Goga Bitadze
21-Year-Old CenterC
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Out of the country of Georgia, Bitadze was drafted 18th overall by the Pacers. He boasts the size (7-feet, 258 pounds) and skillset of a modern NBA center with the ability to score inside and out. Bitadze also has shown the ability to be a strong interior defender and shot-blocker, but lacks the verticality of some big men in the league. He's just 20 years old, but like many international prospects, has been a professional basketball player for a long time. Bitadze went pro in 2015-16, and he played 51 games and made 29 starts between two separate teams last season, averaging 13.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 assists in 23.4 minutes. His shooting splits were impressive, as the big man shot 57.1 percent from the field, 67.9 percent from the charity stripe, and went 36-of-90 (40.0 percent) from distance. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are ahead of the rookie in the rotation, but it appears Bitadze will have the first crack at the backup center role. While it's unlikely he'll hold standard league fantasy relevance, he makes for an intriguing deep league or dynasty option as a young big who can block shots and hit threes. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $5.77 million contract with the Pacers in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

Goga Bitadze was born in 1999 in the small town of Sagarejo in Kakheti, Georgia. Sagarejo is home to less than 11,000 people and is on the eastern side of Georgia. Bitadze's father was a basketball player whose career was cut short by injury. Bitadze started competing in professional leagues when he was 16 years old, playing for teams in Georgia, Serbia and Montenegro. Bitadze played for Georgia at the junior level during FIBA tournaments in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Bitadze joined the Georgian national basketball team at EuroBasketball 2017 but couldn't play due to a calf injury. Later in 2017, at the FIBA World Cup qualifier games, Bitadze made his national team debut. The 6-foot-11 big man's name is pronounced GO-gah bih-TAH-zay.

College/International Summary

Goga Bitadze's pre NBA career took him all over the Balkan states of Europe. He split the 2018-19 season between Mega Bemax and Buducnost teams of the Serbian, Adriatic and EuroLeague leagues. In 13 EuroLeague games, four of them starts, Bitadze posted 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game, shooting almost 55% from the floor. The year before, he played for Mega Bemax's top team and their U-19 squad. Over 22 contests for Mega Bemax in the Adriatic League, Bitadze averaged 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds over 23 minutes per contest. In 2016-17, Bitadze split time between Smederevo of the Serbian league and the Mega Bemax U-18 team, which played in the Adidas NGT.

Cleared to play
CIndiana Pacers
August 14, 2020
Bitadze (knee) is available off the bench Friday against the Heat, Tony East of the West Indianapolis Community News reports.
ANALYSIS
Despite dealing with a sore knee, Bitadze will continue seeing action. In his four bubble appearances, he's averaged 4.0 points, 1.8 rebounds and a combined 1.6 blocks-plus-steals across 11.3 minutes.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

The 18th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Bitadze appeared in 54 games for the Pacers as a rookie. In 8.7 minutes per game, Bitadze averaged 3.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks. He hit 46.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, while shooting 72.7 percent at the free-throw line. Bitadze made his NBA debut on Oct. 26 against the Cavaliers, playing four minutes off the bench and finishing with two points and one rebound. Two games later, on Nov. 1 against the Cavaliers, Bitadze posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double in 25 minutes. He made his first NBA start on Nov. 3 against Chicago, posting nine points, four rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in 19 minutes. On Nov. 6 against Washington, Bitadze scored a season-high 13 points, to go with three rebounds and an assist. He established another season-high on Nov. 5 against Charlotte with 11 rebounds. Bitadze registered four blocks in three consecutive games to begin November. After the season restarted in Orlando, Bitadze appeared in five of the Pacers' 12 contests.

2019
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Transaction History
  • June 20, 2019
    Drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the 1st round (18th pick) of the 2019 NBA Draft.
  • July 15, 2019
    Signed a multi-year, rookie contract with the Indiana Pacers
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More Fantasy News
Questionable with sore knee
CIndiana Pacers
Knee
August 13, 2020
Bitadze is considered questionable for Friday's game against the Heat due to a sore left knee.
ANALYSIS
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Plays 11 minutes in loss
CIndiana Pacers
August 7, 2020
Bitadze put up three points (1-4 FG, 1-2 FT), one rebound and one block in 11 minutes during Thursday's 114-99 loss to the Suns.
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Backup minutes possible Thursday
CIndiana Pacers
August 6, 2020
Bitadze (knee) will be available for Thursday's game against the Suns, and coach Nate McMillan will "try to get him minutes," J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star reports.
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Questionable vs. Suns
CIndiana Pacers
Knee
August 5, 2020
Bitadze (knee) is questionable for Thursday's contest against the Suns.
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Available Tuesday
CIndiana Pacers
August 4, 2020
Bitadze will be available for Tuesday's game against the Magic, Jeremiah Johnson of Fox Sports Indiana reports.
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