Draft profiles: Sergey Karasev, 6'7, 200 lbs., SG/SF, Russia

Draft profiles: Sergey Karasev, 6'7, 200 lbs., SG/SF, Russia

Athletically, Karasev is going to have concerns at the next level.   In terms of lateral quickness and hops, Karasev isn’t athletic enough to defend SGs in the NBA, nor is he big or strong enough to defend SFs.  He’ll likely struggle to defend against players who can create off the dribble though at 6’7 with a decent wing-span he’ll have some ability to defend smaller players with his size and positioning.


Size-wise, while being skinny, Karasev presents nice height as a shooting guard.  Karasev is able to shoot over opponents and if he sticks as a two, could post up opponents if he’s able to add some bulk. As a three, Karasev is a bit undersized. He’ll likely defend the weaker of the opposing wing players, so the real question will be who he draws defensively from the opposing team.

Off-Court Issues

There are no reported off the court issues with Karasev.

Basketball IQ and Will to Want It

Karasev is a tough competitor and shows tremendous basketball IQ.  While being overmatched physically at times, he still holds his own defensively playing pro ball overseas and limited time in tours in the U.S.  He does this by will, anticipation and knowing his opponents weaknesses.  With age and an NBA conditioning program, Karasev has some athletic upside and could become a more hard nosed player.

Karasev, to me, possesses the highest basketball IQ in this draft.  He understands floor spacing, where to set up to shoot, when to pass, what angles to play both offensively and defensively, and plays like a chess player who’s two moves ahead of his opponent.  Karasev has the will, the basketball IQ, and the skills which should help him overcome his athletic deficiencies.


Skill-wise, Karasev is very advanced at his age.  Karasev’s known for his shooting and at 6’7 can shoot over the top of most shooting guards. However, he also passes with flair and can take what opponents give him.  While not a natural creator off the dribble, he has the ball handling to create his smooth mid-range jumper and the vision to find open shooters or cutters when given a little space or creating room on a catch and pump fake.  He also uses jab steps occasionally to set up plays.

Defensively, Karasev will likely struggle at the next level.  While he is heady and knows how to play players, quicker, athletic players will take advantage of his limited athleticism. That said, Karasev did average over 4 rebounds a game at age 19 which shows his will to mix it up despite limited athleticism.


Overall, Karasev is an intriguing talent based on his understanding of the game, shooting, handles, and passing.  Top this off, and he is a lefty which allows him to play at different angles than most opponents are used to.  He’s comparable to a slightly taller Marco Belinelli with some upside or a slightly less athletic left-handed Klay Thompson with a little more passing and ball-handling but less defense. 

How does he fit with the Bulls?

The Bulls needs more shooters/ball-handlers, and Karasev can do both.  Will Karasev be athletic enough to play more than a role off the bench though?  My gut feeling about him is that he will be a very good player at the next level, and he has been my second favorite option after Gorgui Dieng if either are available and ahead of Tim Hardaway Jr. 

However, I really go back and forth between Dieng and Karasev and whom I would want to draft, and if possible to move up without giving up too much, I would move up to draft Karasev.  I just feel he has the potential to compliment our team well.  Recently, it has been reported that Dieng might have some knee issues, and we need less injury prone players.


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  • I hate to compare him to other foreign players...wait, no I don't, it's much easier that way. He reminds of a bigger Belinelli. Shooting specialist with some ball handling, passing skills and great bball IQ.

    I like him, but im not in love with him. It looks like CLE is really interested though, and reports are they might trade their 19th pick to move up to take DAL's 13 (and Marion's contract) to take him because they don't think he'll still be on the board at 19.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    That's a bad trade for CLE.

  • With so many excellent shooters in this draft, one of them will likely become an impact player -- but which one?

    Personally, I feel that Green has the best chance, and even tho he scored 25 points per game, he seems to be under the radar. Plus, he had almost 6 assists per game, which is not bad considering his teammates could not shoot! And he ran the point. So, he is a PG with good court vision, not just a shooter.

    There is no sure thing in this draft, but try to get the guys with the highest potential. Since Deng is probably gone next summer, trading him for picks makes a lot of sense, especially in this draft. I expect that to happen, before the draft ideally, but otherwise before the trade deadline during the season -- unless the Bulls are tearing up the league as they did 2 and 3 seasons ago.

    Dieng or Withey would help the Bulls, but could they become impact players? I do not think so. Maybe I am being greedy, but I think the best shot to become elite is to draft the guys who could become elite. After the lottery picks, those guys are mostly Gs. So pick those.

  • Thanks Kevin. Yet another review and an update on Dieng's status.

    It's funny how as the finality of the draft approaches you see a lot of rumors and reactionary knee jerking. Remembering that both manipulation of draft order and media ratings often fuel unfounded speculation. Then again, sometimes legit info leaks in the form of warnings that surface as in damning information that was heretofore covered up. Subterfuge or vital last second intell?

    Karasev at the wing with sub par speed and athleticism, and a solid but not exceptional handle, I'm going to have to pass. I might be willing to take a chance on a guy I've never seen play as in a Euro, but he's got to have defensive viability especially if he's limited offensively. Still, I understand Kevin's interest due to his shooting and potential as in court I.Q. sans excellent passer etc..

    Dieng had screws in his arm/wrist after being injured in a fall during a game. I googled his knee injury, and I couldn't find much. It's interesting as in concerning that he skipped the Draft combine speed and agility measurements due to a "sprained ankle." I still like Dieng unless his knee is micro-fracture or somebody can give more concrete information as in damning medical evidence regarding his knee or wrist.

    If the Bulls plan on keeping the warrior yet oft playoff injured Noah(as his salary may dictate regardless) then I might prefer Hardaway as in a more likely offensive infusion then spending a first on a sub(Dieng) with less then stellar offensive ability. Though Tim Jr's lack of prolific scoring and sub par steals and rebound numbers do present concerns as well.

    As of now I'd have Dieng's value above Hardaway's, but Tim could turn out to be a good offensive addition to a winning franchise. It's a tough choice.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo sports who is at times on the mark is tweeting that lower 20's first round teams are becoming a sellers market looking to dump picks. That would make sense as a lot of franchises botch such picks anyway. Whether the Bulls would want to trade down remains to be seen though again history suggests they stand pat at or near 20.

    If they draft Dieng or Hardaway at 20 I'll be fine with it. Or if they trade down say with OKC for example I'd be pleased if they added two NBA ready character shooters and prolific scorers in Canaan and Erick Green(again though this will likely never happen in part because it would mean Rose spending legit minutes at the two).

    A Deng trade for draft trade up in 12-15 range I'm targeting Shane Larkin or Kelly Olynyk. But odds are according to K.C. it's a big at 20 being Gorgui, Whitey, or Professor(Mason) Plumlee, with a wrench, in the kitchen(Clue ref). Or "Tim Hardaway Jeeeuuuuunnnioorrrrr." Or a Euro stash as in money in an eastern European mattress.

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