(First posted at RealGM)
Zubac has enjoyed a fairly meteoric rise, with Draft Express only starting to assume he’d be a part of this year’s draft in March. The reason for it is because Zubac has gone through a very eventful season, playing for three different teams and appearing in just 20 games.
But as a 19-year-old seven-footer in a weak class, Zubac was encouraged by teams to stay in and he’s now expected to go midway through the first round.
What’s appealing about him is his combination of size and strength at a young age.
Zubac can hold his ground in the post and extremely tough to finish over due to his standing reach. On the other block, Zubac lowers his shoulder to get into the body of his opponent and can bully his way into short toss-ins. Despite his size, leaping off the ground quickly in a pinch does not seem like a chore to him, as he’s proven able to block shots on the ball.
That strength and length also manifest themselves in the offensive glass, where Zubac is a tough body to box out in the offensive glass, thanks the strength in his 265-pound frame, and also has a seven-foot-four wingspan to rebound outside of his area. According to our stats database, he collected 10% of his teams’ misses when he was on the floor.
The problems regard his athletic ability.
Zubac doesn’t have much agility to defend in space, limiting what options his team can employ against the pick-and-roll, as he’s not suited to switch, show hard or hedge.
In the pick-and-roll on offense, he has soft hands to catch the ball on the move and nice touch on non-dunk finishes but can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs and can’t elevate with much explosiveness out of two feet to finish in traffic.
Then on the glass, Zubac is attentive to his boxout responsibilities, looks to establish inside position and is tough to get pushed off the way. But he is slow pursuing the ball off the glass and is prone to getting out-jumped by better athletes, collecting just 18.1% of opponents’ misses last season – which is a disappointing mark for someone his size.
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