Deni Avdija Scouting Report – Atlanta Hawks NBA Draft Prospect

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 07: Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv looks on prior to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague match between FC Bayern Munich and Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv at Audi Dome on March 07, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 07: Deni Avdija of Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv looks on prior to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague match between FC Bayern Munich and Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv at Audi Dome on March 07, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Full scouting report of potential Atlanta Hawks draft pick Deni Advija.

Taking a look at potential top-five pick Deni Avdija, finding his strengths, weaknesses, and fit with the Atlanta Hawks. Avdija’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team in Isreal restarted play after a long break, drawing the eyes of many NBA fans still without any American basketball to watch.

Avdija put on a nice show, rising up many big boards with a 23-point, 7-rebound performance, silencing the main criticism of his game: shooting efficiency. He had a good night from the field and from the stripe. As his league continues to be one of the first basketball leagues back in action, he will only grow his draft profile.

Avdija’s Strengths:

Interior scoring

Of all the scouting reports I’ve done thus far for the 2020 NBA Draft, many have inside scoring as a flaw. There aren’t many talented slashers in this year’s class, with Avdija being one of the few exceptions.
He’s a gifted finisher in nearly any situation. He can get through contact with either hand and has a great touch off the glass. He’s patient on drives and in transition and takes what is given rather than settling for something quick.

Advija is a smart cutter and can create highlight-worthy plays whenever his defender is caught napping.

Point forward

Deni has a great feel for the game and combined with his solid handle, makes him a nice point forward prospect. His passing IQ is off the charts for a 6-foot-9 19-year-old, and his ability to kick with accuracy out of a drive makes him a very dangerous cover.

Team defense

He’s a smart defender on the perimeter and rarely leaves for help when he shouldn’t He rotates, communicates, and reads offenses well. He’s a sneaky good shot-blocker with his long arms and good instincts.

Avdija’s Weaknesses:


If Avdija falls out of the top-five on draft night, it’s going to because of his jump shot. It’s inconsistent and lacks the basic fundamentals you’d like to see. He’s shooting just 34 percent from three in Israel and it’s hard to see that number go up against tougher defense in the NBA.

While his solid performance last week raised his free throw percentage up three points, going from 52 to 55 percent is less than ideal. His lack of touch from the stripe doesn’t just mean he might struggle from there in the league, as free throws are usually a measuring stick for young prospects to see how their overall shot pans out. Right now, it’s not looking great.

Isolation defense

This is where the difference between team defense and one-on-one defense comes into play. Avdija could be a great off-ball defender but his body could lead to mismatches. He’s lanky and needs to add muscle. With his current body, he’d be bullied by fours and even larger threes.

His lateral quickness is fine, but he gets beat on occasion overseas against weaker (and slower) competition than he’ll find in the Association.

Film Session:

Full game from 01/30/20

What to watch for:

  • Interior defense, rim-protection from Avdija. (example – 22:21)
  • Rotation on D, especially through screens. (39:39, 1:13:10)
  • Post offense, which I failed to mention above and is something Avdija looks to do on occasion, with solid efficiency. (39:29)
  • His jumper: high-release but weird shoulders, inconsistent placement of feet.
  • Straight-line speed (without the ball) in transition.
  • P&R action as both the ball-handler and the roll-man. A patient passes out of the former.

Film breakdown on ESPN:

Fit with the Atlanta Hawks:

The Atlanta Hawks mainly need two things in this draft: a secondary playmaker and a lockdown defender. While there will be better playmakers like Tyrese Haliburton, Tyrese Maxey, and Killian Hayes, and better defenders like Isaac Okoro, Devin Vassell, and Anthony Edwards, Advija might be the best mix of both.

He can truly do a bit of everything on the court, even if it makes him a bit of a master of none. His individual defense will likely change on a nightly basis depending on who he’s guarding, and if the Atlanta Hawks feel confident in De’Andre Hunter or Cam Reddish as their primary defender, that’ll take some pressure off Advija.

He’s great on offense off the ball and could become a favorite target from quarterback Trae Young. As for his own passing, Advija has shown great feel for the game as a teen, and he very well could be the Hawks’ secondary playmaker if he continues to improve there.

The Bottom Line:

Advija is one of the most boom-or-bust players in this draft and it’s easy to imagine a world in which his NBA career lasts just a few seasons, or fifteen. It’s very hard to play a forward who lacks perimeter shooting in today’s game and although he features a whole other bag of tricks, if he can’t improve his jumper he simply won’t be worth the top-ten pick he’s likely going to be.

Next. NBA Mock Draft Digest: Atlanta Hawks. dark

Should the Atlanta Hawks draft Deni Advija?