2020 NBA Draft Profile: Deni Avdija, G, Israel

OVERVIEW

Deni Avdija
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Avdija is a 19-year-old Israeli forward who most recently played for Maccabi Tel Aviv in his home country. He is the son of Zufer Avdija, who also played professionally in Europe.

He made his professional debut at 16, becoming the youngest to ever play for Maccabi Tel Aviv’s senior team. He helped Maccabi Tel Aviv to three consecutive Israeli League championships from 2018-20 and became the youngest MVP in league history this past season.

At 6-feet-9 and 215 pounds, Avdija can play both forward spots while handling the ball and initiating the offense.

He averaged 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game in the 2019-20 Israel – Winner League.

ANALYSIS

Avdija draws comparisons to fellow European Dario Saric, who does a little bit of everything well.

Avdija’s biggest strength is his playmaking and vision, making him a fit for a “point forward” role. His ballhandling is valuable in the pick-and-roll and pushing the ball in transition. He is also a solid finisher inside.



The biggest concern about Avdija is his shooting. He shot 38.7 percent from 3-point distance in 2019-20 and, more glaringly, 58.1 percent on free throws. Tweaked mechanics yielded better results in recent months, but there is not yet enough evidence to conclude his shot is fixed for good.

Avdija also has the ability to play within a team defensive scheme.

In an uncertain draft, Avdija is an uncertain prospect. The inconsistent competition level in Israel can make it challenging to evaluate him. But for a team with bona fide scorers, especially at guard, Avdija could be an intriguing pick.

PROJECTION

Lottery pick

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–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)