Anzejs Pasecniks: Center – Gran Canaria, turns 22 in December
Measurables: 7-2, 230 lbs.
Strengths: Length, Dexterity, Agility, Pick and Roll, Shooting Potential
Weaknesses: Strength, Defense, Rebounding, Shot-Blocking
Conclusion: Anzejs is a very interesting prospect that is quickly rising up my board and will have a definite first round grade in my final big board. His combination of length with natural dexterity and coordination is eerily reminiscent of his Latvian compatriot, Kristaps Porzingis. The comparison ends there though, as Porzingis was a lot further developed with his offensive skills and has a much higher ceiling defensively due to his instincts and explosiveness. Nevertheless, several translatable NBA skills do standout for Pasecniks, and his agility in a recent workout made waves around the internet. Anzejs sets solid screens, loves rolling to the rim, and has great hands for catching lobs. He clearly enjoys scoring and has a decent jump shot when he gets his feet set. If he expands his range out to the NBA three-point line he’ll be a legitimate threat in all three phases of the court: paint, mid-range, and beyond the arc.
Defensively, I haven’t seen great instincts. He seems to react slowly on rotations and his body is still pretty frail. His rebounding and boxing out is non-existent. Doesn’t get too many blocks for someone with his length either. If he bulks up and spends a couple seasons honing his discipline he should become a passable defender, in which case his offensive contributions will only become even more useful. In a league that features Kevin Durant versus LeBron James at center for large portions of the NBA Finals, seven-foot centers might seem like dinosaurs on the brink of extinction, but Pasecniks is too mobile to be disregarded. Patience and tempered expectations for a few years could pay off in a really big way if he becomes a strong seven-footer with the agility to play both ends of the floor in transition and in the half-court.