This is a lot to respond to but all I'm going to say right now is that I haven't found any of these insider takes or commentary pieces very useful. I've read some of the articles at The Stepien for instance and found the analysis to be overly generalized. I really just like to watch the games and make up my own mind. So if other scouts think Doncic's athleticism will limit his upside that's fine. I don't agree though. In some cases athleticism is very important. I would cite Gerald Wallace as an example. He was never a great shooter, he couldn't really create off the dribble. As a wing these are huge problems right? But he found his niche anyway as an athletic terror willing to jump over other players to get to blocks, dunks, and rebounds. But I also think it's overrated when it comes to evaluating prospects. If you think you're going to teach a 20 year old how to play basketball you've really got your work cut out for you. Players can and do improve on their skills but if there's nothing there to begin with they're just too far behind the curve.
As this relates to Doncic, I really don't understand what other people are seeing. He breaks down defenders and creates good looks all the time. Sure the NBA in general has some of the best athletes in the world but it's not like everyone in the league is a track-star/mega-dunker. There are also a lot of good athletes who just flat out know how to play the game. And this is where I think so many people (myself included) miss on prospects. They're looking for wow factor when they should really be looking for two things: (1) What is this player going to do consistently on the basketball court that contributes to helping a team win and (2) Do they have the tools to excel in those areas? It's not going to be the same for every player. And in that respect I don't understand any of the criticism levied at Doncic. It's like people think he's going to turn into a pumpkin and forget how to do all of the things he's doing already.
We saw this before with Steph Curry. He's too small, too weak, he won't be able to get that shot off in the NBA. He's an undersized shooting guard who'll struggle to lead a team. Did any of that turn out to be true? I hate to bring up examples which make it sound like I'm implying Doncic will succeed because Steph succeeded. I'm just saying that some of the criticism is really reaching in my opinion. Maybe Michael Porter is taller and has a prettier jumpshot but does that really give him a higher ceiling? Sometimes I feel like people make these overly simplistic assertions like "I'd rather have a Kevin Durant than a Gordon Hayward" but Porter is not Durant and Doncic is not Hayward. They may be similar players at a point in time but that's it.
Well Givony is paid to give an opinion, and that's what he's doing. And, in fairness to ESPN, they have an entirely different group led by Givony this year, so I don't think it's fair to compare past years results as a measuring stick for this year's opinions. However, I understand where your coming from. I disagree on articles from The Stepien being general. Some of the contributors like Cole Zwicker and Mike Gribanov go into extreme detail when breaking down a player. It probably depends on whom your reading.
I watched a lot of games with Doncic this year and I don't disagree with the analysis. I thought he got a step slower the last few months, and appeared to be heavier. And there's no denying that his 3 pt shot suffered. Personally I thought the amount of games he's played in the last 18 months contributed to a lot of that. But that's just a logical opinion, and not necessarily the reason. I will say this. The fact that he's added weight, and then the info that he has poor eating habits bothers me. As I said before, you never know what a player is going to do when he suddenly has 6 mil in his bank.
Re: the espn article.....if Porters back checks out, I wouldn’t have a problem trading back a few spots, a la BOS last year with Tatum, and grabbing Porter. The back is a big if though, but healthy I think he’s a stud and can be a go to scorer.
A little bit hard to read, but I bolded the main points. Seems like his lack of athleticism is a problem for NBA scouts. He also did have a very bad stretch where he was putting up single digit points and struggled. He actually had 2-3 very bad games a few weeks ago as well. His 3P% has taken a hit this year. His FTA/G isn't as good as it would seem. He benefits from the European style of play where they use up their fouls to slow down games. This results in them being over the foul limit. Some of his FTAs come from ticky tack fouls that aren't in the act of shooting. See his last game as an example.
Giovny doesn't believe in these claims at all. He sees Doncic as the #1 prospect. So he's not out to bash Doncic in any way, he actually defends him a lot in the piece. He's just reiterating what he's been hearing and seeing in the NBA circle.
Doncic isn't a homerun pick. I'm sure some of this might be smokescreen, but a lot can happen between now and draft time.
Just watched Jayson Tatums highlights from last game and if you ask me, Doncic could do all this stuff as well.
Tatum has been critized for his lack of elite athleticism as well, and it is justified as he can not blow by guys and gets stuck below the rim on drives. But as you can see it just does not matter. If you are 6'7-6'8 and can handle the ball, can shoot the ball and pass the ball, with decent IQ and footwork, you will go a long way in the NBA.
Given that final 4 was in Belgrade and Vlade's connections there, there is more than a fair chance that Vlade would have been in one of the corporate boxes while Givony would have been somewhere in the stands. Doesn't mean that Givony is wrong just that he could not have been him there even if he was there.