Observing Yannick Kraag and Zsombor Maronka in an LEB Gold Game
June 5th, 2022
By Alan Lu
Recently, 6-7 swingman, Yannick Kraag from the Netherlands had declared for the 2022 NBA Draft, and had been receiving some draft buzz, as he has entered ESPN’s top 100 big board rankings lately. I decided to watch him play for CB Prat in an LEB Gold game that was played on November 7th against Movistar Estudiantes, with thanks to YouTube via jmbr.
It also provided an opportunity to watch 6-10 forward Zsombor Maronka, a Hungarian basketball player that also declared to enter the draft. They played in a close game, in which Estudiantes’ guard, Nacho Arroyo was able to make a game-winner by scoring on a mid-range shot with seconds left to help his team get the win over CB Prat. Here are my thoughts on how Kraag, Maronka, and other various prospects fared, as well as how their games may translate to the NBA.
Yannick Kraag is a tall, athletic swingman that played most of the year for CB Prat. He didn’t take many shots in this game, but he was efficient as a scorer on the floor, and he also showcased versatile scoring skills. He showed the potential to be a 3 and D player at the NBA level, but he will need to improve his decision-making skills on offense and his defense.
Kraag excelled at scoring on hustle plays. He ran in to score on an energetic tip-in on the break, as he was able to get the offensive rebound and immediately score afterwards. He also looked to cut to the hoop, but no one looked to find him on the move that time. He also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble. He used a quick jab step to drive to the baseline, as he was able to score on an emphatic dunk.
He also made a wide-open, spot-up three off the catch. Kraag showed that he can comfortably knock down threes when given the time and space to get his shots off. On the other hand, he took a rushed corner three, as an opponent raced in to close down the airspace, which caused him to miss that time.
He was fairly turnover prone in this game. On one good play, Kraag was able to make a quick drive and dish to find an open teammate on the break due to making a good read and find that time. However, had some trouble handling the ball under pressure, and he struggled to protect the basketball. On one possession, he had a ball ripped away on a drive to commit a turnover. He also telegraphed a pass that ended up getting intercepted, although that was also because none of his teammates looked to move off the ball, so they didn’t really help give him good passing angles to get them the basketball.
Kraag didn’t get many rebounds in this game, but he was able to run in to get a defensive board once. On one play, he and his teammate didn’t properly box out an opponent, as he just sort of ball watched and hung out in a zone that time, and it led them to allow a tip-in score.
Also, Kraag played satisfactory defense in this game. He was able to use his length, athleticism, and anticipation skills to quickly jump an entry pass to get a steal, and he then pushed the ball forcefully up the court to create a transition scoring opportunity for his team. He also would actively contest jump shots using his length to force misses. He also would poke balls and deflect passes to make things difficult for his opponents. On the other hand, when defending out on the perimeter, he would get beat off the dribble, which would lead him to allow scores. Another time, he didn’t communicate with a teammate as his team kept doubling and pressing their opponent, but it led to a scramble situation in which they allowed their opponent to score on an open three late in this game.
Overall, Yannick Kraag is an athletic, energetic swingman that could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA. He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter in games, and he will have to tighten up his handle, but his ability to make hustle plays on both ends of the floor could make him an intriguing second round, draft and stash candidate if he stays in the 2022 draft. He will need more time to hone and polish up his game, but he is a talented prospect that could project to be a solid role player similar to current San Antonio Spurs’ guard, Josh Richardson in the NBA.
Zsombor Maronka is a tall, athletic combo forward that showed off a unique set of skills when he played for CB Prat in this game. He wasn’t able to make any of his threes, but he showed off versatile scoring skills and some ball-handling prowess in the open court.
Maronka generally excelled at scoring on fast breaks. He would run the floor to score in transition, and he also caught a lob to score on a layup off the glass. He tended to favor driving to his left when looking to score off the dribble. He drew free throws on one aggressive drive, but he also missed on a runner after using a swift, Euro-step move in transition. Also, he showed a solid ability to score in the post. Maronka was able to make a tough catch in the post, as he made a strong drop step to score on a step-through move.
Plus, he also showed a solid ability to knock down mid-range jumpers. Maronka showed that he can use either hand to score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he showed good balance and shooting touch to do so. He also was able to run off of a pin down to make a quick, mid-range jumper off the catch, and his size enables him to score over smaller defenders. On the downside, he really struggled to knock down threes, and he was unable to make any of his three-point shots that he hoisted up from beyond the arc.
Also, Maronka showcased satisfactory playmaking skills. He is a good ball handler, especially for a player his size, and he can really push the ball up the court to create scoring chances for his teammates on the break. He also would throw solid interior passes to get the ball to his teammates in the paint, and he can find them on the move.
Also, he did an adequate job of rebounding the basketball. He was able to haul in his fair share of defensive boards, and he would tend to push the ball quickly up the court off of them. He also played adequate defense. Maronka was able to run in to intercept an entry pass to get a steal. He also would move his feet well when defending out on the perimeter, as he would cut off penetration to get opponents to pass the basketball, and he also contested a mid-range shot to force a miss. However, sometimes he would sag too far off of shooters, which would lead them to score on mid-range shots. Other times, he would be out of position when defending opponents off the dribble, which would lead him to commit touch fouls.
Overall, Zsombor Maronka is an athletic, skilled point forward that has shown the ability to shoot and pass the basketball. He will still need to improve his three-point shot and be more consistent in games, but he has an interesting set of tools, and he could be a long-term prospect that could be a solid option to be a second round, draft and stash candidate if he stays in the 2022 draft. He will need more time to continue to hone and polish up his game, but if he is able to make his way to the NBA, he could end up being a versatile role player similar to Charlotte Hornets’ forward, Jalen McDaniels in the association.
Ruben Dominguez played well for Movistar Estudiantes in their close win over CB Prat. He is a skilled swingman that excelled as a shooter, scorer, and defender, and he generally made smart plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.
Dominguez shot the ball well, as he excelled at making dribble, mid-range jumpers, and he also made a wide-open trail three off the catch. He also ran the floor to get it on the break, and he managed to drive to the hoop to score on a crafty, reverse layup in traffic.
On the downside, he was fairly turnover prone on offense. He threw a hard, inbounds pass that was dropped and intercepted. He also attempted to drive off of a screen, but struggled to protect the ball, as a defender ripped the ball away from him to get him to turn the ball over.
Also, Dominguez was able to leap up to get a pair of defensive boards, as he would push the ball up the floor afterwards. Plus, Dominguez played solid defense. He defended a drive aggressively and quickly went under a screen to stay with his man, which enabled him to swipe a ball away to get a steal. He did a good job of defending opponents off the dribble and screens to cut off penetration, and he would hound opposing ball handlers to force misses and turnovers.
Overall, Ruben Dominguez is a skilled, energetic swingman that primarily excelled as a shooter and defender, and he made smart plays to help his team on both sides of the ball. He doesn’t possess overwhelming athleticism, but he is a skilled player that could project into a 3 and D role in the NBA, and his ability to make plays on both ends of the floor could enable him to be a solid second round prospect for the 2023 draft.
CB Prat’s 6-11 big man, Kriss Helmanis played very well for his team in their tough loss to Movistar Estudiantes. He thrived as a shooter, screen setter, and defender in this game. Helmanis did a great job of making open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he showed a knack of making them off of pick-and-pop plays. He was very effective as the screener, as he could pop out to the three-point line to knock down open threes, and he also would set numerous solid on and off-ball screens to help his teammates get open jumping shots, driving lanes, and lanes to cut to the hoop.
He showed off fairly good playmaking skills. Helmanis was able to quickly pass out of the post to find an open shooter to notch an assist. He did a very good job of setting screens to set up a variety of scoring chances for his teammates. On the downside, after getting the ball on a roll, he then tried to post up, but briefly had the ball knocked away from him before retrieving it to get it back, and he then tried to pass out, but all those seconds of him having to deal with swarming defenders led his team to commit a shot-clock violation.
Also, Helmanis was active at crashing the glass to get defensive boards. Plus, he also scored on a tip-in another time. He also played satisfactory defense. He was able to block a three-point shot to himself due to possessing good length and timing. He also was able to get his hands on a pass to get a steal, and he also jumped on a loose ball to get another. He also showed that he can defend out on the perimeter as well as in the post to get stops for his team. However, he would tend to over-help in the paint, which would put his team in scramble situations. Sometimes, he would struggle to stay in front of his man, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.
Overall, Kriss Helmanis is a skilled, stretch big that can shoot the basketball, and he also played solid, team basketball in this game. He may only be an average athlete, but his ability to knock down outside shots enables him to space the floor for his team. While it may be uncertain if he has the athleticism to be able to play at significantly higher levels, his basketball IQ and jump shot could enable him to carve out a long playing career in professional basketball.
Adams Sola is a fairly athletic, energetic combo guard that played fairly well for Movistar Estudiantes in this game. He especially played well on the defensive end. He is a tenacious, pesky defender that would hound opposing ball handlers, as he was able to poke a ball away in the backcourt and dive on the ground to get an early steal, and he also was able to jump on a loose ball and intercept a pass to get other steals. He also recovered by being able to make a second jump to aptly contest a mid-range shot to force a miss.
Plus, he also thrived as a passer and facilitator on the break, and he is an unselfish player that can rack up assists. Sola didn’t look to score often, but he showed the he can drive to the hoop to occasionally score the basketball. Overall, he will need to take more jumpers and be more assertive on offense, but his blend of athleticism, playmaking, and defensive skills could enable him to carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.
Nacho Arroyo was able to make the game-winning, mid-range jumper to help get Movistar Estudiantes a one-point win over CB Prat in this game. Arroyo is a skilled, crafty point guard that can score and pass the basketball, but his lack of elite athleticism or size for his position may make it difficult for him to ascend up higher levels.
Arroyo showed a solid ability to knock down mid-range jumpers. He was able to split a double team to score on a tough, fadeaway mid-range jumper in transition. He also managed to score on a crafty, one-legged, fadeaway mid-range runner to get his team the go-ahead basket late in this match. He also scored on a patient drive to the hoop. He didn’t take many shots in this game, and he didn’t take a single three-pointer, but he showed that he was a crafty, smart scorer off the dribble.
He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills. He did a good job of making entry passes as well as finding teammates on the break to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates. On the other hand, he had trouble grabbing rebounds in this game. Defensively, he looked to be about average at best. Arroyo was able to hold his ground when defending in the post, as he contested the shot to force a miss. He also contested a mid-range shot from the baseline to get another stop for his team. However, his lack of size would make it difficult for him to defend outside shots, and he would struggle to be in position when defending opponents out on the perimeter, as he had trouble guarding quicker or taller players in games.
Overall, Nacho Arroyo played well in his role to help his team get the win, and he was able to make the clutch, game-winner. He only possesses average athleticism and has less than ideal size to play the point, so he may have limited upside, but his ability to make shots and run the point could enable him to be a backup point guard if he ends up making his way to the NBA someday.
CB Prat’s 6-8 forward, Miguel Malik Allen is a fairly athletic, energetic combo forward that had his ups and downs in this game. On the plus side, Allen showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays. He was able to score on a flip layup off the glass after getting the ball on a back cut. He also drew free throws on a dunk attempt in transition, and he also managed to score on a tip-in. However, he missed completely when attempting a spot-up three off the catch, and he also missed on a jump hook when looking to score on a back-to-the-basket play out of the post.
Also, did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and he was quite active at crashing the glass to get offensive rebounds. Defensively, Allen looked to be about average at best. When in position, he would usually use his length to contest shots out on the perimeter and in the paint to force misses. However, he would tend to over-help and commit reach-in fouls when defending opposing ball handlers. Other times, he would be overly physical when defending in one-on-one situations, as he would commit aggressive, hard fouls as a result.
Overall, Miguel Malik Allen had his ups and downs, as he is an athletic, energetic combo forward that can score on off-ball motion plays, but he will still need to refine his game and improve as an overall player. He is a fairly solid athlete, but he has a long way to go, as he will need to drastically improve his perimeter skills. Right now, he may be an unlikely bet to be drafted in the future, but if he does make his way to the NBA, he could be a defensive specialist at the end of a team’s bench in the association.
CB Prat’s 6-9 forward, Arnau Parrado had a decent showing in his team’s loss to Movistar Estudiantes. He showed off versatile scoring skills and shot the ball well, and he generally made good plays defensively, but he was also quite turnover prone in this game.
Parrado did a good job of moving off the ball to make spot-up threes off the catch. He also showed that he can drive to the hoop to score off the dribble and in the post, and he also managed to score on an emphatic dunk once. He also would utilize crafty pump fakes to draw plenty of fouls upon his defenders. However, sometimes he would try to do too much, which can lead him to miss shots in traffic, especially when he wouldn’t get foul calls.
On the downside, he was quite turnover prone on offense. On one good play, Parrado threw an inbounds pass to a cutter running off of a back screen to notch an assist. However, Parrado had some trouble handling the ball when pressured, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers. He also was called for setting a moving screen once, and he also threw a weak pass that got intercepted another time.
He didn’t grab many rebounds in this game, but Parrado was able to get an offensive board in this game. He also played satisfactory defense. Parrado would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections. He also would actively contest shots to force misses. On the downside, sometimes he wouldn’t hustle back on defense as he would sometimes jog instead of sprint back, which would lead his team to give up fast break points. Another time, he got backed down significantly in the post and didn’t show any resistance, which led him to commit a reach-in foul as a result.
Overall, Arnau Parrado is a skilled, stretch big that can shoot the basketball to space the floor for his team. He may only be an average athlete, and he is undersized for a big man, so his limitations could make it difficult for him to ascend higher levels. Still, his ability to knock down jump shots could enable him to carve out a fairly lengthy playing career in professional basketball.