Nemanja Nedovic has been called many things: The European Derrick Rose, The Serbian Sensation and The Lithuanian Lightning (maybe I made those last two up), but the most important nickname that Nedovic has to live up to is “Jarrett Jack’s replacement.”
The selection of Nedovic at the very least suggests that the management is preparing for the worst, a situation in which they cannot retain the backup point guard. Per Marcus Thompson at the Contra Costa Times, the Warriors have been unsuccessful thus far in trying to secure Jack for the 2013-14 season and beyond. Thompson also suggests that the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings could join the fray as well, which would undoubtedly make the effort to retain the sixth man harder and harder.
DraftExpress released a great video about Nedovic which outlined his skills and weaknesses, and despite his willingness to play in 2013-14, he should not be considered a suitable replacement for Jack for several reasons.
Nedovic is only 21 years old and has only played one season at the highest level of European basketball. This is probably the single biggest reason why he cannot fill the void left by Jack. The term “Basketball IQ” is thrown around a lot, but this one instance where it is really applicable. In the video I linked above, you can clearly see examples of Nedovic picking up his dribble too early, failing to find the open man on offense and forcing too many shots.
Say what you will about Jack, but he had one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the league. Nedovic, on the other hand, had a ratio of 0.95, meaning he coughs up the ball more times than he dishes dimes.
Jack has nearly 11 years of basketball experience and has played eight season in the NBA. Nedovic lacks the experience to become a floor general for the Warriors next year when Stephen Curry is not on the floor.
You can argue that Nedovic’s listed deficiencies can be attributed to the fact that he is meant to be a combo guard, a true “tweener” given his size of 6’4’’ and that he really shouldn’t be the main the ball handler in most scenarios.
Unfortunately, that puts Nedovic on the wrong side of the “tweener” spectrum. Someone like Andre Iguodala is big enough to bully opposing shooting guards and fast enough to beat small forwards. Nedovic is too small to really bully an opposing point guard and too small to truly go toe-to-toe with another shooting guard.
What he does have going for him is his athleticism and ability to finish above the rim. If he is to be a combo guard, could he guard opposing shooting guards? If he is to be a point guard, how patient will the Warriors have to be with his learning?
Isn’t it ironic…
The ironic part of this whole discussion is the person that Nedovic could probably learn the most from is someone like Jack. If anything, this move seems to move as an indication that the Warriors want to push even harder for the veteran point guard.
In his current form, the Serbian point guard is in no way ready to replace Jack next year, but under the tutelage of the Georgia Tech product, the European Derrick Rose could develop into the American Nemanja Nedovic.