Timothe Luwawu is a shooting guard/small forward from Mega Leks. Luwawu is 6’7 and has a wingspan of 6’11. For the year, he averaged, 30.8 minutes per game, 14.8 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 42.0% from the field, and 47.6% from three.
- Great scoring ability
- Shooting mechanics are much improved
- Can make any shot
- Has confidence in his shot
- Attacks the rim at ease
- Excellent at drawing contact
- Good free throw shooter
- Good ball handler
- Sees the court well
- Unselfish offensive player
- Good rebounder
- Defensive potential
- Excellent NBA size and length
- Gym rat
- Needs to improve his mid-range consistency
- Very dependent on his right hand
- On-ball defense
- Defensive motor
- Lack of upper body strength
- Talent he played against
Of all the international prospects, Timothe Luwawu is by far my favorite. I do not think he will be a star once he comes overseas, but a solid wing to add to a rotation with sixth man abilities. Luwawu has not faced the toughest competition in France either, so he will have a bigger adjustment period than most other players, but his work ethic should have many teams drooling to work with him, and find his maximum potential.
On the offensive side of the ball, Luwawu is a confident, high volume scorer. His shooting mechanics have changed drastically for the better since pulling his name from last year’s draft, and now have him a possible lottery pick. He was a dominant scorer from three this year, nearly hitting 50% of them. His mid-range game was not as impressive, as he struggled from there. Luwawu uses his great athletic ability and speed to attack the rim with ease. He is able to finish through contact, and also excellent at getting to the line where he shot over 80% this season. Luwawu does need to focus on getting his left hand more involved, as of right now he is very predictable when he charges to the basket.When you hear the word high volume scorer you do not usually associate that trait with a good passer, but Luwawu has this as a strength. He sees the court well, and guides his teammates with his passes. His ability to drive allows for him to kick out to open teammates on the perimeter.
On defense, Luwawu has an incredible frame and wingspan, but does not give maximum effort on this side of the court. He does not have good lateral speed, so opposing guards are able to blow by him. When guarding bigger players, he does not have the strength to prevent them from backing him down. These physical limitations look like they take their mental toll on Luwawu who loses his aggression on this side of the court as the game wears on. As a wing, Luwawu is a great rebounder. He has textbook fundamentals, mixed with his long wingspan, anything that comes near him he will swipe up.
As an overall, Luwawu is a great offensive piece right now, with the defensive potential to be a terrific two-way player. He was in the French equivalent of the minors up until this year, so he might need a little longer to adjust based on the superior talent in the NBA, and him playing against very weak competition. Heading into the draft, Luwawu’s range is all over the place. Some people have him as high as ten, while others have him wavering as a first round pick. Teams like Milwaukee, Chicago, Utah, and Denver, who are looking to upgrade their scoring from the wings would love to have Luwawu on their roster. The majority of this teams are also chasing the playoffs next season, and Luwawu can come over and step into the majority of their rotations and provide at the worst a three point threat, until he finds his groove for everything else.
Pro Comparison: Rudy Gay
The name Rudy Gay gives quite a few people a bad taste in their mouth, but as long as he is not the first option, and he is held accountable, he is not a bad player. Luwawu is a much more consistent shooter coming over to the league, but they run a similar type of offense, while leaving a lot to be desired on the defensive side of the ball.
Rudy Gay has developed into a good scorer in the NBA, but his ego of being a star has held him back. Luwawu has not really being given that type of praise, so coming over his work ethic will help him keep himself in check, to be an efficient scorer, much like Gay has turned into since he became a member of the Sacramento Kings. Gay and Luwawu share the ability to hit any shot on the court, and have the ultimate confidence in that shot. Luwawu needs to become better at finishing at the rim, as this was a main focus of Gay coming out of school, and something he still excels at. Passing is another shared trait amongst these two. Gay does not have the assits numbers he did in college, but he has had to be the main scorer for almost every team he has been on, so this should be expected. Luwawu will be able to utilize this attribute a lot more at the next level.
On defense, Gay has the size, strength, and length to be a dominant defender, but just does not show the effort to care. Luwawu shares similar traits of this. He is limited by his physical attributes causing him to lose interest, but with a defensive minded coach they could bring more out of him. Gay had to exercise a lot of energy being the main guy, while Luwawu will likely come off the bench, making the minutes he plays more meaningful, which should get you more out of him on defense. Rebounding is something both of these players do very well from the wing.
Rudy Gay did not have the NBA career many expected from him, but with a reduced role, a player of his skill set can be very effective in the league, and that is what I expect from Luwawu. Given his offensive expertise, teams looking for that extra spark off the bench will love him, and can put better perimeter defenders on the court with him to try and make up for his deficiencies.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17