Indiana Pacers 2020 NBA Draft Profile: Deni Avdija

The 19-Year-old Israeli phenom is projected to be a Top 5 Pick in the upcoming draft. Should the Indiana Pacers make a big move?

The Indiana Pacers don’t have their first-round pick due to trading it to the Bucks for Malcolm Brogdon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a move to get into the first round, maybe even the Top 5. We don’t know the direction this front office is going to take this offseason, especially with reports of Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo wanting out.

If they do make a trade, I personally say they should go for draft capital to develop a young prospect to play alongside Domantas Sabonis for the future. I’m not a draft expert in the slightest but a prospect that has caught my eye is Deni Avdija.

Deni Avdija is a 19 year old forward out of Israel. Deni didn’t take the traditional route of going to college then committing to the NBA draft, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We are starting to see more and more that international prospects are taking the league by storm. International basketball has grown men and at 19, Avdija was the best in the league, winning The Israeli League Championship and taking home League MVP Honors in the process. Let’s get to more talk about his game.

Deni Avdija is a 6-foot-9 Swiss Army knife of a player that can play from the SG spot to the PF spot. In his MVP season, he averaged 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. While they don’t look like amazing stats, you have to realize those are similar stats to those of Luka Doncic the season before he was drafted and look at him now.

I think people like to compare him to Luka just from the international standpoint but they play similar in ways, but the overarching draft comparison I’ve seen for him is Hedo Turkoglu, that may make you raise questions, but Hedo was a super underrated player and not many people talk about him.

Strengths:

  • All-Around Player/Versatile;
  • high basketball IQ;
  • has big stage experience;
  • great ball-handler;
  • elite court vision;
  • has a good enough post-game to play at the four;
  • good rebounder;
  • has the tools to be a good defender

Weaknesses: 

  • Below average wingspan for his size;
  • can be too competitive at times which leads to lapses of concentration;
  • right hand dominant;
  • streaky shooter

I can’t speak for all Pacer fans but I would love to take a risk and trade up in hopes of drafting Deni Avdija. Luka Doncic’s success might be influencing that statement but Deni has the tools to become a great NBA player and has shown flashes.

The Pacers aren’t a franchise that has had the luxury of having top picks, so why not try to acquire some great draft capital without tanking? From the rumors, it seems like the Turbonis experiment may be coming to an end and Deni would fit well in the lineup either at the SF or PF position depending on what he and T.J. Warren want to play.

Many are saying this isn’t a very good draft but I have a great feeling about him and want to take the chance.