Lior Eliyahu (44th pick, 2006)
- After being drafted, Eliyahu has been in a good year/bad year cycle. He was picked up from smaller Israeli team Hapoel Galil Elyon by the country's powerhouse Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and was a key producer in his first season. But then in 2007-08, his role was greatly reduced, and his production decimated. In 2008-09, after Maccabi's coaching situation had sorted itself out, Eliyahu was back to his best, averaging 14.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in Euroleague play, and a move to Caja Laboral in Spain followed. But in his first and only season there last season, Eliyahu somewhat disappointed, averaging only 5.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in ACB play.
Eliyahu has now returned to Maccabi, and is back on the upswing, averaging 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 21 minutes per game in Euroleague play. He's a fairly unique player, capable of running both halves of the pick and roll, a capable passer and decent slasher, an athlete who can create for himself and others, and finish shots from the mid-range. But he's also the poster boy for tweenerism. Yahoo's handle is decent for a power forward, but not for a small forward, and the jumpshot doesn't stretch much beyond the 15 feet range. He's also weak and just not willing to take contact - Eliyahu plays little from the post, and if confronted by an obstacle on a drive to the basket via his face-up game, it invariably results in a floater. The same sort of tweenerism affects him defensively, as does the softness. There's still time to find a niche in the game, perhaps one akin to that of Travis Outlaw. He's certainly doing OK, even if he's leaving unfulfilled potential on the table. But it won't now be in the NBA. He's more Steven Smith than Josh Smith.
Chances of making the NBA expressed as an arbitrary percentage: 5%