Assessing Denzel Andersson in a BCL Qualification Game

October 14, 2017

By Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to scout Lulea’s unheralded, 6-8, 1996-born forward Denzel Andersson from Sweden, as he will be draft eligible in 2018.  He is one of the few prospects that have received considerable playing time in the Basketball Champions League qualification games, and he is a player that seemed to be a candidate to profile into a 3 and D type of role.

With thanks to YouTube via Basketball Champions League, I decided to see him play against Antwerp in a game that was played on September 19th.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared, as well as how he may project as a prospect for the NBA.

Anderson is an athletic combo forward that is an improving shooter, as he can knock down numerous spot-up jumpers off the catch.  He can thrive in a catch and shoot role, especially if he is left unguarded, and his size could make him a floor spacing threat, especially if he is matched up against opponents that may struggle to guard out on the perimeter.

Plus, he also excels at moving off the ball, and Andersson is a smart, high-motor player that can score on hustle plays.  Early in the second quarter, he made a quick cut to the hoop, caught a lob pass, and promptly threw down an alley-oop dunk to get the score as he also drew an extra free throw afterwards.  Plus, he also is an active finisher around the basket, and he managed to score on a one-handed tip in off of an offensive rebound.

Also, he will run the floor, he will look to cut to the hoop off the ball, and he will set screens for his team and roll to the hoop.  However, Andersson can be quite passive on offense at times, and he does not tend to look to create shots off the dribble or to score in the post very often, as he did not do so in this game.  In addition, Andersson is an unselfish player that can make an assortment of passes to his teammates, as he can hit cutters, and he also can throw quick outlet passes to start fast breaks.

However, he may need to improve his ability to rebound the basketball.  For the positives, he is an active forward that will crash the glass on both sides of the ball to haul in rebounds.  However, Andersson may not always put himself in great rebounding position, which can lead him to miss out on a few extra opportunities to get boards.

He also may possess adequate defensive skills.  Andersson is a quick, instinctive player that can provide solid help defense.  Early in the game, he rotated down to defend a post player, and leapt up to quickly block a shot from behind.  Also, he ran across the court and leapt up to deflect a long pass out of bounds, as he nearly was able to get a nifty steal due to his hustle, range, and ball location skills.  He also scooped up a loose ball after his opponent fell down on a drive to get a steal later on.  Plus, Andersson will contest shots in the post and on drives using his length to force misses.

However, sometimes he does not make proper rotations, which can force his team to be in scrambling situations, which can lead to his opponents to make three-point shots.  Andersson also does not possess elite lateral quickness, as he can get beat on moves in the post as well as off the dribble, which can lead him to allow scores or to occasionally commit fouls.

Currently, Denzel Andersson has not generated much, if any draft buzz, so he is unlikely to be drafted in the 2018 NBA Draft.  But he does seem to have some interesting skills, as he is an athletic combo forward that possesses a very good motor, and he could profile into a 3 and D type of role player if he makes his way to the NBA.  He will likely have to show that his apparent improvement in his three-point shot is permanent and not temporary, and he could be a prospect to keep an eye on in the future, especially if he continues to play well against tough competition in international basketball.