San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospect #2: Vrenz Bleijenbergh (Antwerp Giants)
Vrenz Bleijenbergh seems to be quickly rising up draft boards as of late, and for very good reason. The 6’10” point-forward out of Belgium is currently playing for the Port of Antwerp Giants of the Belgian Pro Basketball League and has made some serious strides in his game compared to his previous couple of seasons.
Bleijenbergh has already been compared to the likes of Aleksej Pokusevski and a young Kristaps Porzingis for his lanky frame and shooting ability, shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc on about five attempts per game. While this is obviously already above average for a player of his size, his main draw is that he is also proving himself to be an above-average facilitator, recording just over 3 assists per game in 19 BSL games and 10 Eurocup games this season. Essentially, Bleijenbergh is a player with the length of a power forward or center that has the speed and skills of a guard.
If that last bit of information sounds a little familiar, it may be because it sounds an awful lot like scouting reports of Luka Samanic as he was entering the draft. Personally, I am a sucker for versatile players like that, and I could envision a team gambling on Bleijenbergh sometime late in the first round much like how the Spurs gambled with Samanic. If Bleijenbergh continues to put on some weight, his shooting and playmaking both translate to the NBA, and can hold his own on defense, he could have some serious upside down the line.
If the Spurs plan to play Bleijenbergh as a playmaking power forward, similarly to the role that Demar Derozan is playing now, this could potentially have some negative implications for Luka Samanic in the future. On the other hand, if the Spurs intend to play Bleijenbergh as a guard or wing, he could be a key piece of the bench unit for a long time, with the potential to eventually slide into the starting lineup if his development goes better than expected.
With whatever the Spurs decide to do with him, Bleijenbergh would immediately provide the Spurs with more shooting and playmaking, and could potentially even become a versatile defender in the future.
Next: Player #1