NEW YORK – When Jonathan Givony of Draft Express reported Vyacheslav Kravtsov had drawn interest from the Pistons, I assumed that meant for Detroit’s summer league team. After all, Kravtsov played for the Boston Celtics summer league team in 2010.
Turns out, Givony meant Kravtsov is candidate for the Pistons’ regular-season roster.
Here’s what Givony, who clarified his tweet Wednesday at the lottery, wrote about Kravtsov in 2009:
Likely the most interesting player at this camp as far as the big men are concerned,Slava Kravtsov did an excellent job putting his intriguing physical tools on display, showing very nice potential for the future. Kravtsov’s main appeal lies in his good frame, above average athleticism and strong 7-2 ½ wingspan and 9-3 standing reach. In some of the games here he was able to make his presence felt in a major way, while in others it seemed like he was sleep-walking, which has been a major issue for him throughout his career. When on, Kravtsov was a force on the offensive glass, coming up with a number of emphatic put-back dunks. He was also an active presence rotating from the weakside, blocking shots and altering others, even trailing his man and coming up with a terrific rejection in transition at one point.
Offensively he looked very limited, not always looking ready or interested in catching passes, and showing very little in the ways of footwork or perimeter shooting ability. It’s unlikely that any team would be all that interested in him for what he offers on this end of the floor. Regardless, Kravtsov is a good candidate for a team picking in the second round to draft and stash overseas for a few years to see how he continues to develop. Despite already being 22 years old, he still has plenty of upside left to grow into, and if he can find a way to improve his feel for the game and consistently be more aggressive in his approach on the floor, he could develop into an interesting player.
Maybe Kravtsov, 24, just need some time to blossom. I don’t know anything about Kravtsov other than what I’ve read, but I’m pleased the Pistons are interested. Even if he’s not a lock to belong in the NBA, 7-footers are hard to come by. Outside of drafting one in the top of the first round, teams must take chances to acquire quality bigs. Even if Kravtsov is another bust, the risk very well could be worth the reward.
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