"Rook, I am the best shooter in the league. In the league, understand? And you're up here trying to tell me something?" - Larry Bird to Reggie Miller, as Reggie tried to distract Bird between free throws.
Kravtsov is one of the best centres in the whole of the Ukraine. That's good. Then again, the Ukraine isn't known for its output of quality seven footers.
Kravtsov has spent his entire career with BC Kyiv, a team that features no imports and who owe quite a significant debt to Clay Tucker. Last year in the Ukranian Superleague, Kravstof averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and a league leading 2.7 blocks in 29 minutes per game; to put that into some context, the league's second best shotblocker was former NBA draft pick and serial Ethiopian adopter, Dan McClintock, at 1.9bpg. And here is one such block of Kravstov's, an emphatic swat of an EWE Baskets Oldenburg player that might or might not be Je'kel Foster:
Unfortunately, Kravtsov's offensive game is not as nice. He scores highly in the Ukraine, but it's born through size advantage alone. Kravs cannot post, shoot or hit foul shots, and while he can pass the ball and make shots around the basket, someone else has to get him the look. (And even then, he might drop the pass.) He shot 70% from the field, but he also turned it over 2.6 times a game, and it wasn't as an offensive creator. Kravtsov is intriguing because of his size, defensive presence and decent athleticism, but the recently signed Erden just took Boston's project centre roster spot.
- Vyacheslav Kravstov - Kravstov has moved from Ukrainian team BC Odessa to Ukrainian team BC Donetsk. Donetsk went bankrupt partway through last season and were thrown out of the Ukrainian Superleague - they were unbeaten league leaders at the time.
Kravtsov had a partially guaranteed contract for this season that became guaranteed when he was not waived by July 29th, so he'll be back. And he should be. He's a legitimate defensive centre with offensive skills to boot (and his 29.7% free throw percentage is an anomaly - he shot 70% over the preceding three seasons. But he should also spend a little time in the D-League. For whatever reason, the Pistons never sent him there last year, and while they played him in 25 NBA games, it was only in a bit part role. The NBA and its coaches may be a better place to learn, but a 10-15 game run-out on assignment to actually employ those skills learnt and build up some confidence (or even trade value) would consolidate that. Maybe next year.
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.