Evaluating Milhan Charles in a BNXT League Game

June 16th, 2024

By Alan Lu

Recently, Basketball Academies Limburg has two international draft prospects, Milhan Charles and Filip Brankovic that decided to declare to enter the 2024 NBA Draft, despite not getting much draft buzz worldwide.  While they may both be expected to withdraw from the draft, statistically they seemed to be interesting prospects in their own right. 

Both of them had put up solid numbers in their current league, the BNXT League, which is a professional league in Belgium and the Netherlands.  I decided to take the time to watch them play in a May 3rd game against Liege Basket, with thanks to YouTube via Royal Liege Basket (Home Matches).  Here are my thoughts on how they fared, as well as how they may currently stack up as prospects for the NBA.

Milhan Charles is a 6-6, French swingman whose versatile scoring skills, defensive skills, and solid athletic gifts could make him an interesting prospect for a future NBA Draft.
(Photo: Jeroen Kuit/De Limburger)

Milhan Charles had a strong showing in his team’s loss to Liege Basket in this game.  He is a 6-6 French swingman that has been arguably the best draft prospect to play in the BNXT League this year, although that hasn’t netted him much draft buzz this year.  Still, he is an athletic versatile scorer that possesses a strong driving game, and he’ll throw his body around to frequently get to the foul line.

Charles can run quickly off of ball screens to get the ball, which would enable him to score on strong drives to the hoop.  He has good balance and body control that allows him to finish plays in traffic, and he also will use subtle ball fakes and dribble moves to get past his man to score.  While he didn’t take many threes in this game, Charles was able to make a three-pointer once.  In that instance, he moved off the ball to get it on a dribble handoff, and although he appeared to travel before pivoting, he was able to make an open three-pointer.  On the downside, he struggled more when attempting pull-up, mid-range jumpers, as he would sometimes miss on those shots.

He also showed off fairly average at best playmaking skills in this game.  For the positives, Charles is an unselfish player that is willing to make the extra pass, and he can make drive and dish passes to find teammates on the move.  He also was able to throw an accurate skip pass out of the high post to find an open shooter.  On the downside, he can tend to force the issue too much at times, as he’ll throw hasty, off-target passes that can lead to turnovers.  Another time, he appeared to travel on an aggressive drive in transition, and he then pushed off to commit an offensive foul and a turnover that time.  In addition, there were times where he showed off loose handles and showed suspect footwork, and there were occasions where it seemed like he should’ve been called for traveling on some of those plays.

Also, Charles showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He showed a knack for leaping up to get defensive boards, and he would sometimes push the pace afterwards.  Plus, he also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Charles is a long, rangy defender that can make plays on the ball to help his team get stops.  He was able to rotate to block a corner three due to possessing solid length, athleticism, and timing.  He also managed to recover to block a shot off of a drive another time.  Charles will also play passing lanes and pressure ball handlers to help force turnovers, and he was able to dive on the ground to help his team come away with a steal once.  He also is an active defender that would stay in front of his man to contest shots and force misses.  On the downside, he would sometimes play too aggressively, as he would try to go for steals and miss, which would lead him to be caught out of position and cause him to commit fouls and allow scores.  Other times, he would be caught ball watching and lose track of his man and would give up open jump shots.

Overall, Milhan Charles had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Liege Basket.  He is an unheralded prospect that could project to be a solid rotation player at the NBA level.  However, he doesn’t seem to have any draft buzz, so the best move for him would probably be to withdraw and see if he can play in a league that would get attention from NBA scouts and teams, such as the French League.  If he stays in the 2024 draft, he will probably wind up going undrafted, but could be a solid long term prospect if he aims to try to make it to the NBA one day.  Otherwise, he should withdraw from the draft, and he could be a potential second round pick in 2025 next year. He will probably need to move up to a high-end international league such as the French League, but in two years, if he can play well, Charles could end up being similar to Alonzo Gee in the NBA.

Filip Brankovic is a strong, skilled undersized 6-8 big man that also plays for Basketball Academie Limburg.  He is a passing big man that can set screens and stretch the floor, but his lack of mobility and defensive struggles could make it difficult for him to make a successful jump to the NBA.

For the positives, he may be an underrated passer for a player his size.  Brankovic would throw timely passes to teammates running off screens and from the post, and he can find teammates in stride and can throw nice touch passes.  He also was able to throw a nifty, behind-the-back pass from the post to find a cutter early on.  Brankovic also will set screens to help his teammates get open looks to get the ball to help put them in advantageous spots to score on offense.  On the downside, sometimes he would throw hasty, inaccurate passes that would either wind up out of bounds or get intercepted.  Another time, he tried to use a pump fake in the post, but got the ball ripped away from him to commit a turnover another time.

He didn’t take many shots in this game, but Brankovic was able to make an open, quick outside shot off of a pick-and-pop play to show his range and shooting skills.  He’ll need to improve his mobility to be a more consistent threat as a movement shooter, and he’ll also need to show that he can consistently score and’t get ans a roll man on the move. While he didn’t get many rebounds in this game, Brankovic was able to get his fair share of defensive boards, as he would sometimes push the pace.  However, there was one play where he allowed an offensive rebound in his area, and he didn’t get enough rebounds for a player his size when he was on the floor.

Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  For the positives, he was able to catch an errant pass to get a steal.  He also rotated to block a shot in the post before later using his length to force a traveling call down low.  He also would sometimes use his length and size to hold position when defending down low to help him force misses.  On the downside, he struggled to defend quicker players, especially out on the perimeter.  He would tend to get beat on quick moves off the dribble, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also would tend to be caught ball watching as he would over-help off of his man, which would lead him to late to rotate and give up open baskets at the rim.  His lack of mobility made it difficult to defend on most occasions in this game, and it would likely be an even bigger issue if he were to try to make the jump to play at the NBA level.

Overall, Brankovic had his ups and downs, but he didn’t have a particularly good game in his team’s loss to Liege Basket.  He probably should withdraw from the draft and see if he can play in a league that could get him noticed more by NBA scouts and teams, preferably somewhere such as the French League.  Even so, his lack of ideal size, athleticism, or defensive skills would make it tough for him to get drafted either this year or the next, and he will most likely spend the entire duration of his professional career overseas.

Oshean Brathwaite had an interesting game, as he did not make a field goal, but he is a fairly athletic, energetic point guard that showed off some distribution and defensive skills when he was on the floor, and he logged plenty of playing time against Liege Basket.  He is a 5-10 Dutch point guard that looks to be a pass-first playmaker.  He didn’t shoot the ball well at all as he missed shots both from long and close range, but Brathwaite was a let of draw a foul on a fairly quick drive to get to the free throw line once.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills.  Brathwaite is an unselfish player that can throw timely passes to find teammates on the move, and he would also make quick drive and kick passes to set up scores for them.  On the downside, sometimes he would throw hasty passes that would get intercepted.

Though he didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, Brathwaite was able to leap up to get a defensive board.  On one play though, he didn’t box out his man, and he ended up committing a reach-in foul and also allowed a put back score to a taller player.  Brathwaite also played satisfactory defense.  He did a great job of jumping passes and chasing down loose balls to get steals, and he also would deflect passes and poke balls away to get deflections.  He would sometimes be able to fight through screens quickly, and he would contest mid-range shots to force misses.  Brathwaite showed solid positioning and footwork to be able to make numerous plays on the defensive end.  On the downside, he would also sometimes struggle to fight through screens, which would put him in disadvantageous spots on the defensive end.  He would sometimes play too aggressively, as he would try to go for steals and miss, which would lead him to be out of position and allow opponents to score on open jump shots.  Other times, he would sag too far off his man and give up too much space, which would lead him to allow opponents to score on jumpers.

Overall, Brathwaite had an interesting and perplexing game in his team’s loss to Liege Basket.  Whether if he played well is in the eye of the beholder.  On one hand, he didn’t shoot or score well at all, nor grab many rebounds.  On the other hand, he picked up a lot of assists and steals, despite also turning the ball over a handful of times.  Maybe he didn’t have his best game, and he’s a 5-10 point guard that probably won’t draw much interest from any NBA scouts or teams, but he’s a solid role player in his current league, and he could end up carving out a long playing career overseas.

Adekunle Afolabi is a 6-3 Dutch point guard that played well in limited minutes off the bench in his team’s loss to Liege Basket.  He was able to score on an aggressive drive to the hoop, and he also ran the floor quickly to score on the break.

He also is an unselfish player that can find the open man, although he did throw a hasty pass that got intercepted once.  He didn’t grab a rebound in his game.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Afolabi would contest outside shots to force misses, and he generally seemed to be able to stay in front of his man.  On one play though, he struggled to defend a quicker player on a drive once, which led him to commit a foul that time.

Overall, Afolabi is a score-first combo guard that has shown the potential to excel in his current league.  He is a 2005-born player from the Netherlands, and as he did not declare to enter the draft, he is not in the 2024 draft.  He still has a ways to go before getting significant draft buzz in the future, but at the very least, he may have the skills to be able to carve out a long playing career in professional basketball.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how Charles and other various prospects fared in this game.  Thanks for reading.

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