Ognjen Kuzmic to Warriors: Video Highlights, Analysis and Scouting Report
With the 52nd pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors selected center Ognjen Kuzmic out of Spain.
This pick was a surprise, but Kuzmic will provide great size (7'1") and length to the Warriors that will help in terms of protecting the paint. He's a formidable shot-blocking prospect and will be an interior presence for Golden State if everything works out for him.
At just 230 pounds, he needs to bulk up or he will get manhandled in the paint by NBA big men. Despite his weight, Kuzmic is far from weak and uses his physical tools to his advantage down low.
He doesn't have much of a perimeter game, but will that's nothing an entire offseason of NBA practices won't improve.
What Ognjen Kuzmic Brings to the Team
Kuzmic is a great athlete for someone his size. In the above highlight, he manhandles pretty much everybody that tries to guard him on the court. Granted, it's against relatively inferior competition, but his performance is still impressive.
He has a deadly drop step that isn't going to be stopped by anybody who isn't his height. Kuzmic has a nifty turnaround hook, albeit from within five feet, but he seldom misses from that close in.
The 22-year-old does a nice job of closing off the lane against penetrators and shows an uncanny ability to slide over and block shots. He's clearly raw, but he'll learn quite a bit from the Warriors coaching staff and could prove to be a second-round steal.
There's a reason he put up 21 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks in the above game.
What Experts Are Saying
Carl Berman of NetScouts Basketball believes Kuzmic is raw, but he has a high ceiling:
Kuzmic is very inexperienced but has shown quick development. A 7-footer with a long wingspan, he can block shots, is mobile and is developing his skills quickly. He has a high potential and would be worth a second round pick. In several years he can be something special.
Kuzmic is currently playing in the Spanish second division after signing a three-year-deal before the 2011-2012 season with Malaga and joining Clinicas Rincon.
He's under contract, so the Warriors will have to find a way to get him over to the U.S. if they want him to make an immediate impact. Otherwise, they will have to wait until his contract is up.
Kuzmic is a project either way, and his game would be well-served in whatever league on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
There's not much to be expected out of the 52nd pick in the draft, but the Warriors got size, drive and something to work with by drafting Kuzmic.
Golden State has a decent young core that should be able to mold by the time Kuzmic is ready to join the team if he stays overseas to finish out his contract.
How many points will Ognjen Kuzmic average in his NBA career?
As it always is with the international guys, if they pan out, the GM looks like a genius. If they don't, nobody really cares as long as the pick is at the back end of the second round.
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