Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (commonly referred to as “Svi”) is a 6’8″ wing player originally from Ukraine. The 21-year-old was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 47th overall pick in the second round of this year’s NBA Draft. Svi was a four-year player at the University of Kansas, where he established himself as a very solid shooter. He ended his collegiate career shooting just under 41% from three-point range, and in his senior year he notched a very strong .434/.444/.804 shooting line (FG%/3P%/FT%).
The Lakers signed him to a multi-year contract during Summer League play, which includes a team option for the 2020-21 season. It was a great time for the Lakers to lock up a shooter with his skill set now, as he really showcased his sharpshooting ability during Summer League action.
During his time in Las Vegas for the Summer League, Svi ranked right at the top of nearly every offensive category. He had the third highest field goal percentage (.483), second most minutes per game (24.8), offensive rebounds per game (1.3), and points per game (16.6), and he also finished as the team’s top three-point converter (.408). While all of those stats are encouraging for a player seeing his first “NBA” action (keep in mind, it is just the Summer League), I believe it is a very good sign that his three-point percentage in Vegas was right around his career college total.
Aside from the counting stats, there are a lot of other things to like about his game that don’t show up on the league leaderboards. In addition to his strong shooting skills, he also showed the ability to handle the ball, drive down the lane, and finish at the rim in several different ways.
When he receives a pass within his shooting range his feet are set about as soon as the ball touches his hands, and other great pure shooters like Ray Allen, Kyle Korver, and J.J. Redick were/are the same way. Though I’m not saying that Svi will be as good of a player as those guys (Allen is a Hall of Famer), it is good to see that readiness and mentality from someone whose job will primarily be to catch and shoot the ball from deep range.
It also looks like he has good instincts on the floor, and there are several plays from the video above that show how high is basketball IQ is for a rookie. One of them comes around the 4:20 mark when he receives a screen from Jeff Ayres. Svi comes around the screen, and when he sees both defenders going toward him he immediately feeds the ball to Ayres (between a defender’s legs) for a wide open dunk. Another solid play came at the 5:22 point where he goes to set a screen for Josh Hart (who also broke out in Vegas and was named the Summer League MVP), and instead makes a sharp cut to the basket for another open dunk and two easy points.
Svi also showed the ability to create space and give himself better looks. You can see a great example of that in the highlight video above at 2:44 mark with a nice little shake-and-bake move, but he showed it all throughout the summer in a variety of styles. He would dribble his way into open looks, create space off of screens by reading which directions the defenders would go, and he would set his teammates up with open looks by driving toward the hoop and drawing an extra defender on himself.
Lakers fans took notice of Svi’s solid play over the summer, and picked up a hashtag that Kansas and their fans had been using for their former sharpshooter. It’s pretty catchy and fits his game, so I’m sure that will hang around with him for the entirety of his career.
#SviFor3 to start the game 👌
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 13, 2018
He might not get an awful lot of playing time this season for the Lakers, and given the amount of NBA experience ahead of him on the roster it’s quite understandable why that will likely be the case. But he does have the ability to make a big impact on the floor in the few minutes he gets, and that is mostly because of his sharp shooting, good overall instincts, and ability to create space for both himself and his teammates.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a name for Lakers fans to keep in mind (or at least write down because it is quite a doozy), because he could turn into a key contributor to the team over the next couple of years.
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