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

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