While last week brought an update on Hawks' second-round pick Marcus Eriksson as he returns from a knee injury, this week brings good news on fellow 2015 second-round selection Dimitrios Agravanis. Both players leave many questions regarding their athletic ability but both have shown promising skill overseas. While Eriksson brings an elite skill that gives him an excellent chance to one day make an NBA roster, the younger Agravanis has a broader, emerging skill set without a skill that easily translates to the NBA. He used those skills to score a career-high 17 points in his most recent game.
Agravanis made a strong impression in his season debut in the Euroleague by making a block that was atypical of his limited reputation as a defender:
Dimitris Agravanis of @olympiacosbc earns #Euroleague Block of the Night honors: https://t.co/ayXdsORSvE— Basketball24.com (@Basketball24com) October 16, 2015
Dimitrios plays for Olympiacos in the Greek League which enters most seasons as a Euroleague contender. Like Eriksson this has the disadvantage of limiting his playing time while also allowing opportunities to see him against stronger competition. Typically, he will see more playing time in Greek League games where he is primarily played at center. However, Agravanis plays primarily as a bench power forward against stronger Euroleague competion. In the film below, the young Greek looks like a fairly typical young, European big with limited athletic ability:
The encouraging thing through five games of this season is that Dimitrios has shown a smoother, more productive stroke from long range. In 68 minutes of play through 5 games, Agravanis has made 5 of 12 shots from deep and is averaging 7.0 points per game on 4.4 attempts. With Agravanis showing inconsistency from the free throw line during his professional career, it remains difficult to project whether or not he has added a true skill or simply gotten off to a hot start. Whatever the case, it should not be a surprise to see a Hawks' draft selection showing an increased effort to make shots from the outside. If you watch some of the clips from above, the following shot from his most recent game reveals his improved mechanics (Note: Chouinard is the best follow to keep up with the latest on Eriksson and Agravanis):
Hawks pick Dimitrios Agravanis has 11 points at half, and his Olympiacos squad leads Arkadikos, 50-15. pic.twitter.com/xuoi5qahVN— KL Chouinard (@KLChouinard) October 26, 2015
It is hard to know what the future holds for Agravanis. He projects as an average rebounder with defensive limitations. He is an above average passer for his position with a fairly strong handle for his size. Playing 10-15 minutes per game in a strong league should reveal much more about him throughout a season that is off to a strong start. He remains a long way from Atlanta but that should be expected of the 59th pick in a weak 2015 NBA Draft. His early play this season shows a stronger prospect than the one selected on draft night. For now that is enough for fans to pay attention as he continues to develop.