SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about Russian wing Sergey Karasev.
NAME: Sergey Karasev.
CLUB TEAM: Triumph Moscow.
AGE ON DRAFT NIGHT: 19 years, eight months.
POSITION: Small forward.
MEASUREMENTS: 6'7, 197 pounds, 6'9.25 wingspan.
RELEVANT STATS: 59 percent true shooting percentage this season. Karasev is one of the premier floor-spacers in this draft.
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 18.
NBA CEILING: Carlos Delfino.
NBA FLOOR: Sasha Pavlovic.
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
Even for a European player, Sergey Karasev is an uncommonly experienced 19-year-old. He's been a standout player for Russia's youth teams and he even played in the London Olympics.
He plays for his dad, a star player in the 90s, on one of the top teams in Russia. This season, he averaged 16 points, three rebounds and 2.5 assists a game on 44 percent shooting from the field, 49 percent from three-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
At 6'7 and 200 pounds with a 6'9 wingspan, he is somewhat of a tweener physically. He doesn't have the speed to be a starting shooting guard and he'll need to add some weight to be a starting small forward. However, given his age, he should have no problem adding weight to his frame. Either way, he has the savvy to survive defensively, especially on a second unit early in his career.
Karasev's game is built around his shooting ability. This season, he shot 49 percent from three on 4.6 attempts a game. He can't be given space even 25 feet from the basket. While he doesn't have an elite first step, the threat of his jumper gives him lanes to the basket.
For a wing player, he's also an excellent passer with a good feel for the game. As a result, he's the rare elite shooter who can have offense run through him.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT (from 2012)
INTERVIEW FROM THE NIKE HOOPS SUMMIT.
OTHER SCOUTING REPORTS
Sergey Karasev reminds me a little bit of another Euro drafted by the Sacramento Kings: Hedo Turkoglu. Like Turkoglu, Karasev possesses both an excellent shooting touch and good court vision and playmaking ability for a forward.
Karasev is most deadly in catch-and-shoot scenarios, although he's got a good pull-up jumper, and while he's not the best at creating shots for himself, he's good at finding his teammates when the defense concentrates on him. At just 19 years old, Karasev is already one of the top scorers in Europe. It's his defense that's more of an unknown. He plays with effort on that end, but is a little smaller than most NBA SFs, and needs to add weight.
Karasev is probably the most NBA ready of the international prospects in the draft, as his skills will allow him to contribute immediately, even if it's in a much smaller role than he was used to in Europe, at least until he develops more.
He might be able to play right away, though. Karasev averaged 16.5 ppg in the three leagues Triumph played in. He shot 37.5 percent from deep, 46 percent from two-point range and 85 percent from the line. He also went to the line a little less than six times a game. Still, it's his three-point shooting that makes him a prospect. His release is quick and he's not afraid to fire them up. A quarter of his shots are from three.
His defense? No surprise it's not there yet. The same goes with his physicality. He needs some strength and conditioning. But he has great BBIQ for someone who won't be 20 until just before opening night and is unselfish for such a gunner.
If the Cavaliers take [Alex] Len or [Nerlens] Noel with their first draft pick, Karasev is at the top of my wish list. The first thing I like about him is that he is from Russia; I had a Russian concentration in college. Karasev is incredibly young but has already led Russia's top pro league in scoring. Draft Express reports that at the Nike Hoop Summit, he was the most mature player there, and boasts a high basketball IQ. While he is a gifted scorer, he has good court vision and is unselfish. It is easy to see him fitting in with a talent like Kyrie Irving. Again, he is only 19 years old. A lot of his scoring comes from catch-and-shoot opportunities; the Cavaliers desperately need someone that Kyrie and Dion can set up on the wing for catch-and-shoot opportunities. In Eurocup competition, which is a small sample size of only 11 games, he averaged over 16 points a game, and shot 49 percent from three-point range. For the regular season in Russia, he shot 38 percent from distance, impressive, as he was the player opposing teams were most anxious to stop. He isn't very strong or the quickest guy, but he will shoot lights out. He is young enough to become a solid team defender and can bulk up. Chad Ford has him going 22nd in his mock draft. I would love it if the Cavaliers took him off the board a couple picks before that. It sounds as though he is available to come to the NBA immediately.
At the age of 19, Sergey Karasev has one of the highest ceilings of any prospects in this group. Karasev lead the Russian league in scoring this past season, averaging over 16 points per game. Karasev is a dangerous threat beyond the arc, draining 38 percent his threes this season, but is a mediocre finisher around the rim. With a frame of only 197 pounds, Karasev gets banged around in the paint, but he does find a way to create for his teammates.
Kerasev reminds you of a smaller Tony Kukoc. Lefty slight build smooth with ball. Mbakwa playing Big 10 ball - bodies flying.— Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders) June 1, 2013
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