Roko Leni Ukic Draft Capsule
VITALS: 6-5, 183, KK Slit (Croatia)
OVERVIEW: Ukic began playing with KK Split’s senior team during the 2000-01 season and has improved his numbers with each campaign. Ukic’s scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals totals have increased with each season, topping off this past year when the 21-year-old averaged 18.5 points, 4.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals. His scoring and assist averages each ranked third in the Adriatic League, and he ranked second in the circuit with 35.2 minutes per game.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: Ukic is probably battling Jarrett Jack of Georgia Tech in the hearts of NBA teams. Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Raymond Felton are point guards expected to be chosen in the first eight picks. Teams that want a point guard after that are comparing Jack and Ukic. Jack is stronger and a better shooter, while Ukic has the pass-first mentality and more height. Look for Ukic to go to Memphis (19), Sacramento (23) or Utah (27).
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Marko Jaric
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Bryce Drew
ROLE PROJECTION: Eventual starting point guard.
POSITIVES: Ukic is a tall point guard with a flair for passing. He has a lot of high-level experience with the ball in his hands, making decisions while playing with and against veteran Croatian players. Ukic has the great point guard size that so many of the other top points guards available this year lack. He has a great feel for the game and gets the ball to shooters at just the right time. He also has got quick hands to deflect the ball in the passing lanes.
SHORTCOMINGS: Ukic lacks upper body strength and is not a great outside shooter. Most European guards are better marksmen than him. He is still very young and has plenty of time to adjust to the quicker, rougher NBA game.