The Brooklyn Nets had Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs on their radar in 2017 before selecting him in the second round this year. How good can he be?
The Latvian native has a 6-foot-9, 220-pound frame,that the Nets are sure to use either in Brooklyn or their Long Island G League affiliate at the wing.
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Based on how much interest the Nets and Marks have had in Kurucs for the past two years, it is clear that Kurucs has what it takes to be a success in the NBA.
With that being said, Marks has given Nets fans every reason to believe that Kurucs will be playing right away in Brooklyn.
He told reporters at the press conference introducing Kurucs and first-round pick Dzanan Musa that he plans on integrating Kurucs and Musa as soon as possible into the Nets roster at the beginning of training camp and the start of the season.
Here is what Kurucs will bring to the table.
Kurucs’ size and length will give him a leg up on defenses, allowing him to get to the rim and shoot from outside over opponents. Though Kurucs has a thin build, he has a first step, leaping ability and stride up the floor that is sure to catch NBA defenses off guard.
Mentally, Rodi is confident, competitive, a great teammate, possesses a strong basketball IQ and lastly, he is not scared of the big stage. All of these strengths will be crucial for Rodi’s development acclimating to an American way of life both on and off the court.
The 21-year-old’s biggest strength is his versatility. He has been used extensively as a forward and a shooting guard; depending where the Nets play him, he will be able to use either his length to stretch the floor out or get past defenders to the rack.
Early in camp, Kurucs is going to have to improve both his ball handing and his passing due to the faster pace of the NBA.
He will have to get acclimated to a more pick-and-roll focused offense, become more versatile shooting from unpredictable spots on the floor and learn he cannot drive straight ahead to the rim against elite rim defenders.
In Barcelona Kurucs was labeled as injury-prone after suffering two major injuries and in Brooklyn his future success is predicated on staying healthy.
In the end, when Kurucs laces them up at Barclays, he is going to adjust to a whole new level of competition and the speed at which he does his will determine how fast he gets on the court in the black-and-white jersey.
When all is said and done, I believe Rodions Kurucs will be an NBA success for the Nets. Based on how much Sean Marks and the Nets have invested into the Latvian, he truly does have the talent to make it into the NBA.
If Rodi can stay healthy, he has a special opportunity to bring a lot to the table in Brooklyn given his athletic ability, size and basketball IQ In camp. Once Kurucs tightens some things in his game up, it will be just a matter of how long will we see Rodi on the court in Brooklyn.