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Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk — 6′ 8″ Guard/Forward, Kansas, 21 Years Old
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a sharp-shooting, versatile wing from Cherkasy, Ukraine, who gained plenty of valuable experience in high-pressure situations over his four years at Kansas. While few college players with NBA-level talent wind up staying all four years in college, Mykhailiuk pulled out of the draft last year after testing the waters to return for his senior season. The decision paid off, as Mykhailiuk posted career highs across the board, averaging 14.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 44.4% from three.
All that is left now for Mykhailiuk is to wait to hear his name called on June 21. Although he is expected to be an early-to-mid second-round pick, there are no guarantees in the NBA Draft. The 2018 draft class also happens to be a deep one, with plenty of second- and third-year talent declaring for this June’s draft. Either way, Mykhailiuk has done all he can to prove his worth in college. Regardless of where he is picked, there is reason to believe he will find success at the next level.
Looking at Mykhailiuk’s season averages, the 2.9 made threes per game and 44.4 percent on threes jumps off the page. Simply put, Mykhailiuk was deadly from behind the arc in 2017-18 and has been for three years running. His height, at 6’8″, allows him to get shots off on the wing contested or not, which makes him a very difficult spot-up shooter to defend. While Mykhailiuk may need to shoot his way through an adjustment period to the deeper NBA three-point line, his range should not be a problem in the long run. He loves running the break and always goes to the right spots on the court. That allows the ball to find him in transition for open threes. Mykhailiuk’s presence also means you can’t sag off him and clog the lane, creating driving lanes for his teammates.
Aside from his shooting ability, Mykhailiuk is also a very smart player offensively and an underrated defender. He consistently makes the right decision with the ball in his hands and possesses above-average court vision. Mykhailiuk has also proved to be a fundamentally sound and disruptive defender on the perimeter. Most importantly, Mykhailiuk has experienced and excelled in a number of pressure situations for the Jayhawks. Overall, Mykhailiuk is a committed team player who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to positively affect the game.
Mykhailiuk is very likely never going to be a player who can create offence off the dribble. Although he can space the floor and spot up with efficiency, he is not the most explosive athlete on the floor. This could hamper his ability to keep up with elite level wings in the NBA. Mykhailiuk also has a shorter wingspan (6’4.75″) than his 6’8″ stature, which will make it more difficult to guard quicker and longer-armed opponents at the next level. Still, what he lacks in explosiveness, he makes up for with his height and smarts.
Living behind the arc, he is more of a perimeter player than someone who will get involved underneath the basket. This was evidenced by his modest rebounding total of 3.9 per game as a senior. Mykhailiuk can also live and die too much by his shot, hurting the rest of his game during cold streaks. If his shot isn’t falling, it can sometimes be difficult to keep him on the floor.
While Mykhailiuk may at times be challenged defensively, he has the makeup to become a solid two-way wing and a legitimate weapon beyond the arc. Like many great Kansas Jayhawks before him, Mykhailiuk has benefited and grown under the guidance of Bill Self. That added maturity both on and off the floor should allow him to step right in and contribute faster than some other, more raw prospects drafted around him in the second round.
Ultimately, Mykhailiuk is a player whose progression at the NBA level may be largely affected by his surroundings. Mykhailiuk could excel in the right situation on a team that moves the ball well and finds the open man. For teams that slow it down and play more in isolation, Mykhailiuk’s game is not as strong of a fit.
NBA Player Comparison
Mykhailiuk’s game shares many similarities to the Indiana Pacers‘ Bojan Bogdanovic. They can both really shoot it and have solid all-around games to match, although Mykhailiuk may have a bit more upside as a passer. They are also both smart players with the ball in their hands and play team-oriented basketball. A higher-end comparison, or the best-case scenario for Mykhailiuk, could also be drawn with Kyle Korver. Of course, Mykhailiuk must first establish himself as an elite spot-up shooter at the highest level before reaching Korver’s status. Still, it is nonetheless a target for Mykhailiuk to shoot for over the next several years as he develops.
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