A top lottery prospect that is slowly falling from grace on the boards, the son of hall of famer Arvydas Sabonis, Gonzaga Bulldogs Domantas Sabonis looks to be a talented big man with much to offer for a lot of teams in the league. But with some mock drafts ranging his selection wildly from 8th to 29th position, there’s still a decent chance that the Houston Rockets could strike a deal to land the young Lithuanian provided there’s enough interest in him, that is.
Another intriguing prospect who’s seen his stock skyrocket and plummet with the same speed, Domantas Sabonis at one point was even considered a Top-5 pick. As concerns emerged regarding his athleticism and defensive prowess, Sabonis draft value suffered.
Yet here’s a talented big man from Lithuania who’s capable of scoring in bunches and contributing a double-double every night if given the chance in the league.
- Height: 6’10″
- Weight: 238 lbs
- Country: Lithuania
- Position: Power Forward / Center
- Age: 20
- Reach: NA
- Wingspan: 6’10″
- College or Pro League: Gonzaga, Sophomore
- Stat line: 35 Games, 17.5 Points Per Game, 11.8 Rebounds Per Game, 1.8 Assists Per Game, 35.7 3P%, 60.6 FG%, 76.8 FT%
Bleacher Report: 29
Draft Express: 18
NBA Draft.net: 8
Fox Sports: 14
NBA Scott Howard-Cooper: 14
The son of the legendary Blazers center Arvydas, Domantas Sabonis greatly resembles his father. He is a talented player in the post (shooting 67%) has a lot of mobility and quickness for a big man, a vast repertoire of plays and excellent footwork playing inside the paint.
He is a good if yet unproven jump shooter but has shown glimpses of being able to add this weapon to his arsenal.
Defensively he is a great rebounder as his averages almost 12 boards per game evidences. Domantas’ great instincts, terrific hands and anticipation more than makes up for his lack of explosiveness when crashing the boards.
Awards and Honors
First Team All-WCC (2016)
Second Team All-WCC (2015)
WCC All-Freshman Team (2015)
It’s true that the young Gonzaga product does possess some versatility and could play either as a Power Forward or Center. But since the Houston Rockets are pretty much set in the center department with the much more athletic Clint Capela, Domantas would best fit as a PF in Houston.
If Sabonis shows evolution perhaps he could even become a better upgraded version of his countryman Donatas Motiejunas. That’s a big “if” however.
But in case that happens and provided he improves on defense, Sabonis would be able to excel in both positions, either as a Power Forward or a Center in Houston, mostly coming from the bench. I still have some doubts as to whether he could grow into a stretch four, nevertheless as far as the Rockets bench goes, Sabonis would be a valuable sixth man.
Even if Domantas Sabonis stock has plummeted in the last couple weeks as teams are not yet convinced by the player’s athleticism and defensive skills, he remains a lock to be selected in the first round.
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Therefore if there’s any interest from H-town in acquiring the big man then it would have to be via trade. So far there are a few signs that indicates Sabonis will fall outside the lottery picks thus making it easy for the Rockets to sign him if it’s Morey’s wish.
For my part I feel Sabonis could be a good addition to the team as long as he comes in cheap. On the other hand, the Texan team already has a player with very similar features in Donatas Motiejunas.
At the end of the day perhaps the Rockets would be best served focusing on a point guard or a defensive specialist in the draft night.
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