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 report evaluates Brazilian wing Marcos Louzada Silva.
Since Anderson Varejao’s prime came to an end in the NBA, the mantle for the league’s best Brazilian player has been a little lacking in contenders. The current crop of Brazilian players in the NBA includes Cristiano Felicio, Bruno Caboclo, Nene and Raul Neto — not exactly the most stellar group of players in terms of upper-echelon talent wise, with some barely holding onto roster spots and others, well, Nene, on the verge of retirement.
But there may be new life injected into that group with the possible introduction of Marcos Louzada Silva — known as Didi (as his name appears on the broadcasts, graphics and on his jersey) — as part of the 2019 NBA Draft.
A 19-year-old wing (playing both shooting guard and small forward this season) who turns 20 in July, Didi stands at 6’5 and enjoyed a very efficient season in Brazil with Sesi Franca, where he averaged 10.8 points per game on 50% shooting from the field on 7.8 attempts, 42.5% from three on 3.7 attempts, 73% from the line on two attempts, 62% true shooting, an effective field goal percentage of 60%, 2.9 rebounds, one assist, 1.6 turnovers and 0.7 steals in an average of 20 minutes per game in 43 games played, 12 of which he started, per RealGM.
What’s striking about those stats is the efficiency and on a decent volume too. 50% shooting from a wing is great, as is 42.5% from three — though, he tailed off from three near the end, shooting near 47% from three at one point in April.
But it sounds like a good place to start diving into film, so let’s do that.
(For reference, Didi wears number seven)
Didi excels in the corner in particular, often the beneficiary of passes made from the ball-side to the weak-side corner.
Here, Didi receives the pass in the corner and knocks down the three-pointer:
Planted in the corner, the drive breaks down the defense, Didi receives the ball in the corner and knocks down the three:
On this possession, the ball-handler drives and then kicks it to Didi in the corner, who knocks down the three-pointer:
Didi shows, at times, legit range as he pulls up from a little beyond the three-point line on the catch to hit this three-pointer:
I’m sure you’re piecing together by now that some of the defending here in the build up to some of these threes hasn’t been great, and that is a worry at the next level: that Didi won’t have these sort of looks.
From what I saw of Didi, there weren’t a lot of three-pointers that came in the pick-and-roll with him handling — in fact, Didi played a lot more off of the ball than on it, as you’ve kind of got a taste for.
Here was one of the rare plays where Didi did come off of a screen and into a three-pointer:
This was a rare exception, because not only does Didi not come off of a lot of screen but he just plays a lot more off of the ball than he does on it, mostly benefitting from catch-and-shoot situations and a lot of those coming from the corner.
But there is more to Didi than just perimeter shooting, he’s also to get inside at times too.
Here, Didi drives into the space and finishes with his left-hand:
On this play, Didi hits his opponent with a little jab before driving by, hanging and hitting near the rim:
Not the only jab Didi can sell to an opponent, as he draws free throws after this mean jab-step gets the defender up off of his feet and drawing the foul on the drive:
On this possession, he catches the defense flat-footed, driving to his right before showcasing his athleticism, finishing with the dunk:
A bit of a slower drive, but Didi muscles his way inside, gets rim-side, switches hands, hangs and hits near the rim:
These don’t always go to plan though, such as on this possession as his reverse layup slips off the rim:
Good idea but the execution lacked on that occasion.
In transition, Didi tries to finish at the rim but can’t finish over the defense, forced to adjust mid-air:
On this drive, Didi drives into traffic as he tries to get to the rim and is blocked:
(Shoutout to Anderson Varejao!)
So, a bit of a mixed bag around the rim but a little bonus to his game other than shooting.
There’s more too, as Didi is capable of operating in the post.
Here, he recovers after almost losing his footing, spins baseline and hits off of glass:
Here, Didi works on the block, spins, fades and hits the jumper:
Let’s move onto passing/playmaking...
There’s not a lot to say in this spot because, as we’ve established, Didi doesn’t handle the ball a ton — deployed more as an off-ball than being asked to make plays. That said, there’s still a few things to look at.
He’s able to make some stuff happen off of the dribble, as he does here to find the shooter for a three-point attempt:
Here, Didi drives baseline, finds traffic and kicks it out behind the arc for an assist on a three:
He can be sharp at times, as he fires a pass inside to the cutter for the assist at the rim:
Here’s a taste of something a bit more flashy, as he heaves a great left-handed pass down the court for the assist after intercepting the pass:
But there were just as many times where it didn’t work out.
Here, Didi tries to create off of the dribble but it ends up in a turnover as his intended pass to the corner is stolen:
In transition, Didi screws up a 2-on-1 break — a situation where he should really make better of:
Here, he tries to make the extra pass to the corner but times it wrongly, passing the ball before the defense commits to the man of the ball (being Didi) and this makes it easier for the defender to close to the corner shooter, instead of bringing the defender toward him before making the pass:
Let’s move on to defense...
For the most part, I found Didi to be a mixed bag — there’s good and there’s not so good.
After committing the turnover, Didi capitalizes on a mishandle and comes up with the steal and draws the foul:
Here, Didi does a good job getting through the screen and a good contest but the shot is made anyways:
He can contest well on shots too, as he does on this possession, closing out to the three-point shooter and forcing a miss:
Here, Didi does a good job staying in front of his man and forcing a pass, showing good defensive activity:
But for those good moments there’s also the bad ones.
On this possession, Didi initially does a good job staying in front but ends up falling away at the end, seemingly giving up:
Again, he seems to give up at the end of this defensive possession and it ends up in a basket plus the foul:
In transition, Didi is bodied out of the equation by the offensive player, leading to a basket:
Let’s land this one...
Didi is an interesting prospect.
Turning 20, he’s a little further offensively than some of the other international prospects we’ve looked at so far. He’s an efficient scorer who can score both inside and outside.
From behind the arc, he’s in a good place starting out. From the corner, he’s money and he’s pretty good everywhere else from behind the arc but particularly from the corner.
We’ve looked at plenty of international prospects so far and the one common theme I’ve noticed — and that I’ve been disappointed by — is that these guard/wings with good size don’t have any post moves in their repertoire. To watch Didi operate down there and to be somewhat proficient is refreshing. The only issue is that being 6’5 for a two-guard may be boasting an advantage in Brazil but in the NBA 6’5 is about average for a two-guard. He’s probably not going to be seeing the same success in the post in the NBA.
He’s also one of the few prospects I’ve seen so far who doesn’t really excel in the pick-and-roll — or operate much in it at all for that matter. He plays a lot more off-ball than on-ball.
From a playmaking point of view...nah, there’s not much here. Didi is a scorer, that’s his job and that’s what he does best. Sure, he can make a few passes here and there but don’t look for pick-and-roll actions from him, don’t look for many assists from him — don’t bother.
Defensively… Ah… Well, he has moments but these honestly swing both ways — good and bad. On-ball, it felt as though he wasn’t tested a ton, so it’s hard to get a grasp for Didi as an on-ball defender but my feeling is that he would be very below par in the NBA, heck, maybe in Brazil — there was nothing to suggest, to me at least, that he would be able to fit defensively in the NBA...if he was drafted.
Which brings us to the next issue: will he actually be drafted?
Nearly every mock draft out there does not have Didi listed in the top 60, though, he’s hovering pretty close to that on some other boards, with ESPN having Didi at 60 on their big board and The Athletic having Didi 65th on their big board.
However, The Athletic actually do have Didi inside their top 60 mock draft — all the way at 44th overall. 44, of course, being one of the five picks the Hawks have available to them.
Here’s an excerpt from that mock draft on Didi, written by Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (subscription required).
Going by “Didi,” Louzada Silva is an interesting, athletic wing who can knock down shots at a high level. He was one of the better players on a Nike Hoop Summit World Team in front of a throng of over 100 NBA scouts, meaning teams will be familiar with him and have an up-close look. My bet is that a team would stash him if he decided to enter the draft. A team to watch, per sources (potentially in this spot, given Atlanta’s multitude of picks): Brooklyn. The Nets employ former NBA center and Brazilian national Tiago Splitter as a scout, and teams around the league think they have done a lot of homework into Didi.
If Didi is drafted, the likely situation is that he’ll be stashed, and that’s what needs to happen.
His three-point shooting might be ready now for the NBA but the rest of his game is not. If Didi is stashed, it’d be preferable for whatever team drafts him — if he’s drafted — that he plays in Europe, or somewhere that’s a step up in competition from Brazil, because I just don’t see him taking his game to the next level of competition in Brazil.
For the Hawks with the No. 35, 41 and 44 selections in the second round, it is plausible that the Hawks select Didi with one of those picks. No. 44 overall is high for Didi but it wouldn’t be surprising because not only they have a plethora of picks — and it’s pretty clear from comments and quotes circling about that the Hawks might be looking to trade at least one pick and aren’t going to take five rookies from this draft to training camp, so stashing one would help — but especially if they feel there’s potential competition from other teams for him. The Hawks might have to bite the bullet at 44 if they really want him.
It would be a bit of surprise but if they do, don’t expect to see Didi in the NBA anytime soon...