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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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

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

Kerwin Roach, II Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Kerwin Roach, II was the 47nd-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].

In his three years at Texas, the 21-year-old[2] has accumulated 2,624 minutes of college basketball experience.

Most recently, the six-foot-four combo averaged 14.8 points per 40 minutes[3] on 50.6% effective shooting and compiled a 14.9 PER in 32 appearances last season[4].

His primary role was to space the floor, given the team lacked other reliable shooters after Andrew Jones left the team to battle leukemia. But Roach, II also had the chance to create on the ball quite a bit, not just on side pick-and-rolls but middle pick-and-rolls against a set defense as well, and impressed with his ability to get to the rim in volume and create for others a fair amount.

On the other end, the Houston native spent most of his time as a weak-side defender, mostly matched up against smaller off guards due to his thin 180-pound frame. While limited in individual defense due to his lack of strength, he offers nice potential flying around to create events.

SHOT CREATION & FINISHING

Roach, II got plenty of touches creating off a live dribble on handoffs and against a set defense on pick-and-rolls or in isolation.

He has an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed, not just off triple threat position but out of a standstill as well, and also proved to have quite a bit of side-to-side shiftiness – able to dribble behind the back in a pinch or pivot into a well coordinated spin move in the blink of an eye.

Roach, II can’t maintain his balance through contact but is very quick with the ball and can euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic – taking 34.7% of his shots at the basket[5], though he earned just 4.1 foul shots per 40 minutes.

While he is unable to absorb and finish through contact, Roach, II is an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic, has a finger-roll lefty finish when forced to his off hand and can adjust his body in the air for acrobatic finishes around rim protectors – converting 63.4% of his 111 shots at the rim, with just 14 of his makes assisted.

Roach, II has also proven himself a very willing passer on the move. He can play with pace in pick-and-roll, keeps the ball in a string and keeps his dribble alive to probe around the defense when a pocket pass isn’t immediately available.

Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a collapsing defense, Roach, II has also shown pretty good court vision to toss up lobs in traffic – assisting on 21.3% of Texas’ scores when he was on the floor, though his average of three turnovers per 40 minutes is quite high for someone with his 21.8% usage rate.

SHOOTING

Roach, II can create separation by using hang dribbles into a nifty crossover move but hasn’t developed into an efficient shot maker off the bounce just yet – missing 70.5% of his 88 two-point jumpers last season and 76.4% of his 72 such attempts the season before[6].

He was a lot more capable off the catch. Roach, II took some shots coming to the ball for dribble-handoffs but got most of his looks as a weak-side floor-spacer on spot-ups, flashing some pretty deep range at times. He launches the ball from a low release out in front, almost at forehead level, but gets monster elevation off the ground and has compact mechanics to shoot over or prior to closeouts more often than not.

Roach, II nailed 36.4% of his 121 three-point shots last season, though at a pace of just 4.5 such attempts per 40 minutes. He nailed just 63.6% of his 360 foul shots over his three years at Texas, though – hitting the breaks on some of the excitement over his potential as a shooter.

DEFENSE

Roach, II bends his knees to get down in a stance and can get skinny to go over screens. He leverages his agility to shuffle his feet laterally and stay in front but lacks strength to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact.

Roach, II also lacks particularly impressive length to contest shots effectively, though he can explode off the floor to block some shots on the ball from time-to-time.

He makes more of a contribution on defense off the weak-side. Roach, II has shown to be quite instinctive making plays in the passing lanes and is attentive to his responsibilities rotating inside in help defense, unable to crowd the area near the basket effectively due to his thin frame but able explode off the ground to block shots from time-to-time – averaging 1.8 steals per 40 minutes last season and picking up 24 blocks in his 97 NCAA appearances.

He also pitched in some in the defensive glass – collecting 10.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor this past year.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 10/24/1996

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to hoop-math

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

Luka Doncic Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Luka Doncic just finished a remarkable season on Tuesday.

After playing a key role on the Slovenian National Team squad that won the 2017 Eurobasket, the 19-year-old[1] went on to win Euroleague and Spanish ACB MVP honors, while leading Real Madrid to continental and domestic titles.

There has never been a player who accomplished as much by such a young age.

The Ljubljana native has accumulated 4,404 minutes of pro experience over the last four years, defending Real Madrid in the two toughest leagues outside the United States and his country in the most competitive tournament among nations.

Most recently, the six-foot-eight passing wizard averaged 22.5 points per 40 minutes on 59.2% true shooting and compiled a 22.8 PER in 73 appearances last season[2].

With Sergio Llull injuring his knee during the summer and subsequently missing the vast majority of the year, Doncic was the top shot creator on the team and was relied on to run a ton of offense – logging 26.8% usage rate and assisting on 30.5% of Real Madrid’s scores when he was on the floor.

Most people view him as best suited for a role as secondary shot creator but Doncic showed this year, at the highest level of European basketball, that he is capable of doing more than just breaking down a scrambling defense or running offense for short stretches. And soon we will get to see to which extent his shot creation prowess can translate to the NBA.

On the other end, Doncic regressed. Tasked with a larger burden on offense, his commitment to off ball defense declined. And it was once again proven true that he is not suited to defending at the point of attack, consistently needing to be paired with a smaller player capable of handling opposing point guards.

There were still glimpses of intelligent help defense, though. And his contributions on the glass continued to be pretty strong.

PASSING

Creating for others remains the best part of his skill-set.

Doncic has remarkable court vision on the move and can anticipate passing lanes a split-second before they become evident. He excels in transition as well but the true foundation of his game is operating in pick-and-roll.

Doncic enjoys an advantageous point of view thanks to his height but has also developed the ability to freeze help defenders with his eyes. I can’t believe there are teams that still hedge against him, as he’s proven time and time  again that he can absolutely destroy them seeing over the top, spotting whomever is over in the blink of an eye and firing bullet passes no big man can outrun.

Off dribble penetration, Doncic has shown he can pass across the court to the opposite corner against the momentum of his body, make wraparound pocket passes and toss up lobs in traffic – averaging 7.1 assists per 40 minutes last season.

Just as a significantly, Doncic has really improved his ability to take care of the ball. A reckless passer who was constantly trying to thread the needle earlier in his career, he turned it over on just 15.3% of his possessions this past year – an acceptable rate for someone with his high usage and assist rates.

SHOOTING

Doncic took a step forward as a catch-and-shoot shooter. One year ago in the 2017 Euroleague Final Four, Fenerbahçe beat Real Madrid in the semifinal in large part by playing off Doncic when he spaced the floor. Such a strategy was no longer viable last season, as he improved into a more consistently capable open shot shooter, if not yet a knockdown one.

His catch-and-shoot stroke looks good more often than not, as he does great shot prep, rises up in balance and has compact mechanics. His release gets a little bit quicker every year, though the fact he gets little elevation off the ground and his launch point out in front might cause him to struggle a little bit more against lengthier NBA wings closing out to him.

Doncic took some shots coming off pindown screens and coming to the ball for dribble hand-offs from time to time but doesn’t have a dynamic enough release to take shots on the move with regularity at this point of his development.

He nailed just 31% of his 348 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 7.5 such attempts per 40 minutes. That percentage was so poor because Doncic had to create a large portion of his long bombs off the bounce, including a good deal of them late in the shot clock.

He showed development as a shooter off the dribble as well, taking them in very diverse ways; raw step-back pull-up off suddenness and going between the legs into a step-back pull-up in isolation, turnaround fade-away jumper in the post, stop-and-pop and pull-back pull-ups out of the pick-and-roll, shot fake into a one-dribble side-step three-pointer escaping a closeout.

Doncic has range out to the three-point line on some of these shots but for the most part these tough looks were responsible for his lousy percentage from beyond the arc. However, he established himself a good shot maker from mid-range. Doncic hit 58% of his 370 two-point shots, while making most of his living on these pull-ups.

There is some skepticism regarding his ability to create good enough separation in isolation to make as good a living on these looks at the NBA level, though. Doncic doesn’t have an explosive first step, a particularly advanced handle or a whole lot of shiftiness. His best resource for setting himself up so far has been leaning into his man as he initiates forward momentum and then taking a hard step-back, with the exception of when he is able to destabilize the opponent by going between the legs into his step-back – something that can be taken away from him if the defender is on top of the scouting report.

FINISHING

Doncic can get deep into the lane off pick-and-roll by playing with pace and putting his man in jail. He can also mix in the eventual spin move to gain some ground as he charges forward.

Doncic can go up off two feet with power if he has some space to load up but isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic. He also hasn’t shown much ability to over-extend around rim protectors, lacking elite length for someone his height.

But Doncic is a fairly resourceful scorer on finesse finishes; spin move into lefty finger-roll layup, lefty speed layup, shot fake off stopping on a dime into a righty scoop finish, neutralizing shot blockers by wrong footing his leap or stepping through, running floater, floater off a jump-stop.

His large 228-pound frame also invites contact, as Doncic averaged 7.7 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

He is not as capable of getting to the basket one-and-one, though. The most concerning aspect of his game is his inability to get by big men on switches, even unathletic types. His lack of shiftiness and explosiveness really hurts him here.

DEFENSE

While he is capable of running point on a full time basis on offense, Doncic is not suited to defend the point of attack on defense. He is too big to be able to get skinny over picks at the point of attack and while he has shown some hustle to try making plays in pursuit in the past, that sort of tenacity seems to have gone away.

Doncic also struggles to stay in front of smaller players out in space, so he is not a good option to pick up these types on switches either.

Against similarly sized players, he can bend his knees to get down in a stance, has multiple lateral slides in him to try staying in front, can leverage his bulk to chest up and contain dribble penetration by less physical types, and can use his eight-foot-nine standing reach[3] to contest shots.

However, his post defense, once stout, has regressed, as he no longer put up that much of a fight when wings took him to the block.

His effort away from the ball was the biggest issue, though. His closeouts left a lot to be desired and he lost his man from time-to-time, aside from the fact he struggled to navigate screens chasing around shooters who get their looks off movement. Doncic also doesn’t play with enough intensity to fly around disrupting plays in the passing lanes.

But there were still glimpses of potentially elite help defense here and there. When he is locked in, Doncic can execute the scheme, rotate in to pick up the roll man and go up off two feet to contest shots via verticality or even pick up the eventual block every once in a while – recording 27 blocks last season.

And he remained an elite defensive rebounder for a perimeter player – collecting 20.9% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.


[1] DOB: 2/28/1999

[2] According to our stats’ database

[3] According to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz

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

Melvin Frazier, Jr. Scouting Report

Melvin Frazier is a name most people probably aren’t familiar with but he could be a player that we look back on as a real steal in this year’s draft.

The junior guard out of Tulane stands at six-foot-five with a 200-pound frame, elite length and good athleticism, possessing adequate scoring ability and a nose for the ball. His numbers last season were extremely respectable for the Green Wave, as he averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per 40 minutes, while posting a 22.4 PER[1].

Frazier is an adequate scorer who can shoot it a little, converting on 38.5% of his three-point attempts last season and sporting a .631 true shooting percentage.

The faster, the better for Frazier. He excels in transition and attacking downhill off the dribble. He’s got solid first step quickness and can get to the rim or shoot off the dribble, but does most of his damage from dribble handoffs or behind the back dribbles usually going to his right.

Frazier can finish above the rim or through contact due to his athleticism but also his crazy length of course, as he was measured with a seven-foot-two wingspan[2].

The poster dunk Frazier had against North Carolina, where you see him beat the defender off high pick-and-roll with that behind the back dribble, was possibly the best play of the last college basketball season. He can finish with both hands and has good touch around the rim but seems to mainly look to go to the right.

As I mentioned above, Frazier’s best asset seems to be when the pace of the game speeds up and he’s in transition. He usually makes positive plays on the break and has very impressive speed in the open floor. Frazier is great at taking a defensive rebound and changing ends, getting the break going and staying on the lookout to find open shooters trailing him. He’s also great at turning steal and defensive plays into transition opportunities, often scoring from steals.

His shooting concerns me some but his field goal, three-point, free throw and two-point percentages all trended upwards during his three seasons at Tulane. Mechanically speaking, there doesn’t seem to be too many things standing out about his shot that are poor, besides really nitpicky things such as the ball being released behind his head or it seeming to be a little slow, as the ball kind of sticks at times with his release point. His follow through is sometimes inconsistent but he showed real progression over the past two seasons.

His handle is solid but his ball security seems to be a real issue, as he averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes. His dribble gets high at times and he gets the ball knocked away too often on drives, showcasing a limited arsenal in terms of his creativity as a ball handler. Frazier also has a strong preference for going right, as he just doesn’t seem particularly comfortable setting up lefty finishes.

The other end is where Frazier is really going to make his money in the league, especially with his ability off ball. He’s a thief, finishing with 152 steals over his three years in college and averaging 2.3 steals per 40 minutes.

Frazier does a good job of keeping his head on a swivel, reading passes and utilizing his great length to get into passing lanes. He’s a good team defender, helping often from the weak-side and even when he gets beat, Frazier has the length and quickness to recover and at least alter the shot.

Frazier definitely can get greedy at times and his effort off ball can come back to haunt him, as he gambles frequently for steals. This causes him to get out of or give up position to his man and give up easy buckets. As long as he can keep his energy level, while maintaining better discipline, he should limit these errors and excel as a defender at the next level.

As an on ball defender, the story is different. He’s not bad, but far from great.

Frazier gets beat off the dribble more than you would expect. His fundamentals are pretty poor; he stands way too upright and is rarely down in a stance, something that usually gets taken advantage of.

Frazier just kind of goes through the motions and that’s a big issue for me, as I view him as lazy. If he can capture the same intensity and effort he brings off the ball to when he is guarding on the ball, he has the potential to be an upper echelon defender in the NBA.

I don’t view Frazier as an elite prospect and he’s not going to change your franchise by any means. But he’s an adequate shooter and scorer, who can create at times for himself, thrives playing in transition and can generate steals in volume. He will add value to whatever team selects him and should be a rotation player for a long time, if he gets stronger and continues to improve his on-ball defense.

Frazier is a real dark horse in this class and would be a steal in the second round. To me, he should be late first round pick and could perhaps help a contender right away.


[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

Editor’s Note: Evan Wheeler is a regular contributor to ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Denver Sidekickswhere he is also a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @EvzSports

Troy Brown, Jr. Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Troy Brown, Jr. was the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

In his one year at Oregon, the 18-year-old[2] accumulated 1,093 minutes of NCAA experience. Prior to it, he logged 86 minutes at the 2015 Nike Global Challenge, 122 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations, 169 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup and 16 minutes at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit[3].

Most recently, the six-foot-seven swingman averaged 14.5 points per 40 minutes[4] on 49.4% effective shooting and compiled a 15.8 PER in 35 appearances last season.

Oregon had a +4.9 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor[5] but played only the 84th-toughest schedule in the country[6].

Brown looks like the 3&D wing every single team is looking for these days.

He isn’t quite that player on offense, though. Brown shot poorly from long range in his one year in college and didn’t get up as many three-point shots as you’d like for someone in his role (weak-side floor-spacer), instead showing a stronger preference for putting the ball on the floor to attack closeouts and isolating out of ball reversals.

When Payton Pritchard was out of the game, Brown was tasked with bringing the ball up the floor and triggering ball movement sequences but didn’t have many, if any, chances to run high pick-and-roll against a set defense. He was a point guard in high school and flashed some nice passing on side pick-and-rolls, so there might be some hidden potential for shot creation there.

On the other end, Brown proved he is able to execute the scheme as a weak-side help defender and has the physical profile to be expected to offer versatility picking up bigger players on switches. He doesn’t appear to have the lateral quickness needed to develop into an ace stopper and isn’t suited to defend smaller players for longer stretches, though.

OFF BALL DEFENSE

Brown impressed with his attention and awareness.

He keeps his stance off the ball, can switch on the fly, rotates in to help crowd the area near the basket, comes off the weak-side to bat away or prevent simple passes to the roll man and knows how to position himself to try guarding two men when Oregon blitzed an action on the opposite side.

Brown knows not to help one pass away off the strong-side corner and is a proactive communicator on those switches.

He is not an explosive leaper off two feet and doesn’t act as a threat block shots regularly but can help protect the rim in help defense by planting his feet and effectively contest shots with his eight-foot-nine standing reach[7].

Brown was also an asset finishing possessions by collecting 18% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor and leveraging his six-foot-10 wingspan to get into passing lanes, as he averaged two steals per 40 minutes last season.

His struggles off the ball were when he had to chase shooters off screens and closeout to spot-up shooters. He is not very quick disentangling himself from traffic and needs to sell out to run the shooter off his shot, allowing an easy path off the bounce and exposing the defense behind him.

ON BALL DEFENSE

Brown bends his knees to get down in a stance, has two or three lateral slides in him to stay in front of similarly sized players out in space and puts in the effort to contest pull-up shots effectively, though he doesn’t use the strength in his 208-pound frame to chest up and contain dribble penetration through contact often.

Oregon switched somewhat aggressively, not just on screens but on people movement as well, and Brown was asked to defend players of different sizes from time-to-time.

He has just about enough agility to pick up less explosive smaller players midway through the shot clock but isn’t suited to cross-match onto them for entire possessions due to his inability to get skinny over screens at the point of attack.

He did well against bigger players, though. Brown showed some tenacity late in the season trying to front the post and prevent easy entry passes. He can also play stout post defense and box out softer big men, though he is not very physical and tougher types can still push him out of the way or rebound around his boxouts.

But his most impressive work was probably in pick-and-roll defense. Brown looked good in drop defense keeping pace with a ball-handler attacking downhill, stepping up to the front of the basket acting as the last line of defense and on short closeouts against shooting big men in the pick-and-pop.

OFFENSE

Odds are that in order to make it in the pros, Brown will need to be a shooter. His one year in college wasn’t very promising, though.

He missed 70.9% of his 110 three-point shots, at a pace of just four such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 74.3% foul shooting on 105 free throws offers hope that this was an unusually poor year instead of one reflective of his low potential as a shooter.

Brown likes setting up his catch-and-shoot jumpers off 1-2 footwork, takes a pronounced dip for rhythm and has a bit of a long release. Given these issues, he hasn’t yet developed a quick trigger and doesn’t always get a great arc on his shot. He took a few shots drifting around the wing but for the most part didn’t show much in terms of being able to take shots on the move.

Rather than pulling the trigger aggressively, Brown showed a stronger preference for operating off the bounce.

He doesn’t have a quick first step out of triple threat position, isn’t fast with the ball, lacks shiftiness and showed only a rudimentary handle – averaging 3.1 turnovers per 40 minutes.

But he got all the way to the basket often by leveraging his strength to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact, while mixing in the eventual light hesitation move. 40.4% of his shots were at the rim and he earned 3.8 free throws per 40 minutes – a decent, if not necessarily impressive, mark.

Brown isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot in traffic but can use his length to over-extend on finger-roll finishes and his strength to finish through contact – converting his 131 shots at the rim at a 63.4% clip[8]. He also flashed some ability to adjust his body in the air elevating off two feet after loading up to go up.

Brown wasn’t as efficient when forced to stop his drives short. He hasn’t yet developed into much more than a capable shot maker on step-back pull-ups and didn’t show much in terms of running floaters or floaters off jump-stops to finish over length from the in-between area – hitting just 34.6% of his 81 two-point shots away from the basket.

He is inclined to post up smaller matchups every once in a while. His turnaround fade-away jumper is OK but the best outcome out of him operating with his back to the basket tends to be his shot creation for others, as Brown has flashed appealing vision making cross-court passes after escaping a double team.

Passing is his most developed skill, by the way. He passes ahead in transition to speed up the pace, makes the extra pass around the horn to keep it moving, delivers shovel passes when he spots cutters coming across the lane and proved to be an adequate passer off dribble penetration – yet to show much in terms of passing across his body to the opposite end on the go but able to kick-out and drop-off against a collapsing defense.

Brown also had the chance to run some side pick-and-roll to keep the offense flowing and proved he can make the skip pass to the big relocating to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop and hit the roll man with passes over the top – assisting on 18.6% of Oregon’s scores when he was on the floor last season.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 7/28/1999

[3] According to our stats’ database

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to our stats’ database

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to the measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

[8] According to hoop-math

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