Jontay Porter Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Jontay Porter was the 11th-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class before opting to reclassify, so he could play with his brother in what was expected to be the top recruit’s lone year at Missouri – ending up ranked 25th in the 2017 high school class.

Michael, Jr. dealt with back problems that limited him to just 53 minutes all season but Jontay surprised everyone who isn’t very familiar with high school ball. He was not only an impact player right away in college but a lot of people felt he was good enough to be a one-and-done and get picked in the mid-first round.

Porter attended the 2018 NBA Combine and rumors surfaced that he was about to sign with an agent and forgo the remainder of his amateur eligibility but Porter opted at the deadline to return to Missouri for his sophomore year – disappointing many draftniks in the process.

The 18-year-old averaged 16.1 points per 40 minutes on 56.7% true shooting and put together a 20.6 PER in 33 appearances last season. He led a team in net rating that ranked 32nd in the country in adjusted strength of schedule.

The six-foot-11 stretch big really impressed with his skill and intelligence at such a young age. Though he spent a good chunk of his time on the floor with another big man out there, he projects as a pure center in the pros – profiling as a fit for what the league is looking for in its big men on offense these days.

Besides spacing out to the three-point line away from the ball, Porter offers gravity while screening at the point of attack thanks to his ability to take quick catch-and-shoot jumpers out of the pick-and-pop.

Though not in a physically imposing fashion, he can also post up switches and proved to be exceptional at scanning the floor with his back to the basket – firing up crosscourt passes against double teams to create three-pointers for others.

The concerns regard the other end, where the Columbia native figures to struggle defending out in space – at least as he is currently built. Porter weighed in at 236 pounds at the Combine, with 13.6% body fat. Many speculate teams’ doubts over his conditioning are what encouraged him to return to college for a second year.

That is not to say, however, that he can’t defend. Despite showing a lack of lift, Porter was an effective rim protector when well positioned and did very well in the glass – creating events regularly enough to lead the team and rank second in the conference in defensive rating.

He’s currently placed 13th on ESPN’s latest mock draft.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

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De’Andre Hunter Scouting Report

CONTEXT

De’Andre Hunter was the 77th-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class.

After redshirting his first year at Virginia, he went on to average 18.4 points per 40 minutes on 58.4% true shooting and put together a 22.1 PER in 33 appearances last season.

Though he logged just 657 total minutes, the 20-year-old was a key cog on the team that finished second in the nation in adjusted efficiency margin and won ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors.

Despite the fact he broke his wrist during the conference tournament and missed the team’s loss to Maryland-Baltimore County in the NCAA Tournament, draftniks were enthused with the idea of him entering this year’s class but Hunter opted to return for his sophomore season without even testing the waters.

The Philadelphia native looks the part of what the NBA is looking for in a two-way combo forward these days, which is why he is currently considered the ninth-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class.

Listed at six-foot-seven with a chiseled 222-pound frame and rumored to have a seven-foot-two wingspan, Hunter has enough size and has shown to be tough enough to hold his own against bulkier types in the post and the defensive glass.

He is also mobile and agile enough to defend true perimeter players out in space, aside from offering versatility in pick-and-roll coverage.

On the other end, the Friends Central School alum has operated as a hub to facilitate offense from the elbow area for the most part, as he’s played as a big on Virginia’s two-post system, but has also shown he can take his man one-on-one from the foul line down and that he has a projectable outside shot – even if he didn’t space out to the three-point line as much you’d like.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Keldon Johnson Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Keldon Johnson was the seventh-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class and was considered the 14th-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft prior to Kentucky’s preseason tour in the Bahamas but after his performance in the Caribbean island, he is expected to rise up the boards.

Listed at six-foot-six and 211 pounds, Johnson looks the part of a 3&D wing from a physical-standpoint and based on how he was used last week, it seems this will be the role the 18-year-old will be asked to fill in Lexington as well – given the depth of options the Wildcats have to handle in the perimeter and the more modern motion offense they appear to intend to install for this year.

Only nine of his 40 shots were three-point attempts but he regularly spot-up beyond the arc as a weak-side floor-spacer in the half-court and got most of his touches on the side of the floor – via Iverson cuts and running pick-and-rolls off dribble-handoffs to keep the offense moving.

Johnson averaged 22 points per 40 minutes on 52.5% shooting in the four games against the Bahamas National Team, San Lorenzo, Mega Bemax and a team built with a group of free agents from Toronto.

On the other end, the teenager showed to be a solid individual defender at this stage of his development and impressed with his ability to execute the scheme away from the ball. That said, athletes of his caliber are usually expected to be disrupting forces flying around to create events but that’s not what Johnson showed during this four-game set.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Sekou Doumbouya Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Sekou Doumbouya is the top-ranked European prospect born in 2000 and currently considered the third-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class.

The 17-year-old exploded into the scene 16 months ago, when he averaged 21.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per 40 minutes at the 2016 U18 FIBA European Championships while he was yet to turn 16 at the time of the tournament.

Since then, the teenager hasn’t played for the French National Team at the youth level these past two summers due to injury but has already become a full time pro in the meantime.

INSEP loaned him to Poitiers 86 these last two seasons and Doumbouya logged 59 appearances in the French Pro B. Poitiers didn’t move up to first division, losing 23 of its 34 games last season, but Doumbouya is transferring to CSP Limoges this offseason and will experience the French Pro A this next year.

The Conakry, Guinea native of French citizenship is very well developed for someone his age from a physical-standpoint – sporting a chiseled 230-pound frame. Thanks to that, he was a legit rotation player at Poitiers – starting 24 of his 28 appearances and averaging 23.2 minutes per game last season.

He was developed as a wing for the most part, which was surprising considering he excelled at that 2016 U18 FIBA European Championships playing as a big man – leveraging his athletic ability as a threat near the basket on both ends.

The six-foot-nine combo forward spent most of his time as a weak-side floor-spacer, taking 38.8% of his shots from three-point range last season, but was also given a few chances to isolate on catches off dribble-handoffs on the side of the floor and even run the eventual middle high pick-and-roll against a set defense.

He is an inefficient scorer and unreliable shot creator for others at this point of his development – averaging 14.6 points per 40 minutes on 45% effective shooting and assisting on just 8.3% of Poitiers’ scores when he was on the floor last season. But his jumper looks better than his percentages suggest and he remains an impressive athlete on lob finishes.

On the other end, Doumbouya was asked to defend in a multitude of ways. He can execute the scheme as a weak-side help-defender and is capable enough in isolation defense against similarly-sized players out in space but disappointed in terms of flying around to create events and doesn’t seem suited to pick up smaller players on switches regularly.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Luka Samanic Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Luka Samanic is the second-ranked European prospect born in 2000[1] and currently considered the 14th-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class[2] but has dealt with a lot of ebbs and flows over the last year.

The 18-year-old[3] led Croatia to a first-place finish in the 2017 U18 FIBA European Championship Division B, earning MVP honors along the way, but the season with Barcelona didn’t go as well.

He not only didn’t get any opportunities with the Catalan powerhouse in the Spanish ACB, let alone the Euroleague, but went on to average just 12.7 minutes per game in his 22 appearances with the second team in the Spanish LEB Gold[4].

In his limited 280-minute sample against that level of competition, the six-foot-10 stretch big averaged 21.2 points per 40 minutes but on just 43.2% effective shooting, while compiling a 9.2 PER.

Needing a little bit of a pick-me-up midway through that run, he was put on the junior squad that participated in the Cuitat De L’Hospitalet regional portion of the Adidas Next Generation Tournament and killed it against his age group.

Samanic averaged 34.2 points per 40 minutes on just 42.1% effective shooting but while logging 35% usage and compiling a 31.8 PER in 108 minutes, earning MVP honors and leading Barcelona to three wins in four games – falling just short of qualifying to the Final Four that is played during Euroleague Final Four weekend.

Displeased with his lack of opportunities with the first team, the Zagreb native surprised many earlier this summer by not re-signing with Barcelona and transferring to Union Olimpija instead – where one assumes he was promised a real chance of earning minutes in the Adriatic League, the FIBA Basketball Champions League and the Slovenian SKL.

His fortunes haven’t completely turned just yet, though. Samanic finished a reasonably strong appearance at the 2018 U18 FIBA European Championships Division A this weekend, where he averaged 25.6 points per 40 minutes on 57% effective shooting and compiled a 28.7 PER but couldn’t lift Croatia any higher than a 11th-place finish, as the team was minus-19 in his 159 minutes[5].

Samanic did most of his work with his back to the basket, as Croatia played an offense designed to get three-pointers out of posting up its big men, drawing double teams and then swinging the ball around the perimeter. He struggled to get particularly impressive looks for himself but did very well creating for others – assisting on 18.7% of Croatia’s scores when he was on the floor[6].

His two-point percentage stayed close to 50% thanks to a few finishes near the basket and catch-and-shoot long-twos but other than passing, Samanic was at his most effective as a three-point shooter when he got a few shots out of spacing out to the three-point line and on pick-and-pops. He was also an effective presence in the offensive glass.

On the other end, Samanic was asked to defend pick-and-rolls in a multitude of ways and showed a lot of versatility in terms of being able to execute the many coverages, as he is quite mobile and nimble for someone his height. Samanic also showed to be an effective rim protector when well positioned.

INTERIOR OFFENSE

He has a slight 210-pound frame in the context of his height and struggles to get a deep seal in the low post, often getting pushed further close to the three-point arc.

Samanic hasn’t yet developed any power moves and has a hard time knocking his defender back in order to create space for basic turnaround hooks. He is great at feeling double teams and has very good court vision, though. Besides igniting passing sequences on quick touch passes, Samanic also launched some impressive passes across the court to the opposite end.

He has a decent head-fake to try getting his defender out of position and pretty good touch on his right-handed hook when he does manage to get a shot off but his best work making a move out of a post touch was via turning it into a face-up isolation or pivot-moving into a quick baseline drive.

He is well coordinated for someone his height, has light feet pivoting into putting the ball on the floor and has a rip-through move into burst to get an advantage in his first step.

Even in these instances, the best outcome was often him finding teammates against a collapsing defense on shovel passes over the top to the other big at the dunker spot or drop-offs to perimeter players on diagonal cuts and hammer passes across his body from under the rim to the corner.

Samanic also has a third dimension to his passing, as he proved himself able to catch the ball on the move, cut his roll short and kickout to a spot-up shooter in a pinch – assisting on 18.7% of Croatia’s scores when he was on the floor.

He is not an explosive leaper off two feet without some space to load up but showed great touch on non-dunk finishes – on righty finger-roll finishes off a jump-stop and righty scoop finishes dealing with a rim protector parked between him and the basket.

Samanic is rumored to have only a six-foot-10 wingspan[7] and isn’t a particularly high leaper but played with a decent motor looking to create second chance opportunities in the offensive glass – collecting 12% of Croatia’s misses when he was on the floor. He is not a powerful leaper off two feet in a crowd but has a quick second jump to make an impact on tip-ins and fight for 50-50 balls.

PERIMETER OFFENSE

After nailing just 28.2% of his 71 three-point shots with Barcelona last season, Samanic shot the ball very well this summer.

He gets little elevation off the ground but dips for rhythm, rises up in great balance, has fluid mechanics, fully elevates himself for a high release and regularly gets a high arc on his shot.

Samanic offered gravity as a weak-side floor-spacer on spot-ups and drifting around the wing but also proved he is able to hit quick bombs out of the pick-and-pop and as the back-screener in Spain pick-and-rolls – nailing nine of his 19 three-point shots in the tournament, at a pace of 4.7 such attempts per 40 minutes.

He is a so-so screener who looks to draw contact but whose thin frame isn’t all that challenging for tenacious on-ball defenders to slide around. Nonetheless, Samanic showed he can adjust his feet quickly and pull the trigger comfortably enough prior to or over contests more often than not.

As was, he demanded hard closeouts and was able to put the ball on the floor a lot on straight line drives. Samanic has long strides to get all the way to the basket against a scrambling defense, can mix in a spin move to weave his way through traffic and is an explosive leaper off one foot going up off momentum.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

Samanic was asked to defend pick-and-rolls in a variety of ways and proved he is at least capable of executing each of the many different coverages.

He is nimble enough to show-and-recover – blitzing at the three-point line against a pull-up threat and backpedalling to hustle back to the roll man quickly enough for the weak-side rotations not to get terribly exposed.

Samanic can hedge and influence ball-handlers way high in the perimeter as well – forcing dribble drives to go sideways and then hustling back to even the matchups behind him quickly.

He is also an option to pick up smaller players on switches – bending his knees to get down in a stance and showing he has several slides in him to stay in front of shifty players out in space, at least against the level of competition he faced in Latvia.

And last but not least, Samanic is also effective in drop back defense – keeping pace with ball-handlers getting downhill on straight line drives, using his eight-foot-10 standing reach to contest pull-ups effectively and even flashing quick leaping ability off two feet to block close-range attempts defending on the ball.

INTERIOR DEFENSE

Samanic logged some of his time at center and did well as a help defender for the most part. He has developed decent recognition skills and awareness coming off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense, putting himself in position to challenge a lot of shots.

Some opponents managed to score through him, as his lack of above average length and bulk hurt him in a few instances. But he was also fairly effective impacting shots via verticality and still managed to pick up more than a few blocks – averaging 2.7 blocks per 40 minutes in the event.

Samanic is attentive enough to his responsibilities putting a body on an opponent close by but isn’t very physical with his boxouts. Nonetheless, he was able to rely on his quickness chasing the ball off the rim quicker than this level of competition – collecting 25.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

OUTLOOK

After a disappointing season with Barcelona, Samanic wasn’t necessarily dominant at the 2018 U18 FIBA European Championships, at least not in a way that elevated the level of his team.

He showed more than enough to remain one of the most interesting prospects of the 2019 draft class, though.

Samanic projects as a good shooter, who could offer floor spacing at the point of attack, can put the ball on the floor to drive against closeouts and has shown to be a versatile passer – capable of creating for others on the move and as a hub to facilitate offense.

In a time where teams like to create three-pointers off movement while posting up to give time for these actions to work themselves out or having perimeter players get a head-start by darting around big man on handoffs, Samanic figures to be an excellent fit for what the NBA is looking for in its big men right now.

That’s also the case because he’s shown to be capable of guarding the pick-and-roll in a multitude of ways, most importantly by being able to bother ball-handlers way out in the perimeter – which is quickly becoming a must in a league where pull-up threats are multiplying by the day.

That said, his frame needs to develop for him to belong from a physical-standpoint, especially considering that most of the potential he offers as a difference maker relies on his ability to eventually play center full-time.


[1] According to Eurospects

[2] According to ESPN

[3] DOB: 1/9/2000

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to FIBA

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to Draft Express

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

Zion Williamson Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Zion Williamson was the second-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class and is currently considered the seventh-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class.

The 18-year-old has a remarkable frame for someone his age, as Duke currently lists him at 285 pounds. All that mass is reasonably well distributed within his six-foot-seven height and led to him consistently overwhelming competition at the high school and AAU levels.

Williamson looks like he could be dropped into an NBA game right now and belong just fine from a physical-standpoint, though all that bulk at his young age does raise concerns over his conditioning for the near future.

On top of that general size, he is very nimble for someone his weight and an explosive leaper off two feet, without needing to load up to go up. Thanks to that ability to act as a constant threat above the basket on both ends and his strength, Williamson projects as a big man at higher levels.

However, the lefty had quite a few opportunities to handle the ball at Spartanburg Day and with SC Supreme, flashing some very intriguing potential as a shot creator from the perimeter – invoking comparisons to LeBron James on some corners of the internet.

Williamson is well-coordinated for someone with his body type and very few players in his age group were able to contain his bulldozer drives. But his skill level is still early in its development and the teenager hasn’t yet shown the flashes of geniality we’ve seen from James, so those comparisons appear to be misguided and unfortunate.

As is, his time at Duke should offer more clarity in terms of what can be reasonably expected of Williamson once he fits into a team that also has to worry about accommodating all the other high end talent around him. It will also illuminate us on his true level of commitment to defense.

He looked quite bored more often than not and rarely played with the sort of intensity you’d like to see from an athlete of his caliber.

With his combination of size and athleticism, Williamson has the potential to be a dominant defender, both on the ball and acting as a weak-side helper. But regular effort and attention to his responsibilities executing the scheme are also part of the equation, and in those areas he still has plenty of room to improve.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

Bol Bol Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Bol Bol was the fourth-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class and is currently considered the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class.

The seven-foot-two center is viewed like a potential unicorn – able to protect the rim on one end and space the floor out to the three-point line on the other.

He’s certainly proven himself a very impactful shot blocker when well positioned, as Findlay Prep had him hang back close to the basket at all times, but his energy level and physicality leave a lot to be desired at this point of his development. As a result, Bol is not the dominant defensive rebounder his general size suggests he should be, though his positioning consistently secured him healthy numbers.

The 18-year-old is also yet to show he is mobile enough to extend pick-and-roll defense above the foul line, which is rapidly becoming a must for big men at the NBA level, given the growing importance of the pull-up three-pointer.

On the other end, most of his touches came in the post, where he struggled to generate good-looking looks more often than not due to his lack of strength, or in the extended elbow area, where the Oregon commit showed his fondness for face-up isolating against his man. He can look intriguing operating off the dribble every now and again but appears to be a long way away from earning a living doing that.

In the near future, Bol projects as someone who can make an impact as a finisher, second chance creator and eventual pick-and-pop shooter but pretty much all of those look theoretical at this time.

Findlay pretty much never had him rolling down the lane off a ball-screen, his energy in the offensive glass left a lot to be desired as well and he rarely gets his three-pointers up – more often than not putting the ball on the floor to try creating something needlessly more complicated, in part due to the fact his unorthodox release requires him to be wide-open for him to get the ball out.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)