Bol Bol Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Bol Bol was the fourth-ranked prospect in the 2018 high school class[1] and is currently considered the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2019 draft class[2].

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[3] 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.

INTERIOR DEFENSE

Within his role of being asked to cover only the immediate area near the basket, Bol proved he can be a tremendous interior defender when well positioned. He is proactive stepping up to the front of the rim and going up off two feet in a split-second is not a chore for him, which combined with his nine-foot-six standing reach[4] makes it really tough for opponents to finish over or around him – recording six blocks in 28 minutes at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit last April.

Bol has also flashed enough quickness and reaction instincts in instances where he steps up, forces a drop-off pass and then manages to recover back to his man to block or at least effectively challenge a shot by leveraging his impressive second jump and his length.

His other work as a help defender included shadowing isolations and keeping pace with smaller players from the foul line down in drop pick-and-roll defense. He showed decent movement in short areas to be quite effective in these instances at the high school level.

The Khartourn, South Sudan native of American citizenship flashed some intriguing position defense preventing a ball-handler from turning the corner in the “mythical” national championship semifinal game against Montverde Academy but other than that hasn’t yet developed into the sort of big man who knows how to anticipate and cut off dribble penetration regularly.

From a physical-standpoint, Bol is hit-and-miss with his boxouts and is quite soft with them when he does put a body someone close by. His general size helps him collect a bunch of uncontested rebounds but his lack of force when engaging with more energetic big men and the fact that he often bites on shot fakes or sells out for blocks keeps him from being considered a reliable presence protecting the glass.

That lack of toughness and stoutness also reflect in iffy defense on the post, where Bol struggled to hold his ground in the couple of times the rugged Charles Bassey lowered his shoulder against him and knocked him back in the Nike Hoop Summit.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

He wasn’t asked to venture far into the perimeter at Findlay a whole lot, other than the few minutes when he shared the floor with Connor Vanover (another seven-foot-three behemoth) and had to defend the eventual stretch big men.

Bol puts in the effort to bend his knees to get somewhat down in a stance against these types and impressed with his ability to block jumpers when he was within a step of his man but struggled in pick-and-pop defense – lacking the sort of quickness needed to contain the ball-handler and hustle to closeout to the three-point arc in time to make an impact.

And he flew by on closeouts when he did manage to run a shooter off his shot on spot-ups, exposing the defense behind him as that player put the ball on the floor.

Often flat footed defending off the ball, Bol was also not attentive enough to his responsibilities switching on the fly, as Findlay at times went to a zone when it had both him and Vanover on together.

OFFENSE

Findlay mostly looked to get him the ball in the post, where Bol rarely looked good operating with his back to the basket. He doesn’t have a lot of strength in his unevenly-distributed 222-pound frame in the context of his height and doesn’t play with any force trying to set deep position, often getting pushed out towards the mid-post and extended elbow area.

Bol hasn’t yet developed power moves, struggles to knock back his man in order to create space for hooks, doesn’t go to his left hand under any circumstance and doesn’t have great feel for handling double teams.

The most interesting resource he’s shown so far is a turnaround baby jumper leaning into his man to try getting to the foul line.

But what Bol really likes to do is facing up isolating against his man and this seems to be the most advanced area of his game at this point of his development.

He has a very effective head fake and decent coordination putting the ball on the floor – even flashing a spin move, a scoop finish off a high step on a straight line drive and a running floater.

Bol is prone to having the ball stripped in traffic and can’t maintain his balance or his momentum forward through contact but has shown glimpses of a pull-up jumper, perhaps intriguing the most with how he’s managed to create them – going between the legs into a left-to-right crossover into his pull-up and head-faking into a two-dribble stop-and-pop pull-up.

Bol is not any sort of an efficient shot maker yet, though. His mechanics are quite unorthodox, not just rising up off the dribble but getting shots up off the catch as well and even on free throws. He has a low release, launching the ball from in front of his face, pushing the ball out.

Bol can nail a wide- open three-pointer as the trailer in transition or on spot-ups but struggles the get the ball out quick enough when put in the pick-and-pop. In large part because of mechanics, he has shown to be a very hesitant shooter.

As is, Bol projects to make most of his impact as an energetic presence near the basket but he’s shown limitations as such as well.

He is a poor screener who rarely influences on-ball defenders, has so-so hands catching the ball on the move and can’t finish through contact. That said, Bol should still be an asset as a lob finisher. It’s unclear he is explosive enough to dive hard down the lane and go up in traffic but his decent leaping ability and massive standing reach should guarantee him as an option to at least finish some alley-oops sneaking behind the defense.

On the glass, Bol is not very physical but does try to set inside position from time-to-time, has a seven-foot-six wingspan to rebound outside of his area and a quick second jump to fight for tip-ins or 50-50 balls. His motor has plenty of room to improve, though.

OUTLOOK

Bol is one of those players who is a lot more interesting in theory than in reality at this point of his development.

His physical profile certainly makes him a prospect of interest but he doesn’t seem to play very hard very often and his skill level is so-so at best. Someone his size being able to put the ball on the floor from time-to-time and even crossing over his man sure seems intriguing but is unlikely to be a projectable skill at the pro level and it looks like the odds are against his outside shot.

Players his size without superior athleticism are getting phased out of the NBA, unless they offer some ability to hang in the perimeter in either end and Bol currently doesn’t project to be able to do that. His rim protection will be valued but to which extent will be in the eye of the beholder.

I don’t think it’s out of the question that Bol follows a similar path to guys like Brandon McCoy, Stephen Zimmerman and Kaleb Tarczewski – seven-footers who enter college highly touted but get exposed as not-first round or draftable talent.

On the other hand, if Bol starts bringing in the energy more often, gains some strength and learns how to leverage his frame to act like a deterrent more regularly, he really should end up a lottery pick because the NBA continues to be enamored by seven-footers and every team feels like it needs to have multiple, if not three or four them on the roster, despite the fact going smaller and more versatile has been proven to be far more beneficial.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to ESPN

[3] DOB: 11/16/1999

[4] According to the Stepien, citing measurements at the 2018 Nike Hoop Summit

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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RJ Barrett Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

RJ Barrett was the top prospect in the 2018 high school class[1] and is currently considered to be the top prospect in the 2019 draft class[2].

From a physical-standpoint, the 18-year-old[3] looks like someone who could log NBA minute right now due to his chiseled six-foot-seven, 202-pound frame[4]. As a result of his advanced athletic development, he has already debuted for the Canadian National Team at the senior level in the latest World Cup Qualifiers window – in appearances against the Dominican Republican and the Virgin Islands.

In large part thanks to that overwhelming edge in athleticism in comparison to his age group, the swingman dominated in high school and led Montverde Academy to a “mythical” national championship in late March.

Barrett handled the ball in middle high pick-and-roll a lot less than when he’s had the chance to play with the Canadian National Team at the youth level but got plenty of opportunities to create against a set defense in isolation out of ball reversals and jogging to the ball for dribble-handoffs on the side of the floor. As a weak-side floor-spacer, his shot remains a mixed bag.

On the other end, Barrett acted mostly as a weak-side defender and used his length to fly around passing lanes from time-to-time. His position defense was solid as well and he put in the effort to execute the scheme. More interestingly, perhaps, Barrett picked up smaller players on switches every once in a while and showed he has room to become a capable defender at the point of attack.

SHOT CREATION

The most intriguing aspect of his profile is his shot creation potential at his size.

The Mississauga, Ontario native is a huge wing for someone his age, which helps him play through contact and bully his way to the basket, despite the fact he played in less than ideal spacing.

The lefty doesn’t have as much burst when forced to his off hand and hasn’t shown particularly impressive side-to-side shiftiness but has a few resources when the opponent can offer resistance.

He can pivot into a well-coordinated spin move in a pinch and has developed a counter to that move as well, where he fakes the spin one way, pivots the other way and launches a step-back, fade-away jumper.

Barrett is an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic and off two feet with some space to set up his leap off a hop but has improved his ability to score on finesse finishes too. He can euro-step to weave his way through traffic, is flexible enough to adjust his body in the air among the trees and has great touch on finger-roll finishes with either hand, including off that spin move he likes to rely on.

Barrett can also launch running floaters over length from the in-between area.

When he had the chance to handle in middle high pick-and-roll, Barrett showed once again he is a good shot creator for others. He can play with pace and has a light hesitation move to get dribble penetration but despite the fact Montverde had capable shooters Filip Petrusev and Kevin Zhang as stretch-fours, there wasn’t a lot of space for him to get downhill or turn the corner hard off the ball-screen, so Barrett was more often than not looking to pass handling around the pick.

Besides delivering basic drop-offs and kick-outs, he can pass over the top against hedges or hard shows and across the court to the opposite wing against the momentum of his body versus drop defense as well. His advantageous point of view helps him see the rotations in traffic. On the flip side, Barrett can get reckless with no-look pass attempts from time-to-time.

He can make a shot off the bounce if left completely unbothered but needs to continue working on his pull-up jumper in order to continue on his path to superstardom, as Barrett is still prone to launching some ugly-looking bricks here and there, especially when forced to his right.

SPOT-UP SHOOTING

He remains a capable, if not yet a consistently comfortable open shot shooter off the catch.

His jumper can look mighty fluid when he is able to catch on the hop off ball movement and rise up with confidence, particularly as the trailer in transition.

But for the most part, Barrett struggled with the touch in his shot when rushed through his mechanics and still goes through his motion somewhat mechanically. He gets little elevation off the ground and has a low release out in front.

Montverde had him take a three-pointer as the screener in the pick-and-pop in the game against NSU University School in the “mythical” national title game. But other than that, he acted as standstill spot-up shooter more often than that and appears to be a long way away from developing some versatility to his release.

DEFENSE

Barrett bends his knees to get down in a stance, has multiple lateral slides in him to stay in front of similarly-sized players out in space and uses the strength in his 202-pound frame to chest up and to contain dribble penetration through contact when he is locked in.

He also did pleasing work putting in the effort to slide around screens chasing shooters off the ball, closing out in balance to stay in front when that shooter put the ball on the floor and helping double the post hard when asked to.

As a weak-side defender, Barrett proved he is attentive enough to execute the scheme for the most part, as he often stunted inside to clog driving lanes and stepped up to the front of the basket when he found himself as the last line of defense. He didn’t leverage his explosive leaping ability to block a lot of shots but showed to be a willing charge drawer.

Montverde had him picking up smaller players on switches from time-to-time and Barrett showed he has potential to eventually develop into an asset defending the point of attack.

He is too big to navigate over picks but impressed with his lateral quickness by being able to go under the screen and meet the ball-handler on the other side in time to go back in front, at least against the level of athleticism he was playing against in high school. Barrett also showed some nice fire hustling in pursuit to challenge shots or passes from behind when his man got by him around the pick.

OUTLOOK

Barrett arrives at Duke viewed as a potential superstar.

Besides the advanced physical profile and athletic ability for someone his age, he has shown enough footwork and court vision to project as a volume shot creator for himself and others, though his shot is still a work in progress.

Big shot creators amount to the vast majority of the top players in the NBA right now and Barrett certainly looks in line to join the group, based on what he has accomplished by this point of his development.

On the other end, he has the size, length and quickness to be expected to become at least a capable individual defender against guys his own size and the effort has been there up until this point.

On the top of that, Barrett certainly looks like someone who might be strong enough to guard bigger players at some point soon as well, though it’s unclear if he will have the toughness required for that. He has flirted with the potential of guarding smaller players and did well against the level of competition he played in high school but higher levels will demand more quickness and commitment and we will see if Barrett has what it takes when tested.

On the surface, he seems like a potential difference making defender who could unlock lineups on both ends of the extreme in terms of size. If you were designing on a lab a player capable of stealing minutes guarding point guards and centers, he would look exactly like Barrett. We’ll see to which extent that materializes.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to ESPN

[3] DOB: 6/14/2000

[4] According to Duke’s official listing

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

Dmitry Kulagin Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 26 years old, DOB: 7/1/1992.
  • Moscow native.
  • After just 1,024 minutes with CSKA Moscow the previous two seasons, logged 866 minutes in his first year with Lokomotiv Kuban[1].
  • Key rotation player on the team that got to the Eurocup Finals and won 17 of 24 games in the VTB United League regular season (before getting swept by Khimki in the quarterfinals).
  • Averaged 18.1 points per 40 minutes on 56.3% true shooting and compiled a 15.8 PER in 36 appearances last season.
  • Six-foot-six point forward who ran a lot of offense: logged 24.4% usage rate and assisted on 26% of Lokomotiv Kuban’s scores when he was on the floor;
    • Can grab-and-go to push the ball up the floor in transition, trigger motion offense in the half-court, post-up smaller matchups in a pinch and run middle high pick-and-roll against a set defense.
  • Was relied on to defend different types of players and proved he offers quite a bit of versatility on the other end as well;
    • Can credibly defend smaller players at the point of attack, stay in front of similarly sized wings, chase shooters around the second side of the floor and put up a fight against bigger players in the post or under the glass.

OFFENSE

  • Pretty good shot creator for others out of pick-and-roll: can make well-timed pocket passes against drop defense, hit the dive man over the top against hedges or traps, toss up lobs in traffic off deep dribble penetration and launch crosscourt passes to the opposite end against hard shows cutting him off from turning the corner.
  • Turnover prone: attempts a lot of passes in traffic and is too aggressive trying to thread the needle in a few instances – giving up the ball on 19.9% of his possessions last season.
  • Doesn’t have an explosive first step but is quite resourceful with the ball in his hands: can go left off the pick and has a hesitation move, an in-and-out dribble and the ability to go behind the back in a pinch to create forward momentum or separation one-on-one.
  • Up-and-down finisher at the basket who can’t go up strong off one foot in traffic, rarely finishes through contact and attempts basic righty speed layups most of the time but who can also go to a shot fake off a jump-stop to get rim protectors in the air and a lefty finger-roll finish every once in a while;
    • Put a good deal of pressure at the rim: averaged 7.1 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.
  • Can post-up smaller matchups in a pinch: has a shot fake to get his man in the air to draw shooting fouls and can set a turnaround fade-away jumper but does best finding cutters and spot-up shooters out of working with his back to the basket.
  • Capable but poor shot maker off the dribble. Can create enough separation for step-back fade-away jumpers in isolation and side-step one-dribble pull-ups off the pick-and-roll but the ball doesn’t go in a whole lot;
    • Shot just 48.5% on 175 two-point attempts last season.
  • Capable but poor floor-spacer on spot-ups;
3P% 3PAs SEASON
29.9% 107 2017-2018
29.3% 92 2016-2017
29.2% 48 2015-2016
30.6% 147 2014-2015
28.9% 39 2013-2014
20.9% 91 2012-2013
28.9% 114 2011-2012

DEFENSE

  • Bends his knees to get down in a stance and has several lateral slides to stay in front of similarly sized players in isolation, though doesn’t use his 211-pound frame to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact.
  • Puts in the effort to slide around off ball screens and chase shooters around the second side of the floor. Works hard to deny on dribble-handoffs.
  • Gets caught ball watching and gives up backdoor cuts from time-to-time but generally can execute the scheme as a weak-side defender: attentive enough to switch on the fly, rotates in to pick up the roll man, positions himself to guard two opponents off ball, steps up to help protect the rim when he is positioned as the last line of defense;
    • Good instincts and reactions to get into passing lanes: 1.6 steals per 40 minutes last season;
    • Contributes some on the defensive glass: collected 12.6% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • So-so at closeouts: sometimes flies by but there are also times when he is able to run the shooter off his shot and stay balanced.
  • Can credibly pick up smaller players on switches: works to go over screens at the point of attack and hustles in pursuit to challenge shots or passes from behind.
  • Can credibly pick up bigger players on switches: tenacious enough to front the post and box out whomever is close by.

OUTLOOK

Kulagin is a very interesting player: a wing who can run offense and create for others in volume due to the versatility of his passing, while also being able to credibly defend different types of players. Someone with that combination of skills can be very valuable these days, as a chess piece who can unlock lineups in both sides of the extremes in terms of size.

His inability to make a shot is what’s preventing him from being considered a potential impact player at higher levels, though. His true shooting percentage was only about average this past year because he got to the foul line in volume and hit 82.6% of his free throws but the team still scored more efficiently without him on the floor both in the Eurocup[2] and the VTB United League[3].


[1] According to RealGM

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to RealGM

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

Will Clyburn Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Will Clyburn is a 28-year-old[1] veteran who is said to want to sign with an NBA team this offseason after spending his five years as a pro accumulating 7,221minutes of experience in the German BBL, the Israeli BSL, the Turkish BSL, the VTB United League, the Eurochallenge, the Eurocup and the Euroleague[2].

Most recently, the six-foot-six versatile wing averaged 19 points per 40 minutes on 57.4% true shooting and compiled a 17.2 PER in 64 appearances for CSKA Moscow last season – as a key cog on the team that won the VTB United League and made the Euroleague Final Four.

The Detroit native had a multi-dimensional role within CSKA’s motion offense, having the chance to do a little bit of everything. Other than spacing the floor, he got plenty of chances to isolate out of ball reversals, post-up smaller matchups and run small-small pick-and-pops designed to get him downhill on straight line drives.

On the other end, the Iowa State alum looks the part and can do his job reasonably well in aspects related to movement but disappointed with his lack of physicality against power wings or bigger players and doesn’t leverage his athleticism to fly around creating events, though his rebounding was a saving grace.

OFFENSE

Clyburn took only 25.9% of his shots from three-point range last season but that’s still the most important part of his game.

He has an unorthodox release that looks like a catapult at times but the ball went in enough for him to effective as an open shot shooter this past year – nailing 40.8% of his three-point shots, though at a pace of just 3.5 such attempts per 40 minutes.

Clyburn gets little elevation off the ground but his release point leads to a high arcing shot, so he is able to shoot over on-ball contests and closeouts more often than not.

That was a dot outside the curve, though. The previous four years Clyburn hit just 29.3% of his 556 three-point shots.

As is, the majority of his value comes via his ability to create for himself off the dribble. He can grab-and-go off defensive rebounds to trigger offense or just take his man one-and-one in no-pass possessions.

Clyburn doesn’t have an explosive first step and his handle is pretty basic. But he is faster than you’d expected with the ball and has shown to be somewhat resourceful getting into the lane or creating separation.

Clyburn can pivot into a well coordinated spin move in a pinch and has shown some shiftiness unleashing between-the-legs crossovers to shift directions and shake his man off balance. He is also strong enough thanks to his 210-pound frame to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact.

Clyburn is a capable shot-maker on step-back pull-ups but does most of his damage getting all the way to the basket. Besides getting by his man in isolation, he can also do it via small-small pick-and-pops that open up driving lanes for him to get downhill and attack the last line of defense from a position of strength – earning 6.6 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

Clyburn can go up strong off two feet with some space to load up and play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts but is a rim-level finisher going up off the dribble. He can adjust his body in the air, has nice touch over-extending on finger-roll finishes with either hand and proved he is able to do it through contact.

Clyburn also has a righty floater to score over length from the in-between area, overall hitting 49.6% of his 405 two-point shots last season.

He can make a kick-out pass over the top in traffic but has rarely shown anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision on the move – assisting on just 11.3% of CSKA’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

Clyburn can also dribble his way into posting up smaller matchups from time-to-time. He is more often than not only looking for a basic right-handed hook, though, and has so-so feel against double teams as well.

DEFENSE

Clyburn hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but can move laterally reasonably well to stay in front of similarly-sized players and contest pull-ups as well as he can in isolation.

He struggled holding his ground against power wings in the post, though. Due to that lack of physicality and toughness, he is not a good option to pick up bigger players on switches regularly.

Clyburn is also not suited to chase shooters around the floor, as he doesn’t play with enough intensity in pursuit and can’t slide around picks cleanly. That inability to navigate screens also prevents him from being an option to cross-match or pick up smaller players on switches regularly.

He can be relied on to execute the scheme, as he is attentive enough to reverse switches on the fly, to his responsibilities coming off the weak-side to help crowd the area near the basket and can pick up the eventual shot block once in a blue moon – averaging 0.5 blocks per 40 minutes last season.

His instincts to leverage his length and athletic ability making plays in the passing lanes were fairly disappointing (1.1 steals per 40 minutes) but Clyburn did put in the effort pitching in on the glass, taking advantage of the excellent boxout work by Kyle Hines, Andrey Vorotsevich and Semen Antonov – collecting 20.5% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.


[1] DOB: 5/17/1990

[2] According to RealGM

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

James Nunnally Scouting Report

CONTEXT

James Nunnally is a 27-year-old[1] veteran who is expected to sign with an NBA team this offseason after spending his six years as a pro accumulating 7,204 minutes of experience in the G-League, the Greek HEBA 1, the Puerto Rican BSN, the Israeli BSL, the Spanish ACB, the Italian Lega A, the Turkish BSL and the Euroleague[2].

Most recently, the six-foot-seven sharpshooter averaged 18.8 points per 40 minutes on 67% effective shooting and compiled an 18.3 PER in 56 appearances for Fenerbahçe last season, as a key cog on the team that won the Turkish BSL and made it to the Euroleague title game.

His primary role on offense was as a weak-side floor-spacer – logging just 20.2% usage rate and taking 54.5% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range, though the Stockton, California native also proved he is able to run side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving, turn the corner off a hand-off and post up smaller matchups in a pinch.

On the other end, he acted as a weak-side defender for the most part and proved he can be relied on to execute the scheme but Fenerbahçe switched quite aggressively towards the end of the season, so the University of California at Santa Barbara alum also got to defend smaller players somewhat regularly, which he didn’t prove to be particularly well-suited for.

SHOOTING

Nunnally fully extends himself for a high release and has a quick enough trigger to get his catch-and-shoot three-pointers off prior to closeouts, though he didn’t seem as capable when a lengthy defender forced him to rush through his mechanics.

He took some shots relocating after getting into the lane and kicking out, as well as drifting around the wing and to the corner. Nunnally also looks good taking one-dribble pull-ups off an escape dribble against flyby closeouts.

But his best work is still off spot-ups, as he hasn’t shown to have the body flexibility and a dynamic enough release to be asked to take tough shots on the move often.

Nunnally nailed 45.4% of his 847 three-point shots over the last five seasons, at a pace of 6.8 such attempts per 40 minutes, including 52% of his 400 looks from beyond the arc these past couple of years. He also hit 86.8% of his 448 free throws during the five-year span.

OFF DRIBBLE OFFENSE

Nunnally can run side pick-and-roll to keep the offense moving and proved adept at taking dribble-in pull-ups off hop footwork and snaking his way around the screen to create separation for step-back pull-ups.

He keeps his dribble alive and also showed enough court vision to make crosscourt passes to the opposite side – assisting on 13.9% of Fenerbahçe’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

Nunnally can get all the way to the basket on straight line drives curling off dribble-handoffs. Though he is not an explosive leaper off one foot or two feet in traffic and can act as an up-and-down finisher, Nunnally can over-extend for finger-roll layups, proved to be strong enough to finish on his way down and has a running floater to score over length from the in-between area.

He also flashed the ability to dribble into post-ups against smaller matchups, most often looking to pass out of it to a shooter sprinting to an open spot or set up a basic turnaround lean-in jumper.

DEFENSE

Nunnally does OK defending his own position for the most part.

He can bend his knees to get down in a stance, has multiple lateral slides in him to stay in front of similarly sized players in isolation and can use the strength in his 220-pound frame to play stout post defense against power wings – suggesting he could be an option to steal some minutes as the second biggest player on the floor in smaller lineups, which he wasn’t asked to do at Fenerbahçe.

Nunally also proved he can be relied on to stunt-and-recover when Fenerbahçe had its big men hedging against the pick-and-roll and can use his length to get into passing lanes for some takeaways – averaging 1.4 steals per 40 minutes last season.

His contribution on the glass was fairly disappointing, though – as he collected just 11% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season. He struggles to chase shooters off screens as well – lacking the foot speed and the type of body frame suited to slide around picks cleanly.

That also proved to be a problem when Nunnally picked up smaller players on switches. He bends his knees to get down in a stance but is unable to go over screens at the point of attack, gets blown by an unsettling amount in isolation and doesn’t hustle in pursuit to try challenging shots and passes from behind.


[1] DOB: 7/14/1990

[2] According to RealGM

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

Isaiah Briscoe Scouting Report

CONTEXT

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Thursday that Orlando signed Isaiah Briscoe after he impressed in their veteran mini-camp late last month. Basketball Insider’s Eric Pincus has since reported that Briscoe agreed to a three-year deal worth the minimum, with just $500 thousand guaranteed this season.

The 22-year-old[1] surprised many by accepting an offer to play in Estonia straight out of college, instead of trying the G-League route first, but that decision appears to have paid off, as he was able to score a guaranteed commitment from an NBA team in his second year as a pro, even if the amount doesn’t necessarily set in stone that they expect him to make the team.

The six-foot-three combo guard averaged 27.6 points per 40 minutes on 56.3% true shooting in 39 appearances for Kalev-Cramo in the VTB United League and the Estonian KML[2].

Naturally, his numbers were better in the domestic league than in the stronger multi-country competition, which features Russian teams with far superior budgets than their opponents from other former Soviet Union regions.

Nonetheless, Briscoe impressed enough to be named Young Player of the Year in the VTB United League, despite the fact Kalev-Cramo finished tied for last with 18 losses in 24 games. In the Estonian KML, the side won 31 of its 32 games on its way to the title and Briscoe was named to the All-KML Team.

The New Jersey native spent a few possessions off the ball at the start of halves but was the top shot creator on the team – logging a jaw-dropping 33.1% usage-rate and assisting on 27.5% of Kalev-Cramo’s scores in his 1,041 minutes. He did most of his work in isolation and got his touches out of ball reversals or against switches.

On the other end, the Kentucky product didn’t show the same level of intensity and tenacity he was known for during his time in Lexington. He used his athletic ability and remarkable length for someone his size to fly around getting into passing lanes but his impact in other areas left something to be desired, considering his reputation as an impact defender.

SHOT CREATION

Briscoe had the chance to show he is a very resourceful player operating off the dribble and looked closer to the player he was in AAU than the one in college.

He has a tight handle and can keep the ball in a string as he changes speed or directions, pivots into a well-coordinated spin move and goes behind the back in a pinch to shake his defender off balance, creating a lane to drive or separation to pull-up.

Briscoe also impressed with his burst off a hesitation move to blow by his man out of a standstill and his head-fake is remarkable, though he needs to improve his decision making in terms of where he is going, as he was often seen driving into traffic and challenging rim protectors from a position of weakness.

In pick-and-roll, Briscoe usually looked to back down and isolate against switches but showed he is a very capable shot creator for others against conventional coverage. He can split doubles at the point of attack and get downhill or play with pace and unleash an in-and-out dribble to destabilize the big defender.

Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a collapsing defense, Briscoe can make well timed pocket passes, rise up in a pinch for jump-pass kick-outs to the opposite wing and launch hammer passes from under the rim to the corner off speed drives.

Operating off the ball, he also proved to be a willing ball mover making the extra pass around the horn.

Briscoe turned it over on just 13.9% of his possessions, which is a decent mark for someone with such high usage and assist rates.

SCORING

Briscoe improved a lot as a shot maker. His jumper is a lot more fluid, as he is now able to launch a variety of good-looking shots off the dribble:

  • Stop-and-pop pull-up;
  • Crossover into his pull-up;
  • Go between the legs into his pull-up;
  • Go behind the back into his pull-up;
  • Fake one way, pivot to the other into a turnaround fade-away jumper off a hiked leg.

Within close-range, Briscoe is not an explosive leaper off one foot or two feet in traffic but has shown righty and lefty finger-roll finishes, the flexibility to adjust his body in the air, some ability to absorb contact and finish through thanks to his bulky 210-pound frame for someone his height and a floater to finish over length from the in-between area with so-so touch.

That said, the ball doesn’t go in at an appealing rate on his pull-ups just yet, his length hasn’t translated into an ability to complete reverses among the trees and his strength hasn’t translated into an ability to finish on his way down regularly, as he ended up making just 51.2% of his 441 two-point shots last season.

What kept his true shooting at an average .563 percentage was his development into a more capable catch-and-shoot three-point shooter. Briscoe is still only an open shot shooter but looks much less mechanical than he did at Kentucky, possessing a compact release out in front but managing to get his shots of comfortably over closeouts thanks to his high elevation.

He nailed 39% of his 118 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 4.5 such attempts per 40 minutes – a decent mark considering how much work he did on the ball. However, his 70% foul shooting on 184 free throws still doesn’t offer much comfort to the assumption that he has turned the corner as a capable shooter.

DEFENSE

As he shared a lot of his time on the court with smaller players like Branko Mirkovic and Stek Sokk, Briscoe more often than not acted as a weak-side defender.

Though he was regularly seen flat-footed off the ball, he leveraged his quickness into well timed reactions. His closeouts were only so-so, as someone with his athletic ability was expected to run shooters off their shots more often than he did, but Briscoe did well using his six-foot-nine wingspan[3] to get into passing lanes – averaging 2.4 steals per 40 minutes.

He proved he is able to execute the scheme as well – attentive to his responsibilities coming off the weak-side to help crowd the area near the basket. Briscoe is not an explosive leaper off two feet to act as a shot blocking threat but showed to be a very willing charge drawer.

Kalev-Cramo had him picking up bigger wings on switches from time-to-time and Briscoe put up very pleasing effort fronting the post to prevent easy entries or holding his ground in stout post defense if the opponent did manage to enter the ball over him.

His struggles were navigating off ball picks, as he might not be suited to chasing shooters around the floor in one of the few instances where his bulky frame works against him. His contributions in the defensive glass were also somewhat disappointing, as he collected just 12.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season. Even if he is a guard, he was expected to stand out a bit more from an athletic-standpoint.

The biggest disappointment was in individual defense, though. When he did guard the point of attack, Briscoe didn’t go over picks regularly and struggled to slide them cleanly when he did go over. But perhaps more concerning, he didn’t hustle in pursuit to challenge shots and passes from behind all that often. Someone with his length is expected to make a big impact in this area but that didn’t materialize.

And though he has the length to matchup with wings regularly and a bulky frame that suggests he should be able to, Briscoe hasn’t yet developed enough strength to contain dribble penetration through contact against these types of players often.


[1] DOB: 4/13/1996

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to NBA.com/stats/

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

Ryan Broekhoff Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Yahoo!’s Shams Charania first reported on Thursday night that Dallas signed Ryan Broekhoff to a two-year contract – with the first year guaranteed, suggesting they are confident he can make the team.

In his five years as a pro, the 27-year-old[1] has accumulated 5,737 minutes of experience in the Turkish BSL, the VTB United League, the Euroleague and the Eurocup with Besiktas and Lokomotiv Kuban[2].

Other than that, he has under his belt:

  • 3,641 NCAA minutes at Valparaiso;
  • 64 minutes at the 2013 Portsmouth Invitational;
  • 75 NBA Summer League minutes;
  • 60 minutes at the 2013 adidas Eurocamp;
  • 940 minutes with the Australian National Team at;
    • 2009 U19 FIBA World Cup
    • 2011 Universiade
    • 2013 FIBA Oceania Championship
    • 2013 Borislav Stankovic Cup
    • 2013 Universiade
    • 2014 FIBA World Cup
    • 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship
    • 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics

Most recently, the six-foot-seven sharpshooter averaged 16 points per 40 minutes on a jaw-dropping .740 true shooting percentage and compiled a 20.3 PER in 32 appearances last season.

His sole role was to space the floor, as he took 68.9% of his live-ball attempts from three-point range. Broekhoff got some shots up off popping to the top of the key as the back-screener in Spain pick-and-rolls but for the most part was deployed as a corner spot-up gunner.

On the other end, the Frankston, Victoria native played weak-side defense most of the time and proved he is able to execute the scheme, though he lacks the physical profile or the athletic ability to fly around and create events. He puts in the effort guarding on the ball but the best he can do more often than not is direct his man towards the help.

SHOOTING

Broekhoff gets little elevation off the ground but does great shot preparation catching it on the hop, fully extends himself for a high release and pulls the trigger quickly to get his shot off prior to or over closeouts. He also gets great arc and has tremendous touch – hitting 82.7% of his 330 foul shots over the last five seasons.

Broekhoff nailed 42.8% of his 956 three-point shots during that span, at a pace of 6.6 such attempts per 40 minutes.

Though most of his looks materialized on spot-ups, he’s taken quick shots off popping to the three-point line as the back-screener in Spain pick-and-rolls, suggesting Broekhoff has enough versatility in his release to be asked to take shots on the move more regularly.

FINISHING

He doesn’t have a quick first step and isn’t very fast with the ball to attack closeouts with any explosiveness but has enough of a handle to get to the basket on straight line drives or making the eventual kick-out/drop-off against a collapsing defense, though rarely showing much in terms of impressive passing on the move – assisting on just 7.8% of Lokomotiv’s scores when he was on the floor last season.

Broekhoff can’t go up strong off one foot or two feet in traffic, acting as a below the rim finisher. He is not flexible enough to hang or adjust his body in the air and lacks length to complete reverses among the trees. But besides basic speed layups, Broekhoff can unleash a shot fake off a jump-stop to get rim protectors in the air and draw shooting fouls or layup around them.

OFF BALL DEFENSE

He is proven to be a very intelligent team defender – showing impressive awareness off the ball and discipline executing the scheme.

Broekhoff is attentive to his responsibilities rotating in to pick up the roll man and coming off the weak-side to crowd the area near the basket. Though he is unable to leap off two feet explosively to act as a shot blocking threat, Broekhoff has proven himself a very willing charge drawer.

He can switch on the fly and cut off dribble penetration in drop defense while guarding the pick-and-roll as a big man. Broekhoff has also impressed with his attention to shadow isolations when he recognizes a teammate is about to get beat and might need his help in a second.

He is not very physical but leverages his fairly big 215-pound frame to front the post and put a body on whomever is close by under the defensive glass – collecting 18.1% of opponents’ scores when he was on the floor last season.

Broekhoff hustles to closeout, can run some shooters off their shots from time-to-time and stays balanced to keep pace with those players off the bounce. He struggles to chase shooters off screens and lacks the length to make plays getting into passing lanes, though.

ON BALL DEFENSE

Broekhoff bends his knees to get down in a stance and can shuffle his feet laterally to stay in front of similarly sized players for a couple of slides. He is unable to chest up and to contain dribble penetration through contact, though. Broekhoff also struggles to hold his ground defending on the post.

He picked up smaller players on switches somewhat regularly but the best he can do in these instances is direct the ball handler towards the help, as he lacks the foot speed to keep pace with shiftier types stride-for-stride, can’t get skinny to go over screens at the point of attack and is prone to biting on shot fakes.


[1] DOB: 8/23/1990

[2] According to RealGM

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