International Profile Part 2: Juan Nunez
While scoring in this era of basketball has become the biggest highlight, being a traditional guard is still necessary oftentimes. Some players are not meant to be big-time scorers on a nightly basis. There are a few that are great at distributing that they don’t have to put the ball in the hole. Juan Nunez is a player that fits into that category with traditional guards. The Spanish native tends to be very successful at handling point guard duties and understands how to place his teammates in the right position.
Just like other talents overseas, Nunez is exposed to tough competition at an early age. The 17-year-old prospect began his career playing for the U18 Real Madrid team just a few seasons ago. As Nunez has continued to create a name for himself, he has been projected to become a top prospect out of the 2023 NBA Draft. Adding a few more seasons under his belt could boost his draft stock tremendously with the more he produces.
An In-Depth Look at Nunez
Nunez Game Breakdown
Nunez is arguably known as one of the best passers overseas. He is crafty with the basketball and can make passes an average playmaker wouldn’t. He can spot a teammate or a set from a mile away and execute the offense to perfection. Watching Nunez dish the basketball often gives me flashbacks of how Killian Hayes was passing during his days in France. It’s a given talent with the way Nunez distributes the offense with his phenomenal basketball IQ.
Not only is Nunez a terrific passer, but he also shows some signs as a scorer and defender as well. Using his length and some athleticism, Nunez knows how to make his way to the basket for easy layups. He finds gaps better than others and finds a way to penetrate the lane. Nunez also has a tremendous mid-range shot as he’s able to size up defenders and create his own shot. Although he doesn’t always display scoring, Nunez has a little creativity to his game that’s exciting to watch.
There are a few players that come to mind when I think of Juan Nunez. The first player is Argentina legend, Manu Ginobili. San Antonio Spurs fans remember the amount of excitement they got from watching Manu make his way to the basket. The Spurs legend has had numerous acrobatic finishes around the rim. Let’s not also forget to mention how great of a passer Manu was as well. Nunez shows some of those same similarities. He understands how to be a great distributor alongside making his way to the rim while penetrating.
Another player that he shows similarities to is Killian Hayes, as I mentioned earlier. Hayes prioritized scoring a little more than Nunez does. But the passing ability is there for both players. Hayes showed in France and the NBA that he can control the offense with his playmaking ability. He’s another player that people could consider a traditional guard. Nunez and Hayes are both brilliant minds at the playmaking position and lead the way to their team’s success.
How to Continue Improving?
While Nunez is still growing and maturing, his game will take him where he needs to go. As he prepares himself for the 2023 NBA Draft, there are always areas to improve to make himself stand out compared to his peers. Although scoring is not a priority for Nunez, the question is how can he find the balance as being a threat both scoring and as a playmaker? Nunez displays the mid-range shot and ability to attack. His three-point shot still needs work but he can knock down shots occasionally.
The defense will force Nunez to beat them as a scorer. So it will be his job to become more aggressive when needed to. Depending on what organization he lands to, scoring won’t have to be that big of a deal as there are others that can carry the load. It is best for him to be surrounded by players who can put the ball in the hoop, which will make him more impactful.
Can Juan Nunez continue to climb the charts as a top rookie in the 2023 NBA Draft class? More development and being a standout star overseas will help his stock tremendously. According to many insiders around the international game, Nunez is a fantastic point guard for a second unit that could make his way to becoming a starter. Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images