Niels Giffey returns to Germany, signs with Alba Berlin

albaberlin.de

albaberlin.de

Niels Giffey has returned to the capital of soccer and schnitzel, inking a 3 year deal with German club Alba Berlin. Giffey had competed for Alba at the junior level from 2008-10 before becoming a two-time National Champion at the University of Connecticut. Following the 2014 National Championship, Giffey went undrafted before joining the Memphis Grizzlies summer league team in early July. After a disappointing stretch that saw no playing time, Giffey bolted to Vegas, suiting up for the Utah Jazz. It was in Vegas Giffey reached terms with Alba sporting director Mithat Demirel (pictured above) who was in town scouting. Although the terms of the deal have not been released, it would be fair to assume Giffey negotiated an out-clause allowing him to opt out and sign with a NBA team if the opportunity presented itself.

Background on Alba Berlin (from team website)

  • Largest national basketball club in Germany
  • Competes at O2 World Arena averaging 10,000 fans, one of the most well attended in Europe (see below)
  • Participates in both the German League and EuroLeague (European equivalent to NBA)
  • Has won 8 German Cup Championship’s since 1996
  • Features former Big East players Reggie Redding (Villanova) and Levon Kendall (Pittsburgh)
albaberlin.de

albaberlin.de

albaberlin.de

albaberlin.de

Here is some video from Giffey’s last stint in Germany, the 2013 European Championship when he made his debut with the men’s national team:

Congratulations to Niels on his homecoming and I look forward to covering him in the fall.

 

Roscoe Smith: NBA Draft Update

Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Roscoe “Scoe” Smith made the decision back in April to forgo his senior season at UNLV and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Smith comes off a season in which he led the Mountain West in rebounding, averaging 10.9 to go along with 11.1 points per game. Considered one of the best players not invited to the NBA draft combine by NBA insider Chad Ford, Smith enters the draft without a defined position which could hurt his stock. Undersized as a power forward and too streaky a shooter to play the wing (at least presently), Smith will need to impress in workouts. In an interview with the Utah Jazz, Smith alluded to himself as a “power 3” in the NBA, similar to Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs (full interview below). However, according to Alex Oriakhi’s Snap Chat, Phoenix had Smith working in the post as a stretch 4. 

Scoe

Measurements

Here is Smith as he compares to rival wings Deandre Daniels, Glenn Robinson III and Andrew Wiggins as well as Kawhi Leonard’s numbers from the 2011 NBA combine.   

Player Height (shoes) Wingspan Standing Reach Max Vertical
Smith 6-8 1/2 7-1 1/2 8-10 1/2 36
Daniels 6-8 1/2 7-2 8-10 1/2 32
Robinson III 6-6 3/4 6-10 8-4 1/2 41.5
Wiggins 6-8 3/4 7-0 8-11 44
Leonard 6-7 7-3 8-10 32

 Workouts

Here is a list of Smith’s workouts, as well as other notable players invited. 

Utah Jazz, June 2nd: Roscoe Smith, James Bell (Villanova), LaQuinton Ross (Ohio State)

Chicago Bulls, June 3rd: Roscoe Smith

Phoenix Suns, June 5th: Roscoe Smith, Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), TJ Warren (NC State) 

Draft Projections

After a hot start to the season, Smith does not appear on any of the major mock draft boards. NBA Insider Chad Ford lists Smith as the 73rd best overall player in the draft and 18th best small forward. While Smith possesses the size and athleticism for an NBA small forward, his defense, shooting and ball handling are inconsistent at best after a 2013-14 season spent in the post. On the other hand, while Smith has the energy and length to rebound the basketball, his size and strength are questionable for a NBA power forward. Look for Smith to start next year in the NBA D-League or overseas.  

 

Niels Giffey NBA Update

Image

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Niels Giffey turned heads during his second championship performance of the season last month at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, covered here. Giffey continued to play his role in the winning formula, knocking down shots and playing solid defense, causing Tournament MVP Davante’ Gardner (Marquette) to tweet:

Following graduation, Giffey flew to Indianapolis where he worked out at the St. Vincent Sports Performance’s NBA Pre-Draft Training Program. Other participants included Eric Atkin (Notre Dame), Semaj Christon (Xavier), Luke Hancock (Louisville), Gary Harris (Michigan State), Jake Odum (Indiana State), Trevor Releford (Alabama) and Glenn Robinson III (Michigan). According to their website, St. Vincent Sports Performance provides not only skill development but also performance nutrition and performance psychology among others to prepare prospects for the NBA.       

Measurements

Here is Giffey as he compares to other wings in the draft including Deandre Daniels. Melvin Ejim, former Iowa State star familiar to UCONN fans, appears to be Giffey’s main competitor for a late second round selection. Take note that unlike previous charts I have replaced max vertical with standing vertical as Giffey’s max was not available. 

Player Height (shoes) Wingspan Standing Reach Standing Vertical*
Giffey 6-7 1/2 6-10 1/2 8-7 1/2 28.5
Ejim 6-7 6-11 1/4 8-7 1/2 29.5
Robinson III 6-6 3/4 6-10 8-4 1/2 36.5
Daniels 6-8 1/2 7-2 8-10 1/2 26.5

*standing not max vertical

Workout Update

Here is a list of Giffey’s workouts, as well as other notable players invited. 

Utah Jazz, May 20th: Niels Giffey, Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), Scottie Wilbiken (Florida)

Philadelphia 76ers, May 27th: Niels Giffey, James Bell (Villanova), James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State)

New York Knicks, TBD: TBD

Draft Projections

Analysts have Giffey anywhere from late second round to undrafted. As an underexposed role player, workouts will only help Giffey get his name out there. Scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational came away impressed and there is no reason to believe that trend will not continue. Here are some second round opportunities for Giffey:

  • 32nd, 39th, 47th, 52nd or 54th, Philadelphia 76ers: With five second round picks to go along with two lottery picks, the 76ers can address immediate needs and plan for the future.
  • 58th or 60th, San Antonio Spurs: Giffey is the epitome of a role player on a team of role players.  
  • New York Knicks: With no draft picks and change on the horizon, the Knicks could look to make moves. 
  • Germany: Big contract, free apartment, free car, home country and all the schnitzel you can eat = not a bad deal.