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

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