"It's brilliant that you lose your baby teeth when you're a baby, rather than lose them when you're like 30 or 20. That has nothing to do with your question, but that was definitely on my mind." - Ron Artest
Messina left behind some talent, much of which he brought in. Argentine veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni is still in place, although his skills are starting to slip. As he ages and slows, Prigioni's famously great defense is fading, and his ability to get to the basket and create his own shot is largely gone too. The current version of Prigioni is thus rather limited; a good outside shooter, good playmaker, pass-first leader point guard with incredibly low turnover numbers, but who is no longer a threat to do much in (or get within) the paint, and who can be exposed by speedy opponents. Behind him, Sergio Rodriguez - in his first season back in Spain after his four years in the NBA - was having a decent season, albeit with rather high turnover numbers and poor outside shooting. However, he has suffered a thigh injury and will miss a month, including the whole quarter finals series. That places a point guard burden on Sergio Llull. And while Llull is awesome - arguably the most athletic non-American guard outside of the USA, with plenty of flair, passing, transition finishes and threes - he is not a point guard, even if he is 6'3. With Rodriguez injured and Prigioni ageing, though, he's going to now have to be, so maybe the experience will help him grow at the position.
Sergio Llull - 34th pick, 2009 Absolutely could play in an NBA rotation, and everyone knows it. But as the reigning Euroleague MVP, as a legend in his homeland, and after the experience of Juan Carlos Navarro, why should he leave?
[Pablo Prigioni] has suffered a thigh injury and will miss a month, including the whole quarter finals series. That places a point guard burden on Sergio Llull. And while Llull is awesome - arguably the most athletic non-American guard outside of the USA, with plenty of flair, passing, transition finishes and threes - he is not a point guard, even if he is 6'3. With Rodriguez injured and Prigioni ageing, though, he's going to now have to be, so maybe the experience will help him grow at the position.
[..] Llull leads the team in Euroleague scoring at only 11.8 points per game.
But none of that, or any blurb about him, says as much as Youtube can. Either the analytical.....
....or the fun.
Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 38%
Sergio Llull was awesome, which is why the Rockets bought the #34 pick from Denver and drafted him ahead of DeJuan Blair. And he still is awesome. Llull is averaging 9.0 points and 2.1 assists in 20 minutes per game in the ACB, alongside 9.5 points and 2.0 assists in 21 minutes per game in the Euroleague. He is shooting 48% from 3 in the ACB and 42% from three in the Euroleague, with 370 total points on 246 total shots, for a true shooting percentage of .673%. And this is as a 6'3 guard. Llull is still neither a point guard nor a shooting guard, but he has a blazing hot jumpshot and a Sham-like 76 inch vertical leap. What's not to like?
Washington also decided to save money in the second round when they sold the #32 overall pick to Houston for a record $2.5 million. That's an awful lot of money for a second rounder, particularly in these more conservative times, and so even though it cost them a shot at possible contributors such as DeJuan Blair, Sam Young, Chase Budinger, Jonas Jerebko or Marcus Thornton, the move made some sense. And I say that as a big Sergio Llull fan.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.