Though his size will tempt opposing coaches into guarding him with their shooting guard, his body control, fluid movement, and sneaky speed will cause headaches and lead to double teams. For a player with strong passing ability and tremendous cool under pressure, this situation could lead to finding the open man more often than not. While Ukicís first instinct is to pass, he will make opponents pay if they leave him open with his rapidly improving jump shot. Unfortunately for them, he is also fearless when it comes to penetrating if the opportunity should present itself.
On the other side of the ball, the 23-year-old boasts an imposing wingspan that enables him to block shots and create turnovers. He would offer the Raptors
a strong shutdown defender to guard against some of the leagueís premier point guards and shooting guards.
This is not to say that Ukic doesnít have some work to do as he embarks upon an NBA career. He has yet to become acclimatised to the stronger, faster, tougher North American game, and his slender figure could certainly use some additional bulk before he comes over. But with the skill he possesses on the court, NBA stardom may well be within his considerable grasp.
So before anointing Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, or any other NCAA hype machine as the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year-to-be, donít forget about the latest European import who could be primed to bring some more international flavour to the Toronto Raptors