With his ever growing arsenal of scouting reports Alex Brown this time dug in into one of the deadly shooters of the Euroleague and the German BBL Vladimir Lucic.
We have garnished this piece with a video breakdown that can be watched below:
Vladimir Lucic – A Euroball Scouting Report
By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics
Measurements: 6’7, 205 lbs. (203 cm, 91 kg)
Background: Born June 17th of 1989 in Belgrade, Serbia, Vladimir Lucic has been a pro in Europe since 2009, and has long been an impact wing in Liga ACB, Euroleague, and Eurocup due to his low-usage scoring impact paired with his slashing & shooting abilities. Undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. He has won notably throughout his European career, including: EuroCup champion (2014), 4x ABA League champion (2009–2011, 2013), 2x German League champion (2018, 2019), 5x Serbian League champion (2009–2013), German Cup winner (2018), and 4x Serbian Cup winner (2009–2012)
Injury Report: Minor injuries here and there, nothing serious reported.
Personality: Plays within his role. Lucic tends to throw his hands up in the air a lot in frustration after misses or potential fouls, and it does not seem as if his first instinct is to take responsibility for certain mistakes. However, as a long time pro in Europe he is more mature in many other aspects.
Athleticism: Lucic is a pretty average athlete overall. He does have a quicker first step that aids in his ability to attack closeouts & get downhill. He is not a high level leaper, but can finish lightly above the rim if given enough space. While his overall fluidity & coordination is relatively average, Lucic has quick, coordinated hands on the defensive end that help generate deflections.
Fit: Low volume floor stretching, slashing, high rotation wing.
Career Statistical Profile: Note: –0.3 Net rating in last 54 games. (-4.1 in last 43).
- Catch & Drive Slashing: Lucic has proven that he can be an effective & productive slasher for Bayern Munich. Lucic leverages his 3pt shooting gravity to attack closeouts quickly and effectively, and is quick enough to attack some mismatches with bigs. He has a pretty strong first step and can get up in space when downhill, which augments his finishing package. His finishing technique is not really ideal but it seems to work despite the occasionally unorthodox methods, as he can get a little wild & out of control with his arms around the rim (especially through contact). Despite the lack of elite finishing tools, Lucic is converting 58% in & around the restricted area.
- 3pt Shooting: While not a volume deep threat, Lucic stretches the floor effectively enough to be a weapon off the ball. While this is not at an elite level, Lucic has excellent touch and has knocked down 36% of his 3pters in the last 50 games (42.6% with Bayern). While he is only shooting 2.3 3pters per game, there is room for added volume should he find a way to get open off the ball more often. He also can pull-up in an instant with shot contests bothering him very little, which is important to note regarding his short term-potential in off-screens.
Ball Security and Ball Movement: Lucic turns the ball over at a very low rate, as he is only averaging a single turnover per game. He is quite secure with the ball when handling, and when slashing he does an effective job at protecting it from deterring defenders. Regarding his playmaking, he does not force many passes, and is more or a smart ball mover than assist generator. He is capable of executing basic P&R reads and has flashes of manipulating defenders with his eyes in order to pass teammates open. This shows itself in the open court, where Lucic can successfully lead his teammates with well-timed bounce passes. He is by no means a volume playmaker, but he is a plus ball mover that will make the right reads (though basic) consistently. 1.5 AST: TO Ratio.
- Strength & Awareness During Contact: When attacking the basket, Lucic struggles to finish when defenders have space to load due to his low level above the rim play. He can get blocked by smaller guards and gets deterred by length more than others. He tends to fade away from the rim if trying to body opposing defenders, and does not have the strength to bump many of them off of their spots. He also develops tunnel vision on the rim, and loses sight of rotating bigs (or guards even), which lead to him getting blocked or thrown off his game. He is a bit predictable…
- In-Between Game: Lucic does not have much of an in-between game, seldom utilizing or executing floaters or pull-ups. When he is not behind the 3pt line or at the rim, his offense can be a bit shaky. This doesn’t keep defenders honest, which hinders his ability to generate space around the rim.
- Creation: Lucic does not really generate his own offense, and this lack of creation is why he has been more of a plug and play role player for his whole career. He is not a volume scorer, playmaker, or creator in general. While this is fine for his role moving forward, it just limits his potential usage due to the lack of a creative handle and just having nothing advanced in the space creation department.
- Effort Closing on Shooters: Lucic consistently makes the effort to contest shooters in his area, occasionally forcing a bad shot. He is a step slow if he wanted to actually block the shot, which smarter shooters realize. Yet, he can impact some shooters with his size and effort. His footwork is still poor at best, but he makes the effort to not give anyone an open shot.
- Production: Despite having solid size for a wing, Lucic is not very productive on the glass or in the stocks categories. His defensive impact is relatively low (and potentially negative). The lack of length and lower body strength negatively impacts his rim protection, as Lucic only blocks 0.2 shots per game. His anticipation has shown flashes on both blocks and steals, but it is often not quick enough to overcome his limitations. Alongside this, he often does not even try to contest shots when he should be playing weak-side help defense, allowing easy layups and dunks due to a seemingly “I won’t stop it, so why try” mentality. It is hard to see Lucic become anything positive, or even more than just below average defensively.
- Off–Ball Awareness: Lucic can get tunnel vision on the player with possession, occasionally losing sight of his man and getting himself out of position. This leads to him scrambling to recover, which is not something he can do effectively enough to warrant these off-ball lapses. Furthermore, as mentioned above, his rotating rim protection can be nonexistent, as he does not get into position quickly enough or does not make the effort.
- On-Ball Footwork: Defensive footwork is still not great, as Lucic makes silly mistakes like hopping to closeouts and setting himself up for blow-bys. Furthermore, he is quite slow when recovering, and needs extra steps that allow space generators to easily manipulate him out of position. His lower body fundamentals are below average, especially for a 30 year old.
- Strength: Lucic can still get bodied by shorter opponents due to lack of lower-body strength and his high center of gravity. This makes deterring physical slashers a challenge for Lucic. It is unlikely he adds much more strength during the remainder of his career, so this is likely a problem that will persist. Also, he does not have the length to make up for this when contesting…
- Getting Over Screens: Lucic gets caught on screens relatively often for a veteran player, which is not a great sign. Even with effort, he seldom is able to effectively navigate P&R on the defensive end. Again, the choppy footwork and lack of athletic tools on the defensive end really hurt his switchability.
Lucic has value on the offensive end as a 2-level scoring wing with positional size and floor stretching, though his notable defensive flaws keep him from making a positive impact consistently. Throughout the remainder of his career in Europe, Lucic needs to focus on improving his defensive footwork dramatically if he wants to play major minutes for 5-6 more years, as his athleticism will fade. However, the value he could provide as a role player on the offensive end is notable due to his propensity to make few mistakes that end in turnovers and his scoring value. He plays effectively within his role offensively, and if only he could sharpen up his footwork he could be a very effective role player.