Scouting: Mareks Mejeris

Name: Mareks Mejeris
Date of Birth: 2nd of September 1992
Nationality: Latvia
Height: 2,07m
Weight: 100 kg
Pro since: 2009
Club: Parma Basket Perm (VTB)
Role: Versatile Big
Key Skills: Passing, Offensive Rebounding, Versatility


Background

Mareks Mejeris is a 28-year-old, lanky big, that can play either the 4 or the 5. After four seasons in Riga he made the jump to Perm – a team that’s build around Lorenzo Williams and Adas Juskevicius as the two main guards and Eigirdas Zukauskas as the swiss army knife on the wing. While those three get the most headlines, Mejeris has been producing for quite a while now and played some of his best basketball of his career before the season was ultimately cancelled. He averaged 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game (28 minutes) while shooting 59.5% from the field.


Strengths

Passing. Makes quick decisions, gets rid of the ball. Finds open teammates, even under pressure. Unselfish. Playmaker if he gets the ball in the short roll area. Finds the weakside shooter when driving to the rim. Kickout passes after offensive rebounds. Integral part of good ball movement.

Height and wingspan. Has great size and really longs arms! Doesn’t look like your prototypical rebounding big, rim protector or post defender, but size and wingspan are a big factor. Alters shots at the rim and bothers people with his length.
Denies entry passes. Causes deflections. Really solid pick and roll defender.

Offensive versatility. Solid pick and roll option playing at the 5, likes to set screens and rolls to the rim. Distributes the ball, finds open teammates. Drives to the rim, finishes with either hand. Good touch with his left. Can knock down catch and shoot threes. Likes to score after dump offs. Hustles for offensive rebounds, gets second chance points. Some post ups and transition buckets here and there – basically a little bit of everything. Efficient from the field.

Offensive rebounding. Long arms, has the size. 2.8 offensive boards per game. Snatches and steals 50/50 balls with his outstretched arms. Goes to the glass.


Weaknesses

Shooting. Below average shooter. Solid from the corner, not good from everywhere else. Really inconsistent. Doesn’t like to shoot many threes, only takes one or two a game. Actually okay (8 out of 23) from deep this year, but hasn’t been good over the course of his career. Only a 66% free throw shooter.

Body/Bulk. Should add weight if he’s playing more as a 5. Has problems against bigger centers, especially in the post. Contests most of the shots and does a good job considering his abilities, but needs a second guy in certain matchups to prevent easy points. Plays with energy, but is physically overmatched at times. Clearly more of a lanky than a brawny big.


Outlook

Mejeris is an unique player. He has the perfect body to be an elite Power Forward, but his below average shooting is concerning. Playing the “5” diminishes that problem, but then his lack of bulk enters the conversation. He might not be good enough for the highest level in Europe, but he’s got great tools to be effective in either role. He makes good decisions with the ball and his length is a huge factor on both ends. He competes every game and you can count on him to do a little bit of everything. He’s in a great spot and really used to full capacity in Perm and should be looking to stay there. He can roll to the rim on offense with Bulanov as a stretch big next to him and be the low turnover, high-efficiency guy that complements a good team. He can play next to a rather traditional big and sneak in some cheap buckets here and there. Outside of Russia you could see him as a versatile big coming off the bench as a 6th man for a team in the 4-7th place (German BBL level) or as the starting 4 or 5 for a team in the 8 to 12th place range.

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