Tibor Pleiss was selected by the Brooklyn (New Jersey) Nets with the first pick of the second round in the 2010 NBA Draft. Three years later, though, he is still playing in Europe and his rights now belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team who fittingly could use a quality prospect for their frontcourt.
Pleiss won’t be playing in the NBA this season and won’t be providing any relief to the Kendrick Perkins related suffering for the Thunder this season, but it’s been pretty public that the Thunder and their fans want to see what the 7’1” 23-year-old can do in the Association.
Playing for Caja Laboral in Spain last season, Pleiss didn’t see the floor often, but was productive in the limited minutes that he saw. In 15.8 minutes per game he still managed to put up 6.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 58.4 percent from the floor.
Pleiss is playing with Germany at Eurobasket 2013 right now, though, and he’s continuing to fuel the buzz about him in OKC. Through five games he has averaged 11.6 points, 11 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting a solid 59.5 percent from the floor and a respectable 66.7 percent from the free throw line, where he’s made 4.2 trips to per game in the tournament.
Despite a solid showing throughout the entire tournament, Pleiss truly shined against Great Britain when he put up 20 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks on 8-11 shooting from the field. He was a force that the Brits couldn’t handle in that contest.
The noticeable things about Pleiss are that he’s strong and aggressive in the post on both ends of the floor. He’s not a dynamic offensive player, but can score effectively and has rebounding and defensive skills to make up for that. If the Thunder have their way, expect to see Pleiss in the NBA in the next couple of years.
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