NBA 2020 draft: probably the top five choose the shares of Deni Avdija in sharp increase after his Israeli team has returned to play

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For the vast majority of the NBA 2020 Draft class, the pandemic paused their respective missions to improve their position in the eyes of NBA scouts and leaders. But overseas, where the Israeli Premier League has been on the ground for nearly a month, the exciting Deni Avdija is making her way silently but consistently towards mass growth.

It’s not a casuality. Israel-born Avdija and its Maccabi Tel Aviv club have been out for more than three months while the pandemic has gripped the globe and region, suspending play. Avdija seized the moment. He trained twice a day during the layoff – including 6 precise workouts to start the day – and spent countless hours trying to improve his shooting and general strength level.

The result so far in seven games has given Maccabi Tel Aviv a different player. Avdija, which should become no. 3 in my latest NBA Mock Draft, he came back more lucid, more physical and apparently more prepared than ever for the inevitable leap to NBA next season.

Not only did he secure a starting point – after leaving the bench before the pandemic – but he deservedly kept it. It no longer has a reserve role, it is an integral part of the success of Maccabi Tel Aviv, with an average of 17.3 points, 6.6 backboards and 3.3 rebounds per game.

Its production is as promising as its progress. Avdija has long been an NBA prospect because of his size, skill level and directorial skills for a prospect in his position, but the scouting report on him has always been followed by a vigorous: Yes, it can do all those high level things, vigorous can take down 3-point hits? Can it constantly be a threat as a shooter? Although he’s as good as a jumbo point forward with ribs as a director, projecting his game has limits if he can’t develop a more reliable jumper.

“His IQ on basketball, off the charts,” said CBS Sports basketball analyst Tim Doyle on Avdija in May. “I think he is one of the five best talents. He has a great sensitivity for the game, excellent passerby. His swing [skill] will it be ‘can it hit you?’ “If he becomes a capable shooter, he can be a really good player.”

“Can be” is now a thing of the past. Avdija is a really good player, period. The time and energy he spent during the free time caused by the pandemic by dedicating himself to improvement as a shooter and becoming more physically impressive is paying dividends more immediately than expected.

It was a sub-35% 3 point shooter for his career and a sub-60% free throw shooter, but since his return, he’s shooting 41% from the deep (16 of 39), 54% from the ground ( 42 of 78) and 72% from the charity bracket (21 of 29).

The strength of Avdija is its versatile playing style. It can stop and burst from the bottom, but it really excels with the ball in its hands. Since his return he has been allowed to really show that aspect of his game by attacking close-outs, ending up on the edge and creating – and it became natural for him. It’s not new, but it was an extended highlight of what it can bring to the NBA as an offensive weapon with 6 foot and 9 Swiss knives.

Avdija’s breakout was a small increase, but regardless of how the season ends, her improvement in areas where she needed to improve the most before the draft answered some important questions about how she will fit in at the NBA level.



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