love to win and how I’ll always challenge myself,” Avdija said. “I just want to show them it’s just me being me, playing my game, practicing as hard as I can, shooting the ball, rebounding, playmaking, things I usually do well and we’ll see how it goes.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Agent Rich Paul is responding to complaints about a televised Pro Day held this week for Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey, according to Jack Baer of Yahoo Sports. Some rival agents claimed the event gave too much exposure to Paul’s clients. “When black it’s discredited, it’s critiqued, narratives are driven,” Paul wrote on Instagram. “It’s a shock when the black athlete isn’t making the black agent work for free, or feel as if it’s a privilege to represent them but instead respect their practice and expertise. Why?”
  • Maxey showed off a revamped jump shot during his 20-minute session, observes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Using a higher release point than he did at Kentucky, Maxey drilled five straight three-pointers in his workout. “I was able to show I can knock down my outside shot consistently — catch-and-shoot, off the move — and I was able to show my conditioning because nobody has seen me because of COVID-19,’’ he said.
  • Colorado’s Tyler Bey set an NBA combine record for forwards with a 43.5-inch max vertical leap, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Bey is No. 28 on ESPN’s list of the top 100 draft prospects.
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24 thoughts on “Draft Notes: Avdija, Paul, Maxey, Bey

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Deni is a nice talent. He’s got size at SF. Can handle the ball and is a playmaker. His shot needs more development. You will have to be patient with him. I think he will be a future starter, team player. Bulls probably taking him. If not either Cavs or Hawks will.

  2. Strike Four

    Avdija helps GSW the most long term, gotta put money on them picking him if they keep the pick.

    • GangGreen23

      Avidja is too right-handed for me. Watched plenty of his YouTube highlight videos and he’s always driving to his right and dribbling with his right-hand. His left-hand dribble and drive game is non-existent. Needs tons of development driving the ball to the left and playing on the left hand of the Court.

  3. madjob33

    Leave it to Rich Paul – in these times of dangerous racial tension – to play the race card – because someone questions him.

    • SuperSinker

      He’s describing his lived experience as a black person. Probably be wiser to just listen to racial minorities than reduce their experiences to ‘playing a race card’.

      • hiflew

        But why can’t he just describe his experience as a person, not a black person? Race did not need to be in this equation. People complaining could easily still be complaining no matter his race. He is just trying to play the victim. It really angers me when people use their race like this because it enables real racism to get lumped into this “boy who cried wolf” garbage.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Well if he’s white he doesn’t have the play the race card lol

  4. El Don

    Avdija should be a top 3 pick together with LaMelo & Wiseman! These 3 guys WILL be stars!

  5. formerlyz

    Kira Lewis Jr kind of reminds me of a slightly faster Mario Chalmers with not as much shooting consistency. Tyrese Maxey has a kind of remedial, not as lengthy, Kyle Lowry to him. I think they’re somewhat similar players in some ways, but Maxey is a slightly further along version…If his shooting is already getting better, as I was anticipating, thats a big deal….I currently have him going to Washington at 9, but who knows with all the interchangeable pieces through the 45ish range

    Assuming a few others are off the board, Tyler Bey would be a really good option for the Heat at 20, and him being able to apparently jump out of the gym, while they might lose Derrick Jones, also makes a lot of sense

  6. formerlyz

    ….also I dont know about Avdija. I’m not saying he isnt going to be a good player at the 4/3, but I dont know that I would currently like him over a bunch of other wings and bigs in the 10-20 range, depending on trades. Its just hard for me to place him anywhere before philly at 21 right now based on what I have personally seen, but he has the ability to get better. I just think that in terms of how he might fit certain teams, I just dont know what I would say currently about taking him super, super high…He does have skills i like though. I just need to see more of him, and I think there are some really good options that are 2 way players with length that would make more sense for those teams in those spots

    • formerlyz

      …but in like 2 or 3 years, I could see this dude being really good offensively, if he is used correctly

      • fishy 9 dogs

        I think he’s gotta be put in a spot where he has a lot of opportunity. If he has to take a back seat I don’t think he will be able to play to his strengths.

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Watch Denys tapes. He’s got good size at SF. He can handle the ball and is a playmaker. Means IQ player. His shot is not there yet. But he is a team player. Has toughness so will play D. Needs better competition to grow. Still young, so has big upside. His mechanics are solid. There is a lot of talent out there at SF and PF. Not big time talent, but solid. Like Vassell, Achiuwa, Okoro, Williams. You have to way upside. Personally I think Okoro, Deni, Achiuwa all have big upside. But you know being white and a Jewish. Helps Deni, the guy is for real. I don’t care where he’s from. But I also can see the real world. He is worthy of 4th pick. Bulls need a SF big time and he’s got upside. IMO Warriors at 2 is too high for Deni. Would not pass on Wiseman or Edwards there. Considering big Jewish community in NY. Knicks would not pass on Deni. Doubt he lasts to 8. We need a SF, Knicks probably taking Okoro.

  7. Maxey can go anywhere from 10-30. The issue with him (like his teammate, Quickley), is how he might project as an NBA lead guard. He has star potential there. Playing as a wing, he can be a good scorer, but would have limitations as a starter.

  8. El Don

    Also I like a lot what I have seen of Aleksei Pokusevski, this guy can ball & some more! He will be a star! A 7 foot teenager that can play SG, SF, PF & most surprisingly even the C! Can shoot, dribble, pass… a true unicorn!

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