The 2019 NBA Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft. Georgian big man Goga Bitadze is one of the best international prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft.
2018-2019 stats: 12.1 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, 2.3 blocks per game, 54.8% field goal, 31.3% 3 point
Size: 6-foot-11, 251 pounds
Bitadze was born in the Republic of Georgia and is the son of a former professional basketball player, but his father’s career was cut short due to injury. Now, the younger Bitadze is playing professionally and is getting his shot in the NBA.
He first started playing basketball when he was six years old and was on the fast track to stardom. His first professional experience was in the Russian league. Bitadze quickly moved on to Mega Basket a team in the Serbian league because of their ability to turn out NBA players such as Nikola Jokic and Ivica Zubac. He has been loaned out a few times to different teams, but has been able to have a lot of good experience already.
Bitadze is just 19 years old, but his international experience makes him a unique player. He is currently projected to be a mid to late first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Bitadze has great size for the NBA at 6-foot-11 and 251 pounds. With his great size, he also has great length with a 7-foot-2 wingspan. He is also decently strong. His size, strength and length will all help him battle it out down low with some of the premier players in the NBA.
On offense, Bitadze thrives in the post. He can finish turning over either shoulder and has a few post moves down low including a jump hook. His footwork is also great in the post, allowing him to get more good looks at the basket. He can do more than just that though, as he has started to get more comfortable with his mid-range jumper.
Rebounding is another one of Bitadze’s strengths. In 24.2 minutes played per game this past season, Bitadze registered 6.4 rebounds. He shows great anticipation of where the ball will come of the rim and a decent ability to go get the ball. As a player who will likely come off the bench to start his career, Bitadze should be able to haul in a lot of rebounds due to his size, anticipation and effort.
He has the size, but Bitadze will be behind most NBA players in terms of athletic ability. He’ll have an uphill battle most nights in staying in front of his matchup and also beating them when he has the ball in his hands. It could also limit his effectiveness rebounding the ball. This doesn’t mean he can’t be successful, but he’ll have to play much like Nikola Jokic does to be successful.
Bitadze also needs to work on his passing and his ability to protect the ball. He averaged just 1.2 assists per game, but had 1.4 turnovers per game last season. If he can protect the ball and learn to pass out of the post, he will set up his teammates well and create more space for himself.
While he is good in the post, Bitadze needs to finish strong at the basket. A lot of times he won’t go up strong and will miss his shot as a result. He’ll need to finish better through contact, as he’ll have a lot of big bodies to finish through in the NBA.