3D wing, Shot Creator, Stretch Big, Tall Passer, Undersized Big

Abu Kigab Scouting Report

CONTEXT

RJ Barrett was the headliner but Abu Kigab was perhaps just as vital for Canada to win the 2017 World Championships U19 in Cairo, Egypt a couple of weeks ago. Like his star teammate, the 18-year-old[1] also earned first team all-tournament honors after averaging 20.9 points per 40 minutes on 23.1% usage-rate and ranking fifth in the tournament in defensive rating — according to RealGM.

The Oregon-commit is one of the smoothest athletes ever but impressed the most with the versatility of his skill-set on offense. He can run pick-and-roll, pass on the move, make some pull-ups, get to the foul line and space the floor operating off the ball, projecting as the prototype perimeter player for this era of basketball.

Canada went small quite a bit and spaced the floor well to provide him the best possible environment to succeed. If Oregon does the same, I suspect he’ll be just as prominent as Dillon Brooks was there.

On the other end, the six-foot-seven combo forward possesses the combination of physical profile and athletic ability to develop into an impact defender who offers as much flexibility as he does on offense. But as of now he’s only OK, executing Canada’s zone scheme pretty well and doing a reasonable job in one-on-one defense but failing to create many events.

SHOT CREATION

Kigab ranked third on the team in usage but with Lindell Wigginton missing a couple of games due to injury, he was given quite a bit of shot creation responsibility against a set defense and impressed with his fluidity operating off the dribble.

Kigab flashed the ability to make a well-timed pocket pass turning the corner but what he really likes to do in pick-and-roll is not attack right away. Regardless of whether the opponent shows hard, hedges or drops, Kigab prefers slowing down the pace, backing down a step or two, transition into an isolation and then turn on the jets.

He’s shown a strong preference for going left and has a combination of hesitation move + explosive first step to just blow by his man but has also shown quite a bit of craft to get around quicker types. Kigab can go between the legs on the move, pivot into a well-coordinated spin move in a pinch and showed an in-and-out dribble as well to shake his defender side-to-side.

He’s proven himself pretty fast for someone his size with the ball and consistently gets deep dribble penetration against his age group. But Kigab lacks the strength to maintain his balance through contact to get to the basket and often got up to finish in awkward balance.

He’s proven himself fearless weaving through traffic on his way to the goal (resulting in 7.3 foul shots per 40 minutes) and flashed an euro-step to score around rim protection in transition but for the most part struggled with his touch on non-dunk finishes in the half-court — converting his 56 two-point shots at a disappointing 42.9% clip.

As was the case, Kigab took quite a bit of stop-and-pop jumpers from the elbow area and his one-dribble pull-up looks pretty good. The above average efficiency isn’t there yet but he appears to have a great base to be build upon; able to stop on a dime, elevate in great balance, pull the trigger quickly and get his shot off comfortably.

But Kigab’s most productive contribution off the bounce is his passing on the move. He has a nice handle for someone his size, turning it over on just 10.6% of his possessions, and proved himself very willing to hit open teammates with kick-outs to the strong-side and drop-offs to a big man at the dunker’s spot when the defense collapsed against his dribble penetration — assisting on 14.9% of Canada’s scores when he was on the floor at the Worlds U19.

FLOOR SPACING

Kigab proved himself an effective, if not particularly great yet, option operating off the ball as a floor-spacer. He catches on the hop on spot-ups, gets off the ground quickly, shows to have fluid mechanics to be build upon and has a quick release — nailing 36.7% of his 30 three-point attempts in Cairo.

Canada used him as the screener on the pick-and-pop once or twice and Kigab flashed the ability to relocate to a spot beyond the arc, catch and rise up quickly in rhythm with great balance. But other than that, he was not given many opportunities to showcase the versatility of his shot, as he was not asked to sprint around staggered screens or come off pindown screens.

DEFENSE

Kigab posted the best defensive rating on the team, despite the fact he had just five steals and three blocks in his 190 minutes in Cairo — marks that were disappointing given his six-foot-nine wingspan[2], his leaping ability and the fact he often put himself in good position as he proved himself attentive to his help-defense responsibilities.

That was the case because Kigab showed pretty good discipline putting in the effort to stay in front of similarly-sized players in individual defense, running shooters off their shots with his closeouts on weak-side defense and executing the rotations within the zone scheme Canada played towards the latter part of the tournament.

He didn’t show a lot of toughness containing dribble penetration and holding ground in the post, despite his 214-pound frame, but contested shots in a satisfying manner with his eight-foot-six standing reach, aside from the fact he was vital for Canada’s smaller lineups to work with his ability to help protect the defensive glass — collecting 23.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] Who turns 19 in November

[2] 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

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Shot Creator, Tall Passer

RJ Barrett Scouting Report

CONTEXT

RJ Barrett has taken yet another step forward.

The just-turned 17-year-old[1] led Canada to the title of the 2017 FIBA World Championships U19 in Cairo, Egypt in remarkable fashion, earning MVP honors after he averaging 28.2 points per 40 minutes on 28% usage-rate and ranking 15th in the tournament in defensive rating – according to RealGM. Canada was +126 in his 214 minutes, according to FIBA.

Though perhaps more impressive than his statistical profile and the fact he was a lot younger than the cutoff age was how he dominated that tournament. The lefty wing has developed into a legit shot creator for himself and others who feels comfortable operating in high pick-and-roll against a set defense.

On the other end, the six-foot-seven wing has the combination of physical profile and athletic ability to develop into an impact defender who can switch across all positions. That hasn’t yet materialized but he’s able to create events all over the place and helps finish possessions that way, which is why he ranked so high in defensive rating.

PICK-AND-ROLL OFFENSE

Barrett didn’t impress much in one-on-one instances in this event. He didn’t show a particularly diverse set of dribble moves or the side-to-side shake he had in the past, relying on a hesitation + burst sequence to get by his man when he could.

When he couldn’t, Barrett sometimes opted for a spin move to get all the way to the basket but mostly relied on the strength in his 193-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact and his momentum forward, though it would sometimes lead to him driving into a crowd.

With that as the case, Barrett did most of his offense operating in middle high pick-and-roll and wowed with his development controlling the offense 25-feet away from the basket. The improvements he made to his passing were particularly pleasing.

Barrett showcased the ability to play with pace against the opponent showing hard or hedging at the point of attack and gearing up to crowd his path to the basket, slowing down, keeping his dribble alive and subsequently displaying nice court vision to make passes over the top to the big sneaking his way to the basket.

Turning the corner or attacking downhill, Barrett also impressed with his passing on the move. Not only in terms of drop-offs to a big at the dunker’s spot or kick-outs to the strong-side as the defense collapsed to him but also making well-timed pocket passes and passes across his body to the opposite end of the court – assisting on 29% of Canada’s scores when he was on the floor in Cairo.

His handle has improved as well. It’s hard to say he keeps the ball out on a string or something but it’s pretty decent for someone his size, as he turned it over on just 12.8% of his possessions at the Worlds U19. He can go right from time-to-time but has shown a strong preference for driving to his dominant hand’s side.

Barrett is an explosive leaper out of one foot or two feet, including taking flight in a crowd. He’s also proven himself strong enough to score through contact, despite consistently playing against older age groups. But his touch on non-dunk finishes is only so-so and although he’s flashed a running floater and a shot-fake + pivot + floater off a jump-stop sequence, Barrett hasn’t yet shown much versatility to his finishing.

With that as the case, his best method of interior scoring remains his ability to get to the foul line. His frame invites a lot of contact as he bullies his way to the basket. Barrett averaged 11.4 free throws per 40 minutes in Cairo and improved his efficiency at the charity stripe, nailing them at a 75.4% clip at the Worlds U19 after converting just 59.7% of such shots at the Worlds U17 last year.

That development in set shooting carried over to his pull-up shooting too, as he has become a lot more comfortable taking stop-and-pop jumpers from mid-range. Barrett looked fluid rising up and pulling the trigger and was reasonably efficient on those, converting 51.1% of his 88 overall two-point shots despite the fact he took a steady diet of such looks.

SPACING THE FLOOR

Barrett shot an easy ball on his 38-point performance against the United States in the semifinal but struggled as a floor-spacer for most of the tournament. His catch-and-shoot release looked more methodical and mechanical that I had remembered and he missed quite a few open looks — nailing just five of his 21 three-point shots.

And that was simply as an open shot shooter. Barrett didn’t have any opportunities to showcase if he has any versatility to his shot, though his release on spot-ups suggest he hasn’t yet developed much ability to come off staggered screens, come off pindown screens, sprint to the ball to launch long bombs off dribble hand-offs or act as a pick-and-pop screener on small-small pick-and-rolls.

DEFENSE

Barrett defended well against opponents his own size in isolation. He got down in a stance, shuffled his feet laterally, used his strength to contain dribble penetration and used his eight-foot-six standing reach to contest pull-up shots effectively.

Barrett also did well as a weak-side defender. He used his six-foot-10 wingspan to make plays in the passing lanes, averaging 2.2 steals per 40 minute, and his burst to run shooters off their shots with his closeouts.

Barrett is prone to losing his man relocating to the corner or an open spot around the wing as he locks in to what’s going on in the strong-side, as it tends to be the case with most teenagers. But other than that, he proved himself attentive to his responsibilities rotating inside to crowd the area near the basket as Canada played quite a bit of zone in the latter parts of the tournament, though it was disappointing he got no blocks in his 214 minutes considering his athletic prowess.

His most tangible impact on defense were his contributions on the defensive glass, as Barrett impressed with his commitment boxing out bigger players when Canada went with smaller lineups and just consistently crashing the glass – collecting 16.5% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

The biggest concerns regard his ability to play pick-and-roll defense or pick up smaller players on switches.

Barrett works to go over screens but struggles to negotiate them cleanly, falling behind or completely erasing himself out of these plays. And when he found himself on a guard type out on an island, Barrett was too spaced out and got blown by badly in a couple of instances.

[1] His birth is listed as June of 2000

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

 

 

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Shot Creator, Stretch Big

Michael Porter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

With free agency and Summer League in the rearview mirror, NBA fans start to turn their attention to the 2017-2018 season and part of that is learning who is worth tanking for. And that would be Michael Porter, Jr., the Missouri-commit who currently ranks first on Draft Express’ top 60[1].

The just-turned 19-year-old is coming off a wildly successful year. After moving from Missouri to Seattle, the six-foot-10 forward led Brandon Roy-coached Nathan Hale, a high school that had lost 18 of 21 games the previous season, to a 29-0 record and a state championship — the school’s first since 1994.

Porter dominated in high school due to his athletic prowess but also showed an appealing level of skill for someone his size. The combination of dribble moves and shot making he displayed, even if still in its infancy, makes his scoring potential tantalizing.

That said, Porter doesn’t have a particularly polished skill-set at this point of his development. He got most of his offense in the half-court out of the isolation plays, as Roy didn’t put him in the pick-and-roll often. He also didn’t have much opportunity to showcase the versatility of his shot.

Defensively, Porter has the combination of physical profile and athletic ability to potentially develop into an impact defender who could make a difference in a variety of ways. He’s far from materializing into that, though. As it tends to be the case with most teenagers, his effort on that end was subpar more often than not.

[1] RIP, Draft Express

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

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3D wing

Cedi Osman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported yesterday that Cleveland reached an agreement with Cedi Osman on a three-year, $8.3 million deal. The Turkish wing was the 31st pick of the 2015 Draft and has accumulated 4,860 minutes of EuroLeague and Turkish BSL[1] experience for Anadolu Efes over the last four years.

Efes always built expensive teams that sought to compete for titles[2] during his tenure there, so the 22-year-old[3] transfers to the United States accustomed to playing a complementary role, as he was not given much opportunity to expand his skill-set as a shot creator.

The six-foot-eight, 215-pounder was consistently used as an off ball floor spacer, who flashed some ability to make shots on the go but who was not moved around the floor to leverage the threat of his shot a whole lot. He was for the most part a standstill weak-side spot-up threat but merely a capable one at that.

The team did try stretching him a little defensively, using his combination of size, length and quickness to have him defend smaller players at the point of attack at times but he hasn’t yet developed into a real asset at that. He also lacks the strength to play up and defend bigger players at this point of his development.

Combining unimpressive shot making with defense that didn’t particularly move the needle, Osman’s on/off metrics were pretty bad among Europe’s elite last season. According to overbasket.com, Efes was -70 with him in the lineup and +49 with him on the bench against EuroLeague competition.

OFFENSE

Osman got the ball in the post against smaller wings and point guards from time to time, where he looked to back them down for short-range makes and even flashed a turnaround short jumper leaning into his defender.

Osman has also shown he can run a side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving and even take advantage of a scrambling defense that allows him to the get to the middle, as he’s able to play with pace off the ball-screen and make a pocket pass.

If left unchallenged in emergencies late in the shot clock, he can step into an uncontested pull-up three-pointer off middle high pick-and-roll as well.

But for the most part Osman didn’t show much in terms of being able to create shots against a set defense. Having not shown a particularly diverse set of dribble moves yet, he is only a straight-line driver who doesn’t have an explosive first step to get by his man on speed and struggles to turn the corner.

As was the case, Osman had no shot creation responsibility, logging only 20% usage-rate and assisting on just 7% of Efes’ scores when he was on the floor last season – according to RealGM.

He sprinted around staggered screens some and proved himself able to make shots relocating to the next open spot around the perimeter but mostly acted as a standstill spot-up threat, providing floor spacing for Thomas Heurtel’s and Jayson Granger’s pick-and-rolls.

Osman releases the ball from the front of his forehead but gets good elevation and the ball comes out easy. His trigger seems reasonably quick but he struggles when he is rushed and his misses can look particularly gruesome.

Osman nailed 36.4% of his 735 three-point shots over the last four seasons but it’s questionable how much of that can translate to the United States right away, given the further out three-point line. He also still has room to improve in terms of getting open, sending his three-pointers up at a pace of 6.7 attempts per 40 minutes last season[4].

Osman looks fluid attacking closeouts and has some explosiveness elevating out of one foot on free paths to the goal, though the floater he’s shown to score over rim protection from the in-between area is perhaps for impressive. He hasn’t yet developed dexterity getting to the foul line, as he averaged just 3.5 free throws per 40 minutes last season, but converted his two-pointers at a 54.7% clip.

DEFENSE

Osman is a decent one-position defender who makes tangible contributions.

He can slide laterally to keep pace with similarly sized wings in isolation defense, lacking the strength to contain penetration but using his length to contest shots effectively, and he can run shooters off the three-point line a fair amount with his closeouts.

Osman can also execute the scheme — proving himself attentive to his responsibilities rotating inside to bump the roll man, looking to guard two players when Efes packed the strong-side against a pick-and-roll and getting to the front of the basket when he was called upon to act as the last line of defense.

Osman’s shot blocks are mostly of the exciting chasedown variety in transition but he can make plays in the half-court using his length in the passing lanes and pitching in on the defensive glass, averaging 1.9 steals per 40 minutes and collecting 14.8% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

He hasn’t yet developed a lot of versatility, though.

Osman was asked to defend smaller players at the point of attack from time to time but didn’t show to be particularly good at it. He puts in the effort to go over ball-screens and recover to his man quickly but struggles to navigate picks cleanly. As is the case, he stresses his big man to extend to the top of the key to prevent the ball-handler from turning the corner right away or pulling up from deep range uncontested, increasing the chances of a breakdown behind the play. Olympiacos went out of its way to seek him and put him in the pick-and-roll in the fourth quarter of game three of the EuroLeague quarterfinals.

In individual defense, Osman kind of hunches rather than bends his knees to get low in a stance, so smaller players have been able to go around him despite his lateral agility – something that figures to be a bigger problem in the US.

Given his height and length, Osman has room to develop into someone who can play as the second biggest player for his team in smaller lineups but lacks the strength and toughness to do so at this point of his development.

[1] Which Next-Step Basketball ranks as the second best domestic league in Europe

[2] Though they haven’t been particularly successful at that

[3] Who only turns 23 next April

[4] Osman will have a great opportunity at that watching Kyle Korver work from up close

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

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Catch&Score Finisher, Stretch Big

Daniel Theis Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Boston is said to have agreed on a deal to import German center Daniel Theis to the United States. The 25-year-old[1] accumulated 3,995 minutes of EuroLeague and German Bundesliga[2] experience playing for Brose Baskets of Bamberg in Deutschland the last three years, helping the powerhouse earn three straight domestic titles, leading the league in individual defensive rating last season.

Andrea Trinchieri runs a diverse offense that relies on swinging the ball around the perimeter to move the defense in order to find an opening to attack off pick-and-roll. Therefore, the six-foot-nine, 215-pounder didn’t have much shot creation responsibility and is adapted to the defined role as a finisher and floor spacer that he’ll be asked to play in the US.

But whether or not he has a legitimate chance of cracking the rotation will depend on what level of defense he brings to the table. Theis is quite athletic, challenged a lot of shots near the basket at the European level and posted very strong defensive rebounding numbers in each of the last three seasons. The concern regards his ability to extend coverage beyond the foul line.

DEFENSE

Ball handlers who are threats to pull-up from three-point range off the pick-and-roll are in vogue these days, stressing the need for big men to become more of an asset defending the perimeter.

Brose Baskets asked Theis to hedge-and-recover beyond the arc. He is not a stiff by any means but also didn’t impress with his agility defending out in space, able to defend stretch big men on straight line drives but ineffective closing out to three-point line[3].

Theis doesn’t figure to be an option picking up smaller players on switches either. He flashed some ability to keep pace with less athletic, less resourceful types on straight line drives in Deutschland but doesn’t bend his knees to get down in a stance, which makes him vulnerable to getting shook side-to-side.

Theis makes most of his impact defending close to the basket. He is attentive to his responsibilities coming off the weak-side in help-defense and goes up off two feet with ease to challenge shots via verticality or play above the rim as a shot blocker – averaging 2.2 blocks per 40 minutes over the last three years.

More impressive, perhaps, is how Theis often does preventive work as well, slowing down the development of plays by using his mobility to slide laterally and put his big body in the way to discourage immediate drives to the basket by opposing ball handlers turning the corner or attacking downhill off pick-and-roll.

Theis will be considered undersized for a center in the US but held up well from a physicality-standpoint in Europe. He showed to have a strong base to hold his ground in the post and boxing out opposing behemoths under the defensive glass – collecting at least 24% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor in each of the last three years, according to RealGM.

OFFENSE

Despite not being a post player, Theis logged 23.2% usage-rate last season. That’s the case because Brose Baskets spaced the floor really well, which afforded him many good looks for finishes near the basket out of the pick-and-roll and from three-point range as a floor spacer. He should enjoy similarly healthy conditions in Boston if he gets some burn.

Theis is a so-so screener who likes to slip the pick to get a head start diving down the lane but has good hands to catch the ball on the move and can play above the rim as a target for lobs. He also has pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes in instances where he had to catch, get down and go up again, showcasing second jump-ability that also manifests itself as he fights for tip-ins and 50-50 balls in the offensive glass – where he collected 12% of Brose Baskets’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

Theis has a decent looking catch-and-shoot jumper from mid-range off the pick-and-pop. He even flashed some ability to hit such a shot from three-point range when the ball handler sucked in the defense long enough for him to have time to set his feet. But his three-pointers tended to come from spot-ups for the most part and he showed to be only a capable open shot shooter who needs some time to get his shots off – nailing 36.4% of his 321 three-point shots over the last three years.

He is fluid enough to attack closeouts on free straight-line paths from beyond the arc to the basket and even flashed some ability to take an escape dribble and rise for a stop-and-pop mid-range pull-up. But Theis is by no means a playmaker off the bounce and struggles to protect the ball in traffic due to his high dribble, turning it over on 14% of his possessions last season – a high mark for someone with his role.

He has decent enough ball skills to help facilitate offense on dribble handoffs but didn’t show much in terms of particularly instinctive passing – assisting on just 7% of Brose Baskets’ scores when he was on the floor last season.

[1] Who only turns 26 next April

[2] Which Next Step Basketball ranks as the sixth best domestic league in the continent

[3] Which was shorter than the distance he’ll face in the US

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

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3D wing, Pure Shooter, Shot Creator, Tall Passer

Darius Miller Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Darius Miller is said to have agreed re-joining New Orleans after spending the last two-and-a-half years at Brose Baskets of Bamberg in Deutschland. In that time, the 27-year-old[1] earned 3,754 minutes of EuroLeague and German Bundesliga[2] experience for a team that won the last three domestic titles.

The six-foot-seven wing got the opportunity to improve his skill-set in Europe, playing a key role within Andrea Trinchieri’s diverse offense. He was relied on to create shots within the flow and also in emergency situations late in the shot clock and late in games as well. But Miller won’t return to the United States totally unaccustomed to what his role will be there, as he logged only a 20% usage-rate in his two full seasons in Deutschland.

His playing time should still depend on what he does on defense, though, and that’s something Miller didn’t improve. He remains a disappointing defender for someone who looks like the prototypical 3&D wing every team is looking for these days, given he is not an asset defending the point of attack, chasing shooters around the floor, creating events as a weak-side defender or toughening up against big men.

OFFENSE

Miller’s top skill remains his catch-and-shoot three-pointer, as he nailed 44.4% of his 616 three-point shots over the last two-and-a-half seasons. He’s flashed some ability to get shots sprinting around staggered screens but proved himself able to make shots relocating to open spots around the wing and coming off pin-down screens. His release is not lightning-quick but it’s quite fluid.

His average of 6.5 three-point shots per 40 minutes over his time in Deutschland is a reasonably disappointing figure, though. He should be a more aggressive shot taker off the catch on spot-ups rather than opting to stop the ball and taking a one-dribble pull-up or at times transitioning into an isolation that decreases the expected value of a given possession.

He’s developed into someone who can run a side pick-and-roll, not just to keep the offense moving but also a reliable asset to create a good shot. Miller has proven himself able to play with pace and make drop-offs or kick-outs to the strong-side, assisting on 15.2% of Bamberg’s scores when he was on the floor last season — according to RealGM.

But rather than consistently attacking off the ball-screen, Miller often walks it back and transitions into one-on-one play. He lacks an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed but has shown some shiftiness to shake him side-to-side, a hesitation move to go around him and strength in his 225-pound frame to maintain his balance through contact.

Miller doesn’t often explode off one foot to finish strong at the basket but has flashed some ability to hang and adjust his body in the air to score around rim protection going up off two feet. He is not a consistent rim attacker, though, more often than not pulling up from three-point range if his defender dies on the screen or getting to the elbow for a mid-range pull-up and getting to the foul line very little — averaging just 2.4 free throws per 40 minutes last season.

Miller proved himself a pretty good shot maker at the European level, averaging 1.33 points per shot last season, despite his uninspiring shot selection. His jumper also made him an asset in the post, as he showed an inclination for taking smaller defenders down low. It’s unclear how much of his off dribble diet can translate to the NBA level, though.

DEFENSE

Miller is a decent individual defender, as he has the resources to be. He can slide laterally to keep pace with his man side-to-side, has a thick build to contain penetration when he puts in the effort and has an eight-foot-five standing reach to contest pull-up jumpers effectively.

But he struggles if the opponent forces him to be a part of a team-oriented effort. Miller works to go over ball-screens when he finds himself defending at the point of attack but is too big to be able to slide around them cleanly. He also struggles to negotiate screens when he’s chasing shooters around the second side and doesn’t consistently manage to run shooters off their shot.

Despite his size and length, he has not shown to be an asset playing as the second biggest player on his team in smaller lineups, as he is not tough enough to hold his ground against bigger players in the post and boxing them out under the glass.

He is also not a productive weak-side defender. Miller is an iffy-to-poor helper, often late or ineffective acting as the last line of defense crowding the area near the basket and rarely leverages his athleticism into creating events. His contributions through steals and blocks are marginal and his 12.7% defensive rebounding rate is an unimpressive figure for a big wing.

Brose Baskets had lower defensive ratings without him on the floor in the both the EuroLeague and the German Bundesliga.

[1] Who only turns 28 in March

[2] Which Next Step ranks as the sixth best domestic league in the continent

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

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3D wing, Pure Shooter

Furkan Korkmaz Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Misko Raznatovic announced today Furkan Korkmaz signed his rookie scale contract and is now a part of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 26th pick in the 2016 Draft is coming off his most productive season yet as a pro, after transferring mid-year on loan from Anadolu Efes to Banvit, where the Turkish wing averaged 24 minutes per game in 29 appearances for a team that reached the championship game of the FIBA Champions League. Thanks to the opportunity that transfer afforded, he managed to log a career high 828 minutes.

The soon-to-be 20-year-old didn’t make any substantial improvements to his physical profile[1] or show many flashes of star potential but at least started to gain some experience and there’s now a clearer picture of what sort of player he is at this point of his development.

Korkmaz operated mostly as a floor-spacer whose shooting was not leveraged by having him move all over the floor to stress the defense, instead getting his looks on spot-ups for the most part. He got opportunities to make plays off ball reversals and even initiated some offense at times but is far from being considered a good option to create against a set defense as of now.

His defense was a lot more encouraging than what he had shown in his spot minutes with Efes in the previous year-and-a-half, though.

His thin 190-pound frame in the context of his six-foot-seven height consistently puts him at a position of disadvantage against opposing wings at the pro level and he doesn’t play with enough energy or toughness to make any sort of a positive impact. But Korkmaz proved that when he puts in the effort and executes the scheme, he can be reasonably well hidden.

OFFENSE

Korkmaz’s top skill remains his ability to nail open shots. He’s a sick spot-up shooter with a pure stroke, a high release and a quick trigger who turns in the air and can get his shot off without needing to dip for rhythm in occasions where the pass isn’t perfectly thrown — hitting 43.7% of his 142 three-point shots last season, according to RealGM.

Banvit didn’t put him on the move, having him run off staggered screens or as the back-screener on Spain pick-and-rolls, so his unimpressive pace for a gunner of 6.8 three-point shots per 40 minutes is partly on the team but Korkmaz also needs to learn how to get himself open working the second side. Hopefully he can learn from JJ Redick by watching him up close.

He did show some smart cutting, though, and can play above the rim as a target for lobs.

He is very smooth attacking closeouts and can be an explosive leaper off one foot with some space to take flight but struggles to get all the way to the basket with help defense in his way and is a very poor finisher against rim protection.

That’s also the case when he’s attacking one-on-one or in the pick-and-roll. Handling the ball against a set defense, Korkmaz hasn’t shown many dribble moves or change of direction suddenness to shake his defender side-to-side and doesn’t have an explosive first step to turn the corner. He also hasn’t yet developed a tight handle and is prone to getting the ball stripped in traffic — averaging 2.3 turnovers per 40 minutes last season.

When he was tasked with getting a shot off, Korkmaz proved himself able to make uncontested pull-up three-pointers when the on-ball defender ducked under the screen but most often sought to hang dribble into a pull-up or step-back fade-away when his man played up on him in isolation. He struggled to get much separation and these tended to be contested looks. He’s a good enough shot maker to be able to hit some of them but these are considered to be low percentage shots nowadays.

Korkmaz generally looked to pass off dribble penetration and proved himself able to make nice kick-outs to the strong-side and drop-offs against the defense collapsing to his drive, also flashing some very appealing court vision on a few cross-court passes against a scrambling defense — assisting on 15.3% of Banvit’s scores when he was on the floor last season. He didn’t show anything in terms of passing across his body to the weak-side or lobbying it up in traffic, though.

DEFENSE

Korkmaz has a habit of leaking out before his team secures a defensive rebound but for the most part put in the effort to execute the scheme as mostly an off-ball defender hidden on the weak-side.

That said, he didn’t show particularly impressive instincts making plays in the passing lanes or well timed rotations to crowd the area near the basket as the last line of defense and didn’t often run shooters off their shots with his closeouts. His contributions through steals and blocks were marginal.

His tangible impact on this end is pitching in on the defensive glass, where he collected 14.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season, which mostly a so-so mark for someone his size.

But Korkmaz proved himself attentive to his responsibilities chasing shooters off screens and did a decent job. His lean frame, which makes him vulnerable to getting posted up by big wings, actually helps in these instances where he has to slide around screens, even when he finds himself defending the point of attack.

Korkmaz is no George Hill yet but has shown decent quickness going over ball-screens and could develop into someone who provides his team lineup flexibility by being able to defend smaller players regularly down the line, as long as he has a big who prevents the ball handler from attacking downhill right away.

He has flashed some enticing side-to-side sliding to keep pace with smaller players out on an island as well and has the length to contest these types effectively, though he needs to develop strength and toughness to be able to contain dribble penetration.

[1] Banvit listed him at 190 pounds

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

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