Q&A: Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress on Stephane Lasme

We've already been blessed with President of DraftExpress Jonathan Givony's take on Warriors' rooks Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli. Thankfully the fun don't stop in our Q&A with Jonathan. Up next is 24 year old college swat machine Stephane Lasme who the Warriors took with the 46th pick in the 2nd Round of the 2007 NBA Draft.

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What kind of NBA career does Jonathan project for Lasme?
How will his swatting ability translate in the pros with the Dubs?
(Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

Make the jump for the Q&A!

* Please note that we did this Q&A with Jonathan before Pat Burke was waived by the Warriors.

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Golden State of Mind: Standing at only 6'7 Stephane Lasme was the ultimate block machine at UMass and was good for an eye popping 3.9 blocks per game (5.3 blocks per 40 minutes of play). Lasme will be facing much tougher competition nightly in the NBA against players that are taller, faster, quicker, and stronger. Given this reality how will his shot blocking ability translate to the NBA? How many swats per game do you see him pulling down his inaugural season in the association? How about blocks per 40?

Jonathan Givony (DraftExpress): I honestly don't see Lasme getting much burn at all off the bench for the Warriors. Let's keep in mind that he only has a partially guaranteed contract for the minimum, with not all that much cash up front until he actually makes the team. The Warriors don't really have a 3^rd point guard and gave Pat Burke a partial to come to camp as well (and he has a knack for sticking against all odds), so I think we should first wait and see if Lasme is on an NBA roster before we start projecting his stats for next year. Even if he does, he's still only the 15^th man on the roster. A better question would be what kind of threads will he be rocking from the IR?


Golden State of Mind:
Stephane Lasme has to be one of the older rookies ever drafted at 24 years of age. Most people say at that age he is what he is and won't improve that much. Is it too late for him to be an impact player? What kinds of things does he need to work on to make sure he sticks around the league for a long time?

Jonathan Givony (DraftExpress): Lasme's probably not going to improve as drastically as say a Brandan Wright, so in that regards you are right, his upside definitely isn't as high. I personally don't see Lasme as ever being more than a fringe NBA player at best. His hands are average, he's very undersized, his lower body looks too thin to be able to consistently hold a spot on the block, and offensively he's extremely mechanical. We went out to Las Vegas to watch him train and took in an hour-long session featuring him going up against Ryan Gomes, and also saw him at Portsmouth and the pre-draft camp--so we've gotten our fix.

In my mind, the thing that will probably make or break his NBA career will be how he embraces the rare opportunities he's given to prove himself. He's not a guy that jumps off the page at you immediately with his activity level. That sounds odd considering his rebounding and shot-blocking numbers in college, but to me he's not the kind of guy that you just throw out there and get immediate production from. He seems a bit shy at times...someone who needs to feel comfortable in the environment he's in before he's able to fully show what he's got. Not as much of a beast maybe as you'd hope, but a very cerebral guy. The problem is he might not always get enough playing time to do so, so he better take any opportunity he has with two hands.


Golden State of Mind:
Given what we know of his skills from his collegiate career and workouts, whose NBA career might Lasme's end up modeling most?: 1) Dennis Rodman (pre-bulls) 2) Reggie Evans 3) Tyrone Hill (post Warriors) or 4) Other

Jonathan Givony (DraftExpress): Your first three guys were (or still are) all very successful NBA players. I'm sure you realize that the odds of a mid-2^nd round pick making that kind of impact are incredibly low. I think that the realistic scenario for Lasme would probably be to somewhere between a fringe NBA player and making a solid living overseas, somewhere in between a Justin Williams to a Rolando Howell.

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From Jonathan's analysis and Nellie's recent statement that this rookie big man was on the roster bubble, it really seems like Stephane Lasme is going to have to defy the odds to become an impact player in the NBA. I know I'll definitely be keeping a close tab on Lasme's progress. It would be a great story if his stunning block rate from his time at UMass translated to the NBA at some level and helped the Warriors become a much better defensive team in the paint this season.

Don't forget to check out Stephane Lasme's DraftExpress Profile


Check back soon for some of Jonathan's insights on the much hyped NBA 2k7 Draft Class!

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