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Sixers' Draft Profiles: Donatas Motiejunas

*FYI these are ESPN's rankings, not mine. My personal rankings, along with Derek, Mike, and Tanner's can be found here.

#1 - John Wall  

#2 - Evan Turner

#3 - Derrick Favors

#4 - DeMarcus Cousins

#5 - Wesley Johnson

#6 - Al-Farouq Aminu

#7 - Ed Davis

#8 - Cole Aldrich

#9 - Greg Monroe

#10 - Daniel Orton

#11 - Ekpe Udoh

#12 - Hassan Whiteside

#13 - Donatas Motiejunas

#14 - Patrick Patterson


The Artist's boy, Donatas Motiejunas, after the jump!

Scouting Reports


Donatas has some offensive skills.

Motiejunas is showing outstanding potential taking his man off the dribble in creative fashion, often spinning his way through the lane for some incredibly impressive finishes.

Able to go left or right, Motiejunas is a nightmare for most big men to match up with at his size, as he possesses an excellent first step to go along with strong ball-handling skills and terrific body control maneuvering his way towards the basket.

His game is better suited for the NBA.

... his ability to create scoring opportunities out of isolation situations will be far more useful in the faster paced and more loosely called realm of the NBA. Italian league refs are notorious for being incredibly quick to call traveling violations (particularly on rookies like Motiejunas), and there were a number of whistles that we saw on film that would not have been ruled as such in the NBA.

He can score in a variety of ways, including in the post.

Motiejunas is also looking a little better in the post these days, appearing more comfortable here now than he did in the past. His outstanding footwork combined with his terrific agility and quickness allows him to create his own shot with relative ease, often to transition into a beautiful jump-hook shot, which he can execute with either hand. His touch around the basket and overall feel for scoring remains extremely impressive for someone his age, as it's pretty clear that we're talking with an exceptionally gifted offensive player with a huge upside to continue to develop on this end of the floor.

The defense and rebounding are what's holding him back.

...his work defensively and on the glass can't be described as anything less than worrisome. Possessing average fundamentals on this end of the floor, Motiejunas is somewhat of a liability when attempting to defend on the perimeter. He's extremely upright in his stance and shows very little in the ways of hustle or awareness, getting burned repeatedly in the film we took in.

No muscles.

His lack of strength is a major issue, but so is his extremely poor balance, as you regularly see him being knocked to the ground in every game he plays in. He gets pushed around by smaller players fairly often, giving up deep position in the post, and in turn easy baskets.


Star potential?

Motiejunas continues to show offensive potential. His strength is putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. He also is improving as a low-post presence, although his lack of strength clearly inhibits him from dominating down there. Motiejunas is still a streaky shooter with questionable 3-point range. His free throw shooting has been horrendous. But scouts love his motor, aggressiveness and feel. With time, they believe he could be a star.

The next Toni Kukoc?

Montiejunas broke out at the Nike Hoop Summit, where some scouts saw the next Toni Kukoc.

Struggled against Team USA ...

... his big matchup against Team USA didn't go so well. Motiejunas had a respectable 12 points, but committed a whopping nine turnovers. He tried to do too much, and Team USA's defense wasn't going to allow it.


DX: Best case - Andrea Bargnani

Worst case - Channing Frye

ESPN: Toni Kukoc  Andrea Bargnani


Donatas highlights #1

Donatas highlights #2

My take:

Donatas should definitely be able to score at the next level. It sounds like he has every facet of a good offensive game, and he's only 19. However; the defense, rebounding, motor, and basketball awareness flaws could prevent him from reaching his full potential in the NBA. Considering I haven't seen a second of him play -- minus a few YouTube clips -- it's hard for me to form a concrete opinion. But from the sound of it, Sixers fans won't have to worry (or get excited) about the Sixers drafting Donatas -- according to Tony DiLeo.

Up next: Patrick Patterson

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