Flash back maybe 20 years, and Przemek Karnowski would have been a prospect NBA teams were tripping over each other to draft. In the year of 2017, that is hardly the case.
Case and point: the Charlotte Hornets first two NBA summer league games. Through two games, Karnowski has played just 12 minutes. Albeit, in his first NBA summer league game, his play didn’t necessarily warrant any more time—two turnovers and three fouls to go with just two points. But in yesterday’s game, Karnowski mustered just five minutes. He made the most of those minutes, finishing with four points and three rebounds (two of those offensive).
There is still plenty of time for Karnowski to make an impact during the summer league, but the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. The things that Karnowski excels at: excellent footwork, excellent court vision, methodical an efficient play, those are the things that aren’t necessarily valued in NBA big men anymore.
That is why Zach Collins went in the first round and Karnowski went undrafted. The evolved game of the NBA requires relentless speed. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers final showcased centers need the skills of Draymond Green, not Hakeem Olajuwon.
Karnowski’s game evolved to fit a different era of professional basketball. Which isn’t to say that he won’t find his spot on a roster. A NBA team might give Karnowski a flyer solely because his body size and skill means he is ready for the NBA, if he has to be. Otherwise, it looks like Karnowski is looking at a long and flourishing career in Europe.