by Dan Kelly
Interpreting how a foreign player is going to fit into the NBA is a perilous and often costly game. The Nets signed the 27 year old Bosnian rookie to a 3 year 9 million dollar deal (the deal was originally 15.6 million) which indicates the kind of player that they think Teletovic is going to be. By comparison Josh Childress, Andray Blatche, Keith Bogans, and C.J. Watson will each make around one million dollars this year.
Teletovic is consistently listed at 6’9’’ and his listed weight varies from 240 to 255 pounds. He needed 31 minutes per game last year in a Spanish professional league to take 13 shots and score 16 points. His field goal percentage has been in the mid to high 40’s for the past 5 years and his three point percentage has consistently hovered in the mid to high 30’s. What those stats tell us is that, at age 27, we know what kind of player Teletovic is going to be.
Stylistically Teletovic fits the mold of the stereotypical European big man. He will spot up for 3’s or come off screens for jumpers. He likes to catch the ball in the mid-post for turn around jumpers and fade-aways. The form on his shot is pure and consistent. Good example of that here:
(very strange start to these highlights, nonetheless his shot is pure, and he will definitely lead the league in arc if nothing else)
As for an NBA comparison Donyell Marshall or Christian Laettner come to mind (yes, those guys are still on my mind). His role on the 2012 Brooklyn Nets is going to be ‘scorer off the bench.’ On nights when the starters are having a hard time getting their offense going Teletovic and Brooks will be expected to come in and take shots. If given the minutes Teletovic is capable of scoring in the twenties a few games this year. But, because he is not a strong rebounder (he’s an okay rebounder at 5 per game), Teletovic is going to have to share the back-up forward minutes with Reggie Evans. The two of them will likely split the back up minutes based on match-ups and game situations.
The great unknown with Teletovic is how he will adjust to the game in the NBA. The NBA season is twice as long, the ref’s make different calls (they allow traveling), flopping is a criminal offense and will result in a $5,000 fine, the athletes present different challenges (bigger, faster), and the culture (especially in Brooklyn) can be jarring.
Teletovic comes in at # 10 on this list because, at different times this season, the Nets are going to need his scoring. There are going to be games when Kris Humphries is in foul trouble, or hurt, or unable to find the basket and Teletovic will play. Aside from Joe Johnson and Bogans (from the corner) Teletovic is the teams only shooter. The reason that Teletovic is not higher on this list or, more specifically, why he is not higher than Reggie Evans, is because the Nets already have 6 players who want shots. And there just aren’t that many shots to go around.