Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Deni Avdija

Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)
Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Deni Avdija
Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv defends a pass. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Deni Avdija NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Weaknesses

While Deni Avdija’s performance at the FIBA U20 Championship may have showcased his full potential, his performance in the EuroLeague for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv has seen mixed results.

Avdija spent the 2019-20 season playing alongside a stacked roster that included former NBA players Quincy Acy, Omri Casspi, Nate Wolters, and even Amar’e Stoudemire. The star-studded roster had a successful 19-9 record before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avdija played a limited role for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, starting just five games and averaging only four points per game in 26 contests. He showed flashes of his future potential but struggled to make a significant impact during his minutes. His jump shot was specifically inconsistent as Avdija shot just 27.7 percent from beyond the arc, including missing his last 10 attempts before the season came to an abrupt end.

At 19 years old, Avdija is still young and learning how to impact a game against the world’s top talent. He can often become an afterthought if he is not the primary ball-handler or if his shot is not falling. This problem is compounded by his average athletic ability, preventing him from making impact players when his focus or energy levels are low.

Avdija also seems to lack lateral quickness on the defensive end to stay in front of faster offensive players, a weakness that could easily be exploited by NBA talent.

Perhaps most concerning are Avdija’s shooting numbers. He wants to be a perimeter threat but his outside shot is streaky at best. Meanwhile, he shot just 56 percent from the free throw line, a shockingly low number for a wing player.

Like many prospects in this year’s draft, Avdija will have to improve as a shooter in order to be a true scoring threat in the NBA and fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ pace and space scheme.