View Full Version : He's what real and credible people have to say about Kristaps Porzingis

07-01-2015, 01:36 AM
Scott Roth, KP's former head coach at Sevilla: "He handled himself really well. He's very mature for his age. He has a great family and a base around him. He's a great, humble kid who's a worker. He's very competitive. He has a lot of intensity and competitive fight in him. That's the most critical component to his success in my opinion."

Roth: "He's going to make open shots. You're going to have to guard him from 15 feet to the 3-point line. His stroke is great. I had Dirk as a rookie. Dirk had more range. But the fluidity and grace of the shot is Dirk-like. He's athletic enough to run the floor. He's deceivingly good as a weak side shot blocker. He's actually very good down in the post. He just doesn't have the strength to maintain his position in the paint. And maybe most importantly, no one will out work him."

NBA GM: "I was watching him warm up and had flashbacks to when I saw Pau Gasol take the floor for the first time in Spain, only this kid is much more athletic than Gasol and plays with that same fluidity. I've been asking my team since then: Are you sure he's not the No. 1 guy? Are these guys in college really better than him?"

Long-time NBA scout: "[Saying they're more] established has nothing to do with [drafting the top Americans over KP]. That's code for, 'I won't get fired if I draft Okafor and he turns into Greg Oden. But I will get fired if Porzingis is the next Darko.'"

Roth:"Most of the international guys that busted didn't love the game. They failed because of a lack of passion and work ethic. It was convenient for them to come over and make a lot of money. Zinger's more in the Dirk mode, in that you can't get him out of the gym. He's also more in the Gasol mode, because he's so skilled. I hate to throw Dirk's name out there so flippantly. He's been so great. I don't think anyone thought when we drafted him he'd be this great. Zinger has some characteristics of Pau. Some of Dirk. But what he becomes? I can't tell you. But I don't think he'll be a bust. At worst he's a really good player. At best, a potential all-star. He's just too skilled, and too competitive to fail."

Long-time NBA GM: "Throw a Kentucky or a Duke jersey on him and you're in a heated debate about who is No. 1 in this draft. He has Dirk's shooting ability and moves and Kirilenko's athleticism. Think about it. What if Dirk had been a better athlete and defender? What if Kirilenko was four or five inches taller and could shoot it? That doesn't come along in the draft every year. I'm not sure it's ever come along in the draft."

NBA GM who had previously been critical of KP's weight/body: "His upper body needs a lot of work, but actually his lower body is pretty good. And for a player like him, that's the half of the body that matters defensively. It could get better, but it's not bad like I thought it was. In a couple of years, it's not going to be an issue."

Roth: "I had Gasol as a rookie in Memphis. They have the same body structure. It's a work in progress. It's not going to be totally fixed in six months. He's going to be 22 or 23 when he gets 20 or 30 pounds. But once his body catches up, he's going to be a monster."

Roth: "I've been around a lot of Europeans; things like passion or the ability for him to make the transition, it's not an issue with him. You put him in competitive situations he'll play as hard as anyone. He got beat up a lot. His competitive fire is as high as anyone. You just don't see 7-1 guys who love to play like he does. You have to kick him out of the gym. He knows the NBA. It's a passion and love for him and that will vault him into being a great player in the NBA."

NBA GM on why KP can't go first overall: "I just think Towns is the best player in the draft. I'm not sure Minnesota knows that yet, but I think they will be the end of the process. And if they don't, it's because Flip [Saunders] fell in love with Okafor."

Long-time international scout: "He's my favorite player in this draft. I keep telling my staff: This one is not like other international players. He's the real deal. He's special in all the ways a player can be special. He just needs to get stronger. That's it. He's going to be a big-time pro."

Western Conference executive: The kid can flat-out shoot. Now hes really, really thin, but hes athletic. A 7-footer who can step out and hit 3s is something.

Bobby Marks, former BKN Asst. GM: Id take Porzingis at four. Then Im talking to the fans and the media about how the team is going to be built going forward. Id make sure the pressure on Porzingis is not too high, and I think that hes a piece of the puzzle.

Fran Fraschilla: If youre picking four, youre essentially gambling. I dont know how you can come up with a better gamble than a guy thats 7-feet-1 on his way to 7-2, whos athletic, graceful, shoots the ball from 3, blocks shots and is 19 years old. I get the idea of the buzz factor, but after Okafor, Towns and Russell are gone, you might as well gamble and draft a kid who potentially could be along the lines of Dirk Nowitzki, (Pau) Gasol, (Andrei) Kirilenko. Hes a graceful player. His English is great. Hes a basketball junkie.

Gregg Polinsky, BKN Dir. of Player Personnel: Hes got a chance to be very good. The body is not there yet; hes very thin. Everyone talks about how he shoots the basketball, but what separates him is hes really competitive. Hes so skinny yet hes willing to take a pounding. Most guys built like that are not. He has that special quality mentally to go along with a skill thats valued in our league.

Chris Ekstrand, NBA consultant: Youre talking about a league that values speed and shooting ability. You dont see Charles Oakley and Dale Davis and Otis Thorpe anymore, so hes not going to have to play those types. Its made for a stretch-4, guys who are tall and can shoot away from the basket. Thats what Porzingis does.

Larry Sanders, former Pistons trainer, current Sevilla trainer: "When you grow (as fast Kris has), your body has a whole new neural field, basically. Your body doesn't really know where it is in space, so it's really hard to take contact or deliver contact when your body doesn't really know where you are. So for him, we had to get him used to his body before we could work on getting him stronger. Any kind of excess weight is just not functional. You try to make the body as efficient a machine as possible."

Sanders: "If you notice, he jumps really well off of both his right and left legs independently. That's not by accident. His core is unbelievable. At the beginning of the season, I could get leverage on him and all of that. But toward the end of the season, he learned how to absorb contact and not only hold his ground, but also hold his ground to where he could change direction."

Sanders: "When I was with the Pistons, we were doing pre-draft workouts and looking into John Henson. With him, his ratio of shoulder-to-hip is smaller than his hips. He didn't have much room to grow. With Kris, it's opposite. He has track legs and has a built lower body to go with broader shoulders."

Eastern Conference GM: I think there is a strong chance he lands in the top four picks. The Lakers, Knicks and 76ers are all possible options. He has the length and athleticism of Andrei Kirilenko and stroke and footwork like Dirk Nowitzki. He will be the best prospect in this draft while also having the best upside.

A different Eastern Conference GM: Hes really good and I think he should be in the conversation at No. 2."

NBA GM: "He could go two. He's that good. Nobody says anything bad about him."

NBA Head of Basketball Operations: "I think he's a lock for the top five and I wouldn't be surprised to see him go as high as top three. He's good. We all like to do our comparables. He's like Dirk Nowitzki or Pau Gasol...I'd take him ahead of (Jahlil) Okafor."

A former NBA Executive of the Year: If the draft was one year from now, I think Porzingis goes No. 1. Hes just not fully formed yet and thats getting in the way of peoples decisions. But one more year, and I think it would be him and then [Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell and Okafor].

NBA GM: If Karl Towns doesnt turn out, you could survive that. If Porzingis is a bust, youre probably getting canned.