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This Petr Cornelie NBA Draft profile dives into the strengths and weaknesses of the French power forward.
Petr Cornelie – Power Forward – 6’11” 220 lbs, France, 20 Years Old
Petr Cornelie is a French power forward who plays for LNB Pro A team Le Mans Sarthe Basket. Cornelie joined the team’s youth academy at the age of 15. He made his debut during the 2013-14 season, but didn’t become a first team regular until the following season. Cornelie made significant progress during the 2014-15 season, a year that saw him win the Pro A Rising Star Award. Cornelie also has international experience, playing for the French national team at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 youth levels. He is just one of five French players to declare themselves for this year’s NBA Draft. Cornelie is expected to be an early second round pick.
Cornelie has good size and is very mobile as well. Standing at 6’11”, Cornelie uses his frame very well, with the ability to run the floor and attack the paint, as well as to pull up for a mid or close range jumper. Cornelie has very long arms and looks runs down the court smoothly. He is an explosive athlete with a good vertical leap, he’s instinctive, and he rebounds well at both ends of the court. Cornelie can hit three-pointers, a big advantage for a player his size; he shot 40% from three whilst playing in France. He is versatile, possessing the ability to play center as well as power forward. Cornelie also has pedigree, as his mother was a former Czech basketball player and his father played in the Pro B, France’s second best league. Cornelie clearly comes from a basketball family, as his sister is also making her way into the world of basketball, having spent time playing for the University of Dayton.
Cornelie only weighs 220 lbs, and some reports even call that generous. He will need to bulk up if he is to be successful in the NBA. Cornelie will want to attack the paint just like he always would do in France, but he simply will not be able to do so against players in the Association who are bigger, stronger, and smarter than those in France. Cornelie lacks post moves and the ability to pass out of the post, a crucial set of skills for big men to have in today’s NBA. Free throws are also a problem for Cornelie, as he shot just under 70% from the line last season. Cornelie is an exciting and intriguing prospect heading into the NBA Draft, but he definitely has to polish certain areas of his game, going forward.
Cornelie looks like a potential NBA reserve. That’s not a bad thing, but he lacks certain aspects of his game to be a consistent starter in the NBA. It’s also likely that Cornelie ends up back in Europe at some point. If he hits his stride and finds the right team, then Cornelie could have a long career in the league, but it’s unlikely that he ever ends up being a starter.
NBA Player Comparison
Petr Cornelie reminds me of a player who really never got going in the NBA, James Augustine. Augustine was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2006 and played just two years in the league. Augustine played slightly underweight for most of his NBA career, just like Cornelie will start out. Augustine now plays in Europe, for Russian team Khimki. Augustine was drafted 41st overall; similarly, most 2016 NBA mock drafts have Cornelie going in the early forties. Cornelie will hope to play more than two years in the NBA, and will probably be able to, but it’s difficult to say that his story won’t follow Augustine’s.
Watch to see where Petr Cornelie lands on draft day, and be sure to keep yourself updated with our complete coverage of the 2016 NBA Draft.