Drafted by: Philadelphia 76ers, No. 54 overall (traded to Spurs)
Height/Weight: 6'8", 193 lbs
Projected NBA Position: Shooting Guard
Twitter Handle: @DangubicNemanja
Nemanja Dangubic wasn't one of the higher-ranked international prospects entering the 2014 NBA draft, but the Philadelphia 76ers liked his two-way potential and grabbed him with their seventh pick of the night. The San Antonio Spurs acquired him via trade shortly thereafter.
The 6'8" Serbian, who plays for Serbian club Mega Vizura, competes hard from end-to-end and has a great feel for the game as well as a knack for scoring away from the ball.
His NBA appeal is based on his future as an off-guard role player, one who could grow as a shooter. Dangubic has enough size and mobility to spend time at either wing position and is a long-term prospect even though he's already 21.
|Statistics at Mega Vizura|
Standing 6'8.25" in shoes with a 8'6.5" standing reach, Dangubic has decent length for a small forward and great length for a shooting guard. His 6'8" wingspan is a bit underwhelming, so he probably won't be a defensive playmaker.
His foot speed and end-to-end mobility look good, and although his first step and vertical leap aren't explosive, he's got some springs to work with.
Dangubic's no-step vert was measured at 34.5" at 2014 Eurocamp, which is great, but his max vertical registered a puzzling 34" inches.
Judging by game film, his max vert looks to be in the neighborhood of 36-plus inches, and he passes the eye test by attacking the rim and elevating comfortably in transition.
He probably won't be handling the rock much as a featured option in the NBA, so his best offensive asset is his ability to move without the ball.
Dangubic has a nice feel for when to cut to the rim, when to flare out to the wing for a spot-up opportunity or when to leak out in transition. He showed superb chemistry with Mega Vizura teammate Vasilije Micic throughout 2013-14 and also connected well with his teammates during the Eurocamp.
Working smoothly away from the ball is often an unheralded trait, but it's not underappreciated by the Spurs. They know he could fit extremely well within their system, utilizing well-timed cuts and cagey positioning on the weak side.
During his time with Mega Vizura, we've seen several glimpses of Dangubic's ability to attack the rim off the dribble.
He often gets by his man via pump fake or hesitation dribble. Once he gets into the lane, he's a fearless scorer who can hit acrobatic shots and use the glass. When he gets room after driving past a defender's close-out, he can take flight and dunk.
Dangubic doesn't have the tightest or most polished handles, but on one or two dribbles he can effectively slice toward the bucket and find high-percentage chances. As he upgrades his ball skills, his effectiveness from the wing will significantly improve.
His slashing ability combined with his court awareness also makes him a great passer for a wing. He dished 2.0 assists in just 25 minutes last year, showing that he can share the rock and hit the open man.
He only hit 30 percent of his triples in 2013-14, but Dangubic nevertheless has shooting potential.
His form is solid, albeit a little rigid, and looks like it could be ironed into something competent. Given his off-ball instincts and scoring touch, he should eventually shoot much better than 30 percent from three.
Draft Express' Jonathan Givony thought Dangubic looked good shooting the ball at Eurocamp, and noted the youngster's potential: "He went 2/5 from three spotting up (on day two), which was nice to see, as he shot just 29.5% from beyond the arc during the Adriatic League season. If Dangubic can develop a consistent outside shot, he has terrific role player potential."
Dangubic hasn't shown much proficiency when it comes to creating his own shot or handling the ball extensively. He seems a bit turnover-prone when he forces things in traffic, so he probably won't be initiating offense in the NBA anytime soon.
Shooting consistency is another point of concern. His 30 percent clip for Mega Vizura leaves a lot to be desired, especially if he wants playing time within the next two-to-four years.
Lastly, he's somewhat of a question mark defensively. While the effort may be in good supply, his athleticism and lateral quickness will be suspect against the explosive swingmen/slashers of the NBA.
Can he keep opponents in front of him, and will his 6'8" wingspan fail to bother small forwards?
Dangubic will likely be a draft-and-stash asset for San Antonio; he's not going to do anything in the NBA for a little while.
When he does join the league in a couple years, he'll serve as a heady off-ball contributor who will do a little bit of everything offensively. He'll pass, shoot or drive depending on what the team needs.
Down the road, he could grow from a peripheral piece getting 10 minutes per game to a key role player for 20 minutes.
If his shooting improves as expected, he'll be able to stay on the floor for extended stretches and really impact the game with his basketball IQ and two-way effort.
Don't expect impressive stats at all (and let's face it, that's not what the Spurs want from him). Dangubic would simply be a seamless part of the rotation and keep the machine humming.
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