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Report: Domantas Sabonis declaring for NBA draft, likely hiring agent

WCC BYU Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga forward Domantas Sabonis (11) celebrates as his team leads Gonzaga in the final seconds of a West Coast Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game Monday, March 7, 2016, in Las Vegas. Gonzaga won 88-84. (AP Photo/John Locher)

AP

Arvydas Sabonis spent his best seasons playing overseas, not joining the Trail Blazers until he turned 30. What Sabonis could have done in the NBA in his prime is a huge “what if?” that we’ll never know.

But the NBA is getting a Sabonis bonus.

Arvydas’ son, Domantas Sabonis, is declaring for the draft.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

The younger Sabonis projects as a mid-first-round pick.

The 6-foot-10 big man uses his strength and skill well in the post, for both scoring and passing. His strength and effort also show in his elite rebounding. Add mobility that helps him finish on pick-and-rolls and defend the perimeter, and there’s plenty to like.

But there are major questions about Sabonis’ ability to protect the rim. He’s an unspectacular leaper. That’s a major drawback for a player of Sabonis’ size, especially if he can’t space the floor on the other end. Sabonis has an emerging mid-range game, though his jumper is far from reliable.

His style – not ability – reminds me of Marc Gasol. Sabonis’ athletic limits mean he’ll have to play smartly to thrive at the next level, but there are signs he can do that.