Its pretty easy to realize about what Ciukinas brings to the table at first sight. Hes a tall and rather long player that enjoys great mobility. He has quite a good motor, and is capable of running the court almost like a deer, while enjoying pretty nice explosiveness and reactivity. His frame is not bad, even if he needs to work on his body.
Beyond that, things get complicated. Its not easy to find too many assets in his game beyond his physical attributes. On the offensive end, he looks for spaces to score near the basket, where he easily dunks in a very quick leap that shows his good reactivity. He performs pick & roll movements rather well, being quick in the process. He has an unorthodox semi-hook shot that helps him score in the paint against opposition. He can also hit the mid-range jumper, although without consistency at this point. Finishing fastbreaks is another option for him, given how well he runs the floor.
On defense, he has quite good lateral movement for a paint player, and given his size, he displays some very nice tools to become reliable in this department. That size and his athleticism allow him to grab a decent amount of rebounds.
Where do we start? Everything in Ciukinas game screams raw and soft, and the chances are he wont be able to overcome those two adjectives in his development process.
Povilas lacks aggressiveness on both ends of the court. Hes a guy who shows little heart. The Lithuanian league is, in general, rather short sized in the frontcourt, so he can manage to deliver a few good stat-lines playing against the weakest ones. But whenever the competition becomes a little tougher, he disappears.
His offensive game is awfully limited. He barely can play in the low post. That semi-hook he enjoys is totally inefficient going against players of his size, because the release and ball trajectory are too low and easily stoppable, and theres no footwork worthy to speak of. His shot is very inconsistent, and he uses it only if hes fully open and has a world of time to release it. His ball-handling is really poor, and in general, he barely shows PF skills.
On defense, he doesnt get the job done. Not only does he need to gain strength, but his level of intensity should be higher. Hes not too much of a team defender either.
His basketball IQ looks rather low. He doesnt show any special court vision and little signs of smartness while displaying his game.
Although Ciukinas plays in a pretty strong team, that indeed won the ULEB Cup this year, the competition he faces day in and day out in the Lithuanian and Baltic Leagues is weak.
He made his debut in the LKL League (first division in Lithuania) with Alita averaging 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in the 2001/02 season. He soon moved to Lietuvos Rytas, where he averaged in the following campaign 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. In the 2003/04 season, he averaged 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in the domestic competition, while getting 3.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in the ULEB Cup.
Those numbers went down in the season that has just ended (indeed back to what he was averaging a couple of seasons ago), managing only to have 6.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in the Lithuanian League, while getting 6.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in the Baltic League. In the ULEB Cup, he had 4.6 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Ciukinas is one of a handful of 1983 International prospects who are listed in the NBAs Official Draft Guide, and therefore deserves mention. He is automatically eligible for the upcoming draft, but the possibility for him of being called by any franchise should be close to non-existent. If some team intrigued by his size and athleticism selects him, it would only be because they dont know him well enough.
Ciukinas is the kind of guy who not only is really hard to picture developing well enough to make the NBA, but also to play at decent level in top European competition.
This profile has yet to be completed.