(First posted at RealGM)
Chriss is one of the best athletes in the draft if not the very best one.
The owner of a six-foot-10, 233-pound frame, he combines that size with fluidity in space, quickness in tight areas, explosiveness off the ground and impressive leaping ability for someone that tall.
Thanks to that physical profile, Chriss excels in the athletic part of the game; he can sprint up the court in transition and play above the rim as a target for lobs in the pick-and-roll or out of the dunker spot. Showcasing nice touch on non-dunk finishes against length as well, Chriss converted 68.5% of his 146 shots at the rim last season – according to hoop-math.
He also possesses a nine-foot standing reach and second jump-ability to fight for tip-ins and 50-50 balls in the offensive glass, collecting 10.1% of Washington’s misses when he was on the floor last season – according to our stats database.
On the other end, his athletic prowess translates in his ability to block shots rotating in help-defense and, more importantly in this day and age, pick up smaller players on switches – including point guards.
But the reason why Chriss is expected to be drafted in the top five on Thursday regards combining those physical gifts with the flashes of a very appealing face-up game.
He hit 35% of his 60 three-point shots and 43.9% of his 132 mid-range jumpers, with a shooting stroke that makes you feel confident those percentages can hold up fine or even improve if he gets to play with better shot creators.
Chriss is mostly only a weak-side threat as a shooter at this point, as he was not put in the pick-and-pop a whole lot, but proved himself very capable of making an open shot from deep range. He elevates in balance and shows great rhythm in his release, with pretty impressive footwork and no moving parts.
That shooting also showcased itself in the post, where Chriss can not only hit jump-shots off step-jabs but also turnaround-fadeaway jumpers. He’s not a massive guy but didn’t have much trouble setting great position in the mid-post area and his footwork is really fluid, if not necessarily polished.
Chriss also showed the ability to take opposing big men off the bounce, not just in closeout situations but even in straight isolations off of catch-and-go’s, though he is only a north-and-south guy at this point.
The problems are on the other end, where Chriss is a massive negative at this point of his development.
He can make a difference in space when he’s engaged but generally doesn’t play very hard and struggles with the nuances of the game as well, fouling a ton – 6.5 times per 40 minutes.
His seven-foot wingspan isn’t much in the context of his six-foot-10 height and he compounds that issue by not playing with a lot of toughness in the post, something that also translates in his mediocrity in the defensive glass. Chriss is undisciplined with his box out responsibilities and doesn’t play with much energy, collecting just 12% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.
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