By Nikos Varlas/ email@example.com
Olympiacos Piraeus and David Blatt picked American guard Wade Baldwin to add on the team’s backcourt. Baldwin, 23, will make his overseas debut after playing 63 NBA games with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Eurohoops asked ESPN’s Draft specialist Jonathan Givony to provide some information about Baldwin’s characteristics, style of play and how his overall game will translate to EuroLeague.
Here’s what one of the top scouts in the basketball world said to Eurohoops about Baldwin on:
Him signing with Olympiacos:
“I think Wade Baldwin is a very interesting signing for Olympiacos. I think we’ve seen through the years that David Blatt has a great eye for selecting talent and especially American players. If he picked this guy, I’m sure he’s exactly what he’s looking for.
Baldwin was a very high Draft pick primarily because of his tremendous size. He’s 6’4″ (1.93 m.) in shoes. He has a 6’11” (2.10 m. wingspan. He has very long arms. He’s a very good athlete. Great body. In the NBA he was really a defensive specialist. He was a guy who used to guard point guards, shooting guards, small forwards. In Portland, he played a lot of minutes with guys like Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum. He can really be the player who can shut down the other team’s best offensive player. With that length, he can really guard anybody.
He’s a very streaky shooter. In college, he made shots. He was a 42% 3-point shooter. But that really hasn’t translated in the NBA at all. It will be interesting to see if he can rediscover that shooting touch because it’s probably the main reason he’s not in the NBA right now. He’s a very good free-throw shooter but in the NBA he really-really struggled with the 3-point line. It will be interesting to see if the FIBA line is better for him. Similar to what we saw in Vanderbilt (Baldwin’s college) with the college 3-point line which was easier for him.
As a passer, he’s a little bit inconsistent. In college, he was a point guard and I think that he’s going to probably play on the ball in Europe as well. He’s a guy who can play in the “1” and “2”, even some “3”. But I would assume that they’re bringing him to play point guard like he was in college. In the NBA he really was an off-ball player. He’s capable of making the pass at the pick n’ roll. He’s a little bit turnover prone but he’s 23 years old. I think that’s going to be the biggest area for growth for him.
In terms of his weaknesses, he’s not great at changing speeds. His ball-handling skills are just OK. His decision making is a little bit inconsistent. He was a very inconsistent guy on and off the court in the NBA, especially. There were some question marks about him coming out of college. About what kind of guy he is. He’s a very intelligent guy but there was some kind of mixed information about him. Going with a coach like David Blatt I think will help him a lot. He’s a guy that shows a lot of emotion on the court and sometimes there’s some bad body language. But I think with Blatt, he’s going to be very good.
All in all, very interesting signing. I think it’s a smart move from him at this stage in his career, at 23 years old. If he has a great season, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he came back to the NBA.