Sergio Llull: 6-3, 176, PG, 21 years old, (Real Madrid)
Draft rank: #39
PG rank: #14
Has good mechanics on his shot. No wasted motion and does a good job of stepping into his shot. Has good size to play the point. Does a very good job of using his feet to turn the corner and has tremendous balance that allows him to get to the rim. Even when he is at full speed he is able to stay in control. Does a really good job of getting into the lane and getting to the rim. Does a very good job of attacking open space with the ball. Has very good speed. Does a good job of pushing the ball in transition and making the defense pay when they aren’t setup. Does a good job of penetrating and dropping passes off to his bigs. Really knows how to take advantage of the defender if he is off balance. Doesn’t settle for outside shots and is not afraid of attacking bigger players at the rim. Uses his hands to try to create steals and take off the other way in transition. Can shoot the ball even if he is moving to the left or the right because of his ability to square up to the basket. Has good hang time when attacking the basket. Does a good job of shielding his man with his shoulder and attacking in transition with an underhand scoop shot. Does a good job of floating shots over the defender and off the glass so that he can score in the lane. Really good athleticism and solid explosiveness from a point guard. Does a good job of finishing on reverses and knows how to dip his shoulder down so that he can beat his man and get to the other end of the rim.
Is right hand dominant and he often turns the ball over when he is forced to go left. Often loses his balance when someone knocks touches him while driving to the hoop which causes him to shoot bad shots or make bad decisions. Often forces passes and as a result turns the ball over. Struggles shooting the ball when there is a player in his face. Sometimes forces his shot. Doesn’t do a good job fighting thru screens. Struggles to keep quick guards in front of him. Does not do a good job of pulling for mid-range jump shots and often just forces shots around the rim instead. I am not sure he will be able to hit the NBA three consistently. Often pounds the ball. Has still only played limited minutes and has put up limited numbers in those minutes.
When watching Llull I was very surprised at how composed he was for a 21 year old. The guy has no problem with going and getting the ball from his veteran teammates and also doesn’t have a problem with telling those same teammates where to go. I love the fact that Llull isn’t afraid of getting knocked down and how his overall aggressiveness. In the NBA where charges are few and far between a PG that can penetrate and get into the paint with a little bit of recklessness is a good thing. Mentally I really like what I see from Llull as far as confidence is concerned.
Comparison: Sergio Rodriguez, 6-3, 170, PG
While he is clearly a point guard, he was used a lot as a secondary point guard overseas. What I mean by that is that they had a different player bring up the ball and then would let Llull run the offense in the half court. I would love to see him have the ability to push the ball from the get go, but that’s the offense they run and Llull seemed very comfortable in the half court as well. He is a very intriguing prospect just based on his size, speed and his ability to handle the ball.
I had the fortune of watching a young Sergio Rodriguez when he was starting to make some noise in Madrid and this Spanish Sergio does remind me of Rodriguez. He has a similar flare to his game and he has a similar build. The big difference is that Llull is fearless when taking the ball to the hoop and is a lot more aggressive than Rodriguez was when I saw him play. While they may have their differences both had the ability to change the course of the game with their play making skills and that is ultimately why Llull is an attractive prospect for NBA teams.
Llull may get drafted in the 1st round, but if he doesn’t then I could think of numerous teams that should take a flyer on him. At the very least he continues to play at a high level in Spain and they can let them grow into a complete point guard. He still has to show more consistency and work on his game, but Llull is definitely an intriguing prospect that should not be overlooked in this year’s draft.