Before the 2019 NBA Draft arrives, Peachtree Hoops will break down more than 70 available prospects with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks may look to do in late June.
This edition explores Lithuanian forward Deividas Sirvydis.
On the heels of a strong season in Lithuania with Rytas, where his side lost in the finals of the Lithuanian League against Euroleague competitors Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuanian swingman Deividas Sirvydis is looking to progress with his basketball career, declaring for the NBA Draft back in early April.
“It has always been my dream to play in the NBA, and as such, I am thrilled to be declaring for the NBA draft,” said Sirvydis to ESPN.
“Competing against some of the best players and teams in Europe helped instill a tremendous amount of self-confidence in me and elevated my game,” Sirvydis added via ESPN. “While the NBA draft simply wasn’t on my radar, I always believed in myself and my abilities on the court, and I am so excited to see what lies ahead for me.”
Sirvydis is one of the younger players heading into this year’s draft, turning 19 years old on June 10th, just 10 days before the draft takes place.
Physically, he ticks a lot of the right boxes for someone at his position. He stands at 6’7 tall, just shy of 200 pounds interchangeable at both guard and forward positions, boasts good length and speed.
In 56 games played this season (26 of which he started), Sirvydis averaged 6.7 points per game on 43% shooting from the field on five attempts, 37% from three on 3.6 attempts, 77% from the line on just over one attempt per game, an effective field goal percentage of 56%, a true shooting percentage of 59%, 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists and 0.5 steals in an average of 16 minutes per game per RealGM.
The key takeaway from that is the fact that of five field goals Sirvydis averages, three of them are three-pointers. Unlike any of the other international prospects we’ve looked at so far, Sirvydis is a specialist. There is one thing that he primarily does and he does it well, and that’s perimeter shooting.
Three-point shooting is where it begins and ends with Sirvydis as a prospect. Yes, there’s obviously a few other things he can do in addition but, by far, his greatest attribute is his outside shooting — something for which there is always a spot for in the NBA, especially at his size of 6’7. And with his ability to play multiple positions, be it at the two, the three, and I’m sure you could find a use for him as a small-ball four offensively, it only adds to the intrigue surrounding him — ESPN and The Athletic both projecting Sirvydis to be not only drafted but drafted well, with both outlets viewing him as a top-50 prospect.
Before we look at film, Sirvydis wears number zero and this will be, naturally, a little shorter today because Sirvydis is a specialist more so than boasting a diverse offensive game.
Sirvydis excels in catch-and-shoot situations and anytime he let a three-point shot away you just felt that it was going in — it just looks so smooth.
You could fall in love with that jumpshot.
And these makes come in both open and contested situations, hitting the contested three in the corner on this play:
In transition, Sirvydis is especially a threat because not only can he keep a brisk pace in transition — meaning he can get to his spots quickly — but he spaces the floor and gives the fast break player the option of finding him in transition for catch-and-shoot opportunities.
On this possession, Sirvydis darts down the floor in transition off of the miss, heads to the corner, receives the pass and knocks down the three-pointer:
Again in transition, Sirvydis heads to the corner and provides the ball handler with an option, receives the pass and hits the three-pointer:
When given reigns to be a little more aggressive, Sirvydis can also hit face-up threes, sizing up the defender here before pulling up and draining the three:
These type of threes aren’t something Sirvydis does a ton but this has more to do with role more so than ability — the opposite of what we looked at with Yovel Zoosman.
In three games this season in the Lithuanian NKL (which is the Lithuanian second tier), Sirvydis was let off of the leash and averaged 27 points per game, 50% from the field on 17 field goals, 40% from three on 12 attempts and 73% from the line on five attempts. The reason for saying that is when Sirvydis had a larger role he could do the business and make threes like that, threes he wouldn’t normally take in the first division. Now, obviously it’s the Lithuanian second division, so you shouldn’t read too much into those stats but it’s nice looking at that and knowing that Sirvydis could do more if given the freedom.
For many NBA teams looking at Sirvydis (as they should be), they will be largely looking at his three-point shooting, but Sirvydis wants to show there is more to his game than just three-point shooting.
“I am looking forward to showing that I am more than just a 3-point shooter,” Sirvydis said to ESPN. “I believe that, if given the opportunity, I can succeed in the pick-and-roll and be a playmaker. That being said, I am ready to accept whatever role my coaches want me to play.”
Now, there isn’t a ton more to Sirvydis’ offense outside of three-point shooting right now but he’s not totally incapable. There’s nothing specific but just a few little things.
Here, Sirvydis grabs the rebound and takes off, going coast-to-coast before finishing at the rim after switching hands, plus the foul:
On a switch, Sirvydis takes his man off of the dribble, takes it to the rim and scores:
This doesn’t always go to plan though, as Sirvydis tries get inside on this possession but has his shot blocked at the rim:
Here, aggressive defense leaves Sirvydis like a deer trapped in the headlights, and he ends up holding onto the ball for way too long and commits a shot clock violation:
But all of this is just extra areas of his game — if Sirvydis can do anything inside the arc or off the dribble, then that’s a bonus.
It’s all about the three-point shooting. Sirvydis is not a diverse scorer right now but he’s a specialist — and that’s just fine. In this case, it’s better to do one thing well than many things below average (hello, Yovel Zoosman!).
Sirvydis can occasionally do some ball handling but these were few and far between and with varying degrees of success.
On a drive, Sirvydis tries to make the pass to his left but it’s picked off and the turnover is committed:
From the wing this time, Sirvydis again tries to make the pass inside but it ends in a turnover:
There are some flashes of some positive passing/playmaking.
Here, Sirvydis makes the extra pass to the corner for a three-point attempt, which is hilariously air-balled:
On this play, he zips a nice pass inside after being faced with defensive pressure on the ball after the screen:
Here, Sirvydis gives a taste for the spectacular hits his opponent with a nice left-to-right cross before whipping the ball over his head for the three-point attempt:
In transition, Sirvydis goes behind his back and finds a teammate near the rim for the assist:
You get the idea. Playmaking isn’t really Sirvydis’ forte and neither, right now, is playmaking off of pick-and-roll. He can make the extra pass, knows when to do it and that’s enough for now.
Let’s move onto defense. It’s...not amazing, but he tries.
Near the rim, it’s tough because there are times where Sirvydis is bullied slightly, such as on this possession where he’s bodied out of the way leading to the basket:
Here, he’s dropped to the floor after a shoulder, leading to a shot attempt at the rim:
He’s one for trying but this can lead to some...unfortunate consequences.
Such as this possession, where Sirvydis attempts to block this dunk but probably wishes he hadn’t tried:
And again on this play where Sirvydis busts a gut to get back in transition to block the shot but gets absolutely yammed on:
It’s not all bad defensively, Sirvydis does have some good moments.
Here, he does a good job dodging the down-screen and closing out to the perimeter:
On this play, Sirvydis does a solid job sticking with the drive but ends up getting scored on at the end with an unorthodox contest:
Sirvydis’s size and length help him in his ability to switch defensively and he showcases that ability on this possession as he switches the pick-and-roll, preventing the offensive player from turning the corner and he ends up having to give up the ball:
Let’s bring this one home.
Sirvydis is a specialist.
He’s a shooter and a very good shooter for someone who is still just 18 years old — that’s his bread and butter. That’s why teams are going to want to draft him. Not because of the other stuff that he can’t do right now but because his shooting is ahead of the curve at just 18 years old. The rest of his game is coming along and though he trying to add more and mix it up offensively he’s not there yet quite yet. Nor is he quite there when it comes to playmaking either — maybe he’ll never have to be.
But what he can do right now, he does it well.
The only issue is that if his shooting doesn’t translate straightaway, Sirvydis isn’t going to give you anything else on the floor, at least right now. But again, you take the chance — great size, he can play multiple positions and I really think his shot is legit.
Defensively, Sirvydis is not amazing right but he’s got decent tools to work with — good length, good size, he can switch and he’s light on his feet. And he’s very young, so he’ll get better in time — you would imagine. Whether he’ll be elite, I’m not so sure.
Sirvydis being good defensively right now is not really important because of what you’re drafting him for — it’s all about the shooting and the upside there, and everything else is a bonus. Yes, there’ll be worries defensively but how many roles in this league are filled by shooters who aren’t good NBA defenders? Plenty. The shooting matters more. If he ever becomes a plus defender — or even an average defender if he can shoot the lights out — it’s just another win.
The Atlanta Hawks are set to have two picks in the 40’s, which is close to where Sirvydis is projected to be drafted. If Travis Schlenk is looking to add shooting to his already three-point happy team, this is certainly not a bad place to look at all...