Better Know a Draft Pick: Janis Timma

Janis Timma at Adidas Eurocamp 2013.

Mr. Irrelevant in this year's draft, Janis Timma, is the definition of a draft-and-stash pick.

Janis Timma

20 Years Old, 6'7", 226 lbs., SF, BK Ventspils

As a relatively obscure European, there is not much out there on Timma. What we do know is that, although pronounced differently, he shares a name with Janis Joplin, and if someone doesn't photoshop Timma's face on her, then what is the Internet even for?

As for Timma's background, he is from Krāslava, Latvia, a town of approximately 11,000 people. If he ever makes it across the Atlantic to play in the NBA, he will join his countryman Andris Biedrins as the only other Latvian currently in the Association. Currently playing for BK Ventspils, Timma resides in Ventspils, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea. Timma gets scenery like this, so naturally I'm jealous.

On the basketball side of things, the Grizzlies, with limited roster space and financial resources, clearly took Timma with the understanding that he would be a draft-and-stash pick. Timma is a small forward that, at 6'7" has excellent size for his position. He also possesses the graceful athleticism that NBA fans have grown to expect from Europeans over the years. Every move he makes looks incredibly fluid. He can do a little bit of everything offensively, as is demonstrated in the obligatory highlight reel(s) below. Timma has an odd-looking shot that will need refining to make him more consistent from beyond the arc, and his handles are not great, which causes him to settle for outside jumpers rather than take advantage of his physical body and drive to the rim with frequency. In transition, Timma finds space well, and he dribbles well enough to get the ball to the rim on the break and finish well. His defense isn't on an NBA-level right now, but that's the case for most twenty-year old prospects. Despite certain flaws, Timma is a prospect that comes with absolutely no risk for the Grizzlies that also has great potential. Again, check out his highlight reel(s) below.



Off the court, it is difficult to get a feel for Timma's personality, you know, since he doesn't speak very much English on twitter. However, I was able to find this gem of an interaction and picture on his twitter that might give us some insight into who Timma is as a person. As you can see, all the fellow by the name of 'Folarin Campbell' said was "Turkey, here we come." Then followed Timma's response, which you can see below. On first glance, the response seems a little harsh and Janis would seem to be rough around the edges, but I'm sure that's a joke with a teammate. (Sorry if the picture offends anybody. I only used it for levity.)

I'm sure Janis had a similar response to the twenty-nine NBA teams that passed on him in last night's draft... The last thing I will say is Timma looks a lot like Sunshine from "Remember The Titans." For all intents and purposes, let's hope Timma doesn't have the same mannerisms as Sunshine if he ever finds his way over to the states to play for the Grizzlies. I doubt jokingly kissing a teammate on the lips would go over well with any of the Grizzlies, and someone is likely to receive the Tony Allen treatment that O.J. Mayo so painfully received.

It is Timma's birthday on July 2, so I expect every Grizzlies fan to reach out to him on Twitter at @JTiiii and show him some love. Long live Janis. Go Griz!


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