First off, who is Ognjen Kuzmic? I am sure many of you do not know. Kuzmic is a 7’1 Bosnian center who the Golden State Warriors selected 52nd overall in last year’s draft. Kuzmic is 23 years old, and has a massive body with great size and length. He is athletic and mobile for his size.
Watch this clip as Kuzmic (number 52 in black) goes up to jam down an alley-opp pass that appeared to be too high at first.
First, Kuzmic collects the rebound, then he runs the floor and sets a screen for the point guard. He rolls to the rim and jams down the high pass with ease.
In 2011-12, Kuzmic averaged 10.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in only 24.5 minutes per game with Clinicas Rincon. The 2.1 blocks is the stat that really sticks out as one of Kuzmic’s best on-court attributes–blocking shots.
Back in May of this year, a story about Kuzmic’s possible future in the NBA was published in Bosnia. The story mentioned that Spanish media reported that Kuzmic was negotiating with the Warriors, but Kuzmic denied such report. During the winter months, Kirk Lacob and Travis Schlenk voyaged overseas to witness Kuzmic play first hand and were impressed by his progress.
Kuzmic stated via translation that he plans to spend the summer playing in the United States for the Warriors’ summer league team. If Kuzmic plays well in the summer league, then he could be a key contributor with the Warriors next year.
This past week, rookie center Festus Ezeli underwent successful surgery on his right knee. The recovery period is expected to be between six and nine months, which means Ezeli won’t play until December, at the earliest.
Without Ezeli, Andris Biedrins would be the Warriors’ backup center. With Andrew Bogut incredibly injury-prone and David Lee coming off hip surgery, the Warriors will need some more frontcourt depth, and Kuzmic could be the guy.
Kuzmic would not have to make a major impact on the offensive end of the floor, but merely guard his position and contest and block shots when opposing players drive to the hoop. Hopefully Kuzmic spent this year bulking up and working on a perimeter jump shot or post game. If Kuzmic is able to score somewhat consistently in the post, then the Warriors will not see a major drop off when Andrew Bogut has to come off the floor.
And more importantly, if Kuzmic does eventually join the Warriors, he would be forced to make an immediate impact or else… or else… or else.. Andris Biedrins would have to play major minutes.