The 2020 NBA Draft is getting closer, and as it nears we find a tussle between Anthony Edwards and others for the #1 overall pick. Throughout the rest of the Lottery, many names stand out As possible options. Theo Maledon, the French Pearl, is one of these.
I’ve recently attended some of Asvel’s matches and had the opportunity to interview Maledon, so let’s take a look at the 18 year old star.
Who is Theo Maledon?
He grew up in a basketball family and has been playing the game since age three. Because he started basketball at a very young age, he performed effectively and was accepted to U teams early on.
One of the most important international players in the world, he’s often sharing NBA Draft spotlight with Deni Avdija, Killian Hayes, and Usman Garuba.
“I started playing basketball when I was three. My mother was a former basketball player. My father was supportive of me doing this sport. After playing at local clubs, I switched to INSEP. And now I’m at ASVEL.”
First Words: Athleticism
His athleticism stands out, but rather than “explosive” athleticism like Russell Westbrook, his athleticism is based on body coordination, basketball intelligence, court vision and ball handling. Also, when he drives, passes opponent with an incredible first step. Therefor, after the pick drive towards the painted area, he passes opponent with a very hard right step. In doing so, he protects the ball because of ball handling. Then he can put his body against the restricted area defense line and he can go to the basket. Smooth athlete.
“I really love basketball, man. Even in my spare time I like to do by with things that will improve my basketball;, When I play NBA on PlayStation, I choose the individual mode and memorize the offensive set. I love this sport so much!”
Incredible: Drive and Passing
Very soft touch on floaters. When he drives, he drives the pick really well. As a result, he drives in the direction of the pick, takes the pressure off, then takes his first step to change direction and crosses the opposing defense. As a result, thanks to ball handling, you can see that you drive inside with incredible speed.
“I think I’m good at ball handling. I like to feel the ball in my hand and organize our offensive set with good passes, read the play, evaluate the spacing my teammates create with drives, disrupt my opponent’s plan and stay on the field all the time. Of course, when I come to the bench, I focus on the game and try to memorize my opponent’s offense and improve my defense.”
He uses ball handling to adjust the pace of the attack as desired and allows the formation of pass angles. Also, once the pass angle is formed, he can throw incredibly thin passes or turn simple-looking passes into passes that can result in a clear score. Court vision wide.
I think Maledon has a basketball mind well above his age. His game knowledge is high, when he is on the bench he follows team’s game sets carefully and warns some mistakes on timeouts, he is adept at going where he wants quickly on the court and he’s good at doing the plan he’s got in mind.
“I’m not very good at shooting and athletics. I try 150 shots every day after training, working with dedicated coaches to improve my athleticism. I want to spend time in the Fitness room and improve my body’s novelties. These are my cons. But, man, I think I can do better than what I’m good at. It’s my greatest desire to develop all my abilities. So I’ll keep working all the time.”
Neither Good or Bad: Shooting
His mediocrity in three-point shots prevents him from being good at shooting. A good mid range and perimeter shooter after pick&roll or pick&pop. However, he isn’t very good at catch&shoot, one-on-one, creative shots. He’s got confidence, but his decision-making and his shot rhythm don’t look good. In some critical moments of the match, he can easily pass the ball in positions to use his shot (without hitting) and the ball is falling out of his hands while handling the problem. Consequently, in the other hand, stop jump shots on the perimeter is amazing, pick after the perimeter control and good at mid range.
Quite Ready: Defense
Theo Maledon is an effective guard defensive player thanks to his basketball intelligence and game-reading skill. Also effective in contact defense and some switch defenses due to he is good physical characteristics. His ability to read the game in defence is average. Hand / foot coordination, response timing and measured aggressiveness are good.
He can take rebounds down the three-point line and get his team on offense quickly. That’s a really important trait. He’s not good in offensive rebounds or in the mixed environment of defensive rebounds.
“I’m a very simple person in my personal life. I love spending time with my family and playing a lot of PS. I love cooking, especially spaghetti. I also enjoy going to the pool in the summer and swimming for a few hours and playing basketball on the street. I’m having a hard time spending time with my friends, my family and basketball, but as I said, this sport is my passionate obsession.”
|Rebounds||22 ORB – 97 DRB|
Basketball intelligence, ball handling, athleticism, perimeter shooting threat, extra contribution in rebounds, interminable engine, in-team discipline and mobility on defense. As a result, Theo Maledon has minuses like the other every prospect but the pluses he has and the light he promises for development are promising.
“I love watching the NBA. It’s a very good place, both technically and organizationally. Of course it’s my dream to play there, like any teenager, but right now all I want is to get my playing skills up to the top level.”
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