One of the premier foreign-born players in the 2017 NBA draft, Anzejs Pasecniks profiles as a player with physicality and offensive potential who isn't totally lost defensively. The 7'2" center most recently played with Gran Canaria, a Spanish basketball club, and was projected to be a selection around the 20s. He was taken No. 25 overall.
Pasecniks made his pro debut in the Latvian League back in 2012. This past season, he averaged 7.2 points and three rebounds per game. Despite his age—he'll turn 22 later this year—some scouts see more potential growth in Pasecniks than other prospects who are moving up from the American collegiate game.
Learn more about Pasecniks with a scouting report and bio below.
Bio: Pasecniks follows countryman Kristaps Porzingis out of Latvia into the draft, where he’s receiving first-round looks thanks to his physical profile, long-term potential, and ability to remain playing overseas for another season or two. He logged just 15.8 minutes per game in the ACB but did pretty well with that playing time, and he’ll drafted based off the possibilities, not the production.
Strengths: There aren’t many young 7’2” basketball players hanging around anywhere in the world. Pasecniks has displayed outstanding mobility and solid offensive skills in his workouts for teams. He excels catching lobs and finish around the basket and could be a dangerous pick-and-pop player as he continues to improve his jumper. He has the foot speed to defend adequately and can get off the ground to block shots. Impressively, he can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim, too.
Weaknesses: Pasecniks needs to continue bulking up in order to defend the post. He’s a late bloomer and relatively inexperienced. Accordingly, his fundamentals, particularly on defense, need refinement. His defensive rebounding numbers weren’t great. But there aren’t many standout centers in this class, and an NBA team will invest knowing they can let him develop further before bringing him over. There are pieces of a good player here, but they’re still just pieces for now.
- Jeremy Woo
A source informed SI that this pick is moving from Orlando to Philadelphia. Pasecniks is a talented 7-footer with upside who the Sixers can keep overseas for a couple of seasons if need be. He has some shooting potential and gives the Sixers another asset as they rebuild. - Jeremy Woo
Fast facts about Anzejs Pasecniks
Birthday: Dec. 20, 1995
Weight: 22 lbs.
Hometown: Riga, Latvia
Club: Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain)