James Wiseman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

The top-ranked recruit in the 2019 high school class, James Wiseman ended up logging just 69 minutes with the University of Memphis this past season.

And even those 69 minutes were actually a bonus, considering they only took place under the protection of a restraining order a local judge in Tennessee issued against the NCAA’s decision to suspend Wiseman from the start of the college basketball season, something you don’t see very often.

The NCAA ruled him ineligible due to his long-standing connection with head coach Penny Hardaway, who assisted Wiseman’s family during a move from Nashville to Memphis a couple of years ago, so he could then enroll at Memphis East High School, where Hardaway coached before getting hired by the University of Memphis.

The NCAA and Memphis eventually negotiated a 12-game suspension to be served after the team’s loss to Oregon, its most anticipated non-conference game of the season, but soon thereafter Wiseman realized that a prospect of his caliber does not need to jump through hoops for the NCAA’s benefit and left the school to focus entirely on preparing for the draft.

As was the case with Darius Garland last year, missing essentially the entire season is unlikely to hurt his stock in any meaningful way, as ESPN currently ranks him third on its top 100 and buzz of him maybe ending up the top pick depending on which team wins the lottery remains.

That’s the case because Wiseman showed in his time at Memphis East and his appearance at the Nike Hoop Summit a year ago potential to become a pure center who is special enough to escape the league’s deemphasizing of the position over these last few years.

Part of it is physical talent. Wiseman measured at six-foot-11 without shoes, with a seven-foot-four wingspan and a 247-pound frame in the Memphis Pro Day. Those are elite measurements for a 20-year-old. He’s also athletic, in terms of elevating quickly off the ground to make plays at the rim on both ends and flashing some coordination with the ball on face-up drives.

Another part of it is the flashes of skill he’s shown as a passer on the move and as an outside shooter, which suggests he could be useful to assist the ball movement process and/or help space the floor on occasion, though there is no data to support those impressions, given he’s never shot well or recorded all that many assists in the higher profile events he’s participated in.

His three NCAA appearances took place against South Carolina State (which ended up losing 18 of its 29 games in the season), Illinois-Chicago (which ended up losing half of its games) and Oregon (which ended up winning 24 of its 31 games). In those, Wiseman averaged 34.2 points per 40 minutes on 76.3% effective shooting and compiled a 47.8 PER.

But despite those video game numbers, his brief cup of coffee in college really only served to suggest that some of his more ambitious adventures on offense (face-up driving from the top of the key and shooting on the move) will probably be phased out of his game as he moves up through the levels, as his offense was entirely based on attempting to overwhelm the competition with his size around the rim.

Wiseman was able to show more promising traits on the other end, mostly in help defense, where his activity near the rim translated right away, but also in pick-and-roll coverage, especially against Illinois-Chicago, when he was able to extend pick-and-roll coverage far beyond the foul line and contest a pull-up three-pointer effectively, though it’s noteworthy that his least impressive performance was against Oregon, which was by far the best team he played against.

Check the rest of the post at RealGM

Olivier Sarr Scouting Report

Oliver Sarr’s move to Kentucky marks one of the highest profile transfers of the college basketball offseason.

It’s still unclear if the seven-foot center born in Toulouse will be eligible for next season, as his attempt to get clearance without having to sit out one year seems to be based entirely on the fact that Danny Manning was let go at Wake Forest, where Sarr spent his first three years upon moving to the United States after developing during his mid-teens at INSEP – the famous French athletics program.

He averaged 14.8 points per 40 minutes on 55.2% true shooting and 11 rebounds per 40 minutes in 85 appearances these last three seasons but made a bigger leap in prominence after averaging 20.5 points per 40 minutes on 59.6% true shooting and recording a 26.4 PER in 802 minutes this past year[1].

Under Manning’s guidance, the 21-year-old[2] developed as a post scorer and was the focal point of Wake Forest’s interior-driven attack last season – logging 24.2% usage rate and scoring over a third of his makes from two-point range unassisted[3].

Though not usually very physical attempting to set deep position, he manages to get a good enough seal in the mid-post or lower against his age group due to the nature of his 235-pound frame.

Sarr has a patient approach operating with his back to the basket, which can at times look too methodical. He doesn’t often go for quick moves or power moves, rarely attempting to leverage his general size into overwhelming less-physically developed opponents but nonetheless getting the benefit of the whistle quite a bit – averaging nine foul shots per 40 minutes this past season.

It’s more common to see him trying to show his sleek-ish footwork with spin moves, basic turnaround hooks and the occasional running hook. Those moves tend to look mechanical. His touch, with either hand, is decent but nothing substantially above average, as he shot 66.9% on 127 shots at the rim and 40.5% on 126 two-point shots away from the rim last season.

Sarr is also fond of facing up, jab-stepping and attempting a near-standstill outside shot on occasion but hasn’t looked all that promising in that area.

He will at times drive out of these face-ups, as well as on catches out of roll-and-replace and flashing to the foul line. Though Sarr has shown a little bit of coordination putting the ball on the floor in these instances, he is slow and doesn’t have any sort of lift elevating off one foot in traffic, shiftiness to shake his man side-to-side or dexterity pulling up off the bounce.

Sarr will attempt a three-pointer every once in a while out of these roll-and-replace catches but hasn’t yet developed into any sort of a threat to space the floor capably and regularly – missing 36 of his 47 three-point shots over his time in the NCAA.

In pick-and-roll, he’s shown to be a basic screener who hasn’t yet developed advanced techniques but who looks to draw contact and can dislodge on-ball defenders from ball-handlers fairly well when he plants his feet.

Sarr has shown glimpses of soft hands catching the ball on the move but nothing particularly impressive in terms of touch on non-dunk finishes in a crowd. He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense but needs time and space to load up before going up strong, yet to prove he can elevate quickly enough and explosively enough while rolling down the middle.

Sarr has flashed some coordination not to crash into the help on hard rolls, as well as some dexterity catching the ball around the foul line, dribbling for balance, and kicking out off engaging a help defender.

He hasn’t yet developed into a real asset helping facilitate for others, though, not on the move, not out of drawing double-teams in the post, not acting as a connective tissue while handling in the high post – assisting on just 8% of Wake Forest’s scores when he was on the floor, with a 0.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Sarr is at his most efficient on offense in the offensive glass, where he’s shown a knack for setting inside position and good instincts reacting to the ball quicker than the competition, besides the fact he’s able to reach it at a higher point than most opponents due to his standing reach and the fact he has flashed a surprising quick second jump – collecting 11.4% of Wake Forest’s misses when he was on the floor last season and converting his 29 putback attempts at a 73.1% clip.

On the other glass, Sarr was dominant. He allowed inside position on occasion but proved himself attentive to his boxout responsibilities and played with a little more toughness than he showed in other areas, not just putting a body on whoever was close by but often doing so physically to clear out his rebounding area – collecting 26.1% of opponents’ misses when he was in the game last season.

That edge in holding his ground could also be seen in post defense, where Sarr looked stout, besides keeping in mind to guard with his arms up near the rim to discourage opponents from attempting to finish over him.

Sarr had good moments as an effective presence defending closer to the basket. He’s shown a knack for making preventive rotations that deny space for a ball handler towards driving all the way to the basket and regularly blocked baseline paths to the goal.

Sarr averaged 26.7 minutes per game for a team that allowed opponents to take just 34.5% of live-ball attempts at the rim, a mark that ranked in the top third in the country last season[4].

He is active stepping to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and regularly challenged shots via verticality but at times didn’t seem strong enough to disrupt athletic finishers when they met in the air.

Sarr also doesn’t look quick enough for plays that require multiple efforts, where he’s needed to step up, force a drop-off and then turnaround to challenge his man going up out of the dunker spot.

He hasn’t stood out as a threat to block shots in volume, despite his size and length – averaging just 1.8 blocks per 40 minutes across the last three seasons. Wake Forest allowed 64% shooting at the rim last season, a mark that ranked 317th in the nation, which is not necessarily all on Sarr but doesn’t reflect well on his ability to anchor an above average effort defending the goal.

His average of 4.7 personal fouls per 40 minutes is pretty discouraging too.

He was asked to defend the pick-and-roll with a mix of dropbacks and hedges, while also finding himself switching against smaller players on occasion to make up for an on-ball defender getting stuck on the screen for too long.

On dropbacks, Sarr goes up at most a step beyond the foul line and does not approach the ball handler often, just giving up the pull-up jumper in these instances. When the ball handler doesn’t take that rhythm pull-up, Sarr has shown somewhat unexpected fluidity backpedaling and has proven himself capable of keeping pace with smaller players foul line down to discourage them from attempting to finish over or around him.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Sarr showed pretty good quickness defending the pick-and-pop here and there, able to run stretch big men who need time to load up their jumpers out of their shots more than a few times.

On hedges, he did well influencing ball handlers way high on the perimeter but lacks the speed to recover back in a timely manner.

On switches, Sarr bends his knees to get down in a stance and had some promising possessions flashing some lateral agility against guards who didn’t have much side-to-side quickness. Against these types, he couldn’t necessarily stay in front to force a pull-up but managed to stay attached well enough to discourage them from attempting to finish over or around him.

But despite his pretty decent balance for a seven-footer defending off the bounce, Sarr doesn’t seem like a real option to pick up truly quick smaller guards one-on-one, as those types with real north-south speed managed to just beat him on the first step and get to the goal before he could get to them from behind.


[1] According to sports-reference

[2] DOB: 2/20/1999

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] 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

Francisco Caffaro Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • One of the most prominent graduates of the NBA Academies initiate to date, alongside Gonzaga’s Oumar Ballo (who was already very famous before joining the program) and Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi;
  • Redshirted his first year at Virginia, after enrolling midway through the season, and was simply a minutes-eater in the backend of the rotation in his second year;
    • Logged just 152 minutes in his 20 appearances as a redshirt freshman, averaging just 7.5 minutes per game;
  • Native of Santa Fé, Argentina;
    • Has 593 minutes of FIBA experience with the Argentinean National Team at the 2015 U16 Americas Championship, 2016 U17 World Cup, 2017 U19 World Cup, 2018 U18 Americas Championship, 2019 U19 World Cup;
  • Turns 20 in May[1];
  • Seven-foot center who profiles as a rim protector and a finisher out of the dunker spot but doesn’t offer any sort of versatility on either end;
    • Flashed a basic post game backing down mismatches with the Argentinean National Team at the 2019 U19 World Cup;
    • 58% true shooting[2] is pretty unimpressive for someone who took the overwhelming majority of his live-ball attempts around the basket;
    • Ranked in the top 10 in block percentage, among qualified players, at the 2019 U19 World Cup[3];
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 105.

INTERIOR DEFENSE

  • Stuck close to the rim for the most part and flashed a basic understanding of how to leverage his general size and his length into challenging shots at basket off stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense but didn’t prove himself a quick enough leaper to act as a regular threat to block shots in volume against the level of athleticism in the NCAA;
    • Five blocks in 150 minutes average out to 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Didn’t show much in terms of quickness rotating off the weakside in help defense either;
    • Did have strong numbers at the 2019 U19 World Cup, though: 4.9% block rate ranked ninth in the tournament, among players with a minimum of 100 minutes;
  • So-so post defender: has a 244-pound frame to be able to hold his ground against most matchups but struggled against Vernon Carey, Jr., who is admittedly an elite post scorer within his age group but, nonetheless, the sort of bar Caffaro would need to clear in order to move up to higher levels;
    • Tried to move his feet as well as he could to stay attached but struggled to stay in front of face-up big men one-on-one, getting beat on the first step and showing very little side-to-side quickness;
  • Put in the effort to boxout but was outmatched in terms of athletic ability reacting to the ball off the rim in his first year at the NCAA level;
    • Collected just 11.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor this past season, a very poor mark for a seven-footer;
    • Did have strong numbers at the 2019 U19 World Cup, though: 32.6% defensive rebounding rate led the tournament, among players with a minimum of 100 minutes;
  • Was asked to go up to the foul line and drop back in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Showed some nimbleness backpedaling and staying within range to challenge a shot from the foul line down but didn’t seem capable of contesting pull-ups, cutting off dribble penetration or shutting down pocket passes/lobs around his area;
  • Put in the effort to closeout hard to the three-point when he had to but not with any sort of real effectiveness.

OFFENSE

  • Most developed skill for now is his screening;
    • Widens his stance, looks to draw contact, makes it so that his large is tough for on-ball defenders to navigate around, sets moving picks;
  • Hasn’t yet developed into a good option diving down the lane;
    • So-so hands catching the ball on the move, needs to load up to go up, hasn’t shown the ability to play above the rim as a target for lobs, iffy touch around the basket;
    • Did flash a floater off a jump-stop at one point, which might end up his best resource to score out of the pick-and-roll in the near future;
  • Doesn’t play with a ton of tenacity to get a deep seal in the post consistently but does rely on his power to back opponents into short range hooks/toss-ins;
    • Doesn’t have much lift out of a standstill;
    • Didn’t really show much ability to work his man out position with fakes or pivot moves;
    • Showed a strong preference for not going to his left hand under any circumstance;
    • Struggled with his touch around the basket – hit just eight of his 15 attempts at the rim[4];
    • Overwhelmed defenders into drawing fouls an interesting amount (88.2% free throw rate), considering his limitations – earned 15 foul shots in 150 minutes, which average out to 4.0 free throws per 40 minutes (shot well too, hitting two out of every three, which is decent enough for a seven-footer on such a limited amount of attempts);
    • Struggled badly to deal with double-teams or opponents simply crowding his attempts to make a move – turned the ball over on 27.2% of his possessions, which was sky-high in the context of his 12.7% usage rate;
    • Hasn’t yet shown any potential to be able to create for others with his back to the basket – had zero assists all season.

[1] DOB: 5/19/2000

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to RealGM

[4] 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

Jay Huff Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • 73rd-ranked prospect in the 2016 high school class[1];
  • Redshirted his first year at Virginia, was a minutes-eater the next two (logging a total of 422 minutes in 46 appearances across two years) and developed into arguably the best player on the team this past season;
    • Led the ACC in box plus-minus in 2019-2020[2];
    • Led a team in defensive rating among rotation players[3] that ranked first in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency[4];
  • Seven-foot-one center who protected the rim very well and proved capable of extending basic pick-and-roll coverage above the foul line a little bit, without fouling in volume;
    • Wasn’t asked to switch onto smaller players much but struggled when asked to hedge way high out in the perimeter, making it questionable he offers much versatility as a pick-and-roll defender;
    • Tough enough with his 232-pound frame to be average on the glass and defending the post;
  • Not a particularly explosive leaper in a crowd but proved capable of finishing lobs sneaking behind the defense (spot-up at the dunker spot or on longer rolls that necessitated the ball handler engaging his defender) and exceled as a floor spacer in college, though on a limited number of attempts;
    • His foul shooting percentage also makes you question just how real his three-point shooting ability really is;
  • Decent enough post scorer in college but not skilled enough or enough of a bully to be expected to develop into a shot creator in the pros;
    • Doesn’t project as much of a hub to facilitate offense either;
  • Currently unranked on ESPN’s top 105.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Stuck pretty close to the rim based on the way Virginia played defense, but still impressed with his awareness as a help defender and consistently managed to leverage his general size and his rumored nine-foot-six standing reach[5] into making plays at the rim;
  • Pretty active and deceptively quick stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and intervening at the last second off shadowing an isolation;
    • Easy leaper off two feet to challenge shots via verticality or act as regular threat to block them – averaging 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes this past season;
    • His 11.2% block percentage would be higher than that of any player on ESPN’s top 105, except for James Wiseman, who appeared in just three games in his NCAA career before realizing the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze;
    • Challenged shots at the rim constantly without exposing himself to foul trouble – averaging just 3.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Impressed with his awareness making preventive rotations that denied the ball handler space towards driving all the way to the basket;
  • Also flashed awareness rotating in to pick up the roll man when the pick-and-roll wasn’t run at him but not quick or instinctual enough to make plays in the passing lanes regularly;
    • Has just 20 steals in 1,168 NCAA minutes;
  • Attentive to his boxout responsibilities, showed improved physicality as his frame got stronger over the course of his time at Virginia and showed decent quickness reacting to the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 20.6% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season, which is not an exceptionally great mark for a seven-foot-one center but not a troublingly one either;
  • Decent post defender: hustles to front the post and bat away some entries passes on occasion, even if without a ton of tenacity, and able to overwhelm opponents who can’t back him down on pure strength with his length when the ball does get entered.

PICK&ROLL DEFENSE

  • Hunches more than he bends his knees getting down in a stance to approach the ball handler but impressed some with his comfort extending coverage a couple of steps above the foul line and his nimbleness moving laterally to deny the ball handler space towards turning the corner;
    • Not very quick but agile enough to slide laterally and backpedal fluidly in order to prevent the ball handler from turning the corner right away off the pick a fair amount;
    • Not really a threat to shut down passing lanes or bat away lobs regularly, though;
  • Was asked to hedge and recover way high out on the perimeter a fair amount but struggled to influence ball handler effectively and isn’t fast enough to recover back to his man quickly enough, needing to over-rely on his outnumbered teammates behind him for a little too long.

PICK&ROLL OFFENSE

  • Decent screener who looks to draw contact and dislodge the on-ball defender off the ball handler but hasn’t yet developed or didn’t show or wasn’t asked to show advanced techniques (widening stance, flipping the screens, re-screening, moving picks);
  • Not a particularly impressive leaper but proved more than capable of finishing lobs sneaking behind the defense in the dunker spot and on longer rolls to the rim, while also showing pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Took half of his live-ball attempts at the rim and converted those 93 shots at a 75.3% clip this past season;
  • Most appealing aspect of his offense at this point is his ability to space the floor, not just on spot-ups, but out of the pick-and-pop as well;
    • Gets little elevation off the floor, needs to dip for rhythm and launches from a low release out in front but shoots an easy ball for a seven-footer, was able to get his shot quickly enough without much struggle at the collegiate level and showed legit NBA range often;
    • Nailed 38.5% of his 91 three-point shots over his 76 NCAA appearances across three seasons, though at a pace of just 3.1 such attempts per 40 minutes;
    • Hit just 59.1% of his 88 free throw attempts in his collegiate career, though, which puts into question how truly great a shooter he really is at this point of his development;
  • Demanded hard closeouts more often than not and showed glimpses of a basic off dribble skill;
    • Can shot-fake and attack the basket on a straight line out of triple threat position, and go up with power off one foot if unchallenged;
    • Hasn’t yet developed anything particularly advanced in terms of side-to-side shake, pull-up shooting or passing on the move if he needs to deal with any sort of traffic between him and the goal.

OTHER AREAS OF OFFENSE

  • Doesn’t leverage his frame into setting deep position in the post often but managed to get enough of a seal for some regular touches in emergency situations (logged just 18.8% usage this past season) in college;
    • Was effective with a basic approach backing his way into a righty hook in college (shot 42.1% on 38 two-point attempts away from the basket[6]) but hasn’t yet developed power moves, sleek footwork or fakes to dislodge or get his man out of position;
    • Didn’t show much of anything in terms of being able to create for others – assisting on just 8.6% of Virginia’s scores when he was on the floor, at a 0.75 assist-to-turnover ratio;
  • Pretty average on the offensive glass, not very impressive in terms of bullying his way into inside position, flying over for putback dunks or going back up strong through contact, but capable of leveraging his rumored seven-foot-one wingspan into rebounding outside of his area and the combination of his reach and decent second jump into getting some tip-ins from time-to-time;
    • Collected just 10.1% of Virginia’s misses when he was on the floor, though his time as a floor spacer should be kept in mind;
    • Converted 72.2% of his 22 putback attempts.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to Ken Pomeroy

[5] According to Daily Progress

[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

James Wiseman Scouting Report

First posted at RealGM

Ranked as the number one prospect in the 2019 high school class[1], Wiseman is currently viewed as the number one overall prospect in next year’s draft as well.

Measured at six-foot-11 without shoes with a seven-foot-four wingspan and weighed at 247 pounds in the Memphis Pro Day[2], he looks ready to step into an NBA game right now, from a physical profile-standpoint.

Wiseman is projected as a modern center on offense, capable of offering vertical and horizontal spacing, but those traits are more theoretical than proven for now.

He can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on longer rolls, out of the dunker spot and filling the lanes in transition but is only a so-so screener at this point of his development (often too lackadaisical in his approach to the on-ball defender) and wasn’t given many chances to roll hard down the lane in high school.

The 18-year-old[3] was given the freedom to step out to the three-point line while playing for Memphis East High School and even flashed some versatility to his release while taking catch-and-shoot jumpers out of the pick-and-pop, as the trailer in transition and jogging to the top of the key. He doesn’t have an impressively quick trigger but has a fluid enough release for a six-foot-11 player, launches the ball from the top and gets a good deal of elevation for someone his size, so he manages to get his shot off over closeouts somewhat comfortably.

The ball doesn’t go in a whole lot yet, though. The lefty nailed just four of his 27 three-point attempts with Bluff City Legends in the Nike EYBL & Peach Jam circuit a year ago[4]. More discouragingly, he hit just 55.4% of his 101 free throw attempts in those events, which raises doubts over his natural touch.

Wiseman got a lot of touches in the post in high school and showed a strong preference for facing up, at times seeming like he allowed himself to get pushed out of the mid-post out to the elbow extended area in order to face up against his man with a little more space to operate.

He hasn’t yet developed a patient approach or a diverse set of moves operating with his back to the basket – most often looking for turnaround hooks and yet to show he can go to his right hand as an option.

On the other end, things looked a lot more promising.

Wiseman impressed with his activity as a rim protector in high school. He is a quick leaper off two feet to block or challenge shots via verticality while stepping up to the front of the basket and an explosive leaper off one foot coming across the lane on longer rotations, besides having the sort of length needed to block or alter shots even when he is a step late and not within the finisher’s immediate area.

Wiseman shadows isolations and also impressed with multiple efforts stepping up to discourage a shot attempt by the driver, then turning around and going up in a split-second to block a shot by his man roaming around the dunker spot.

While not a dominant rebounder when matched up against similarly-physical opponents in the All-Star events he’s participated over the last couple of years, Wiseman was more often than not attentive to his boxout responsibilities and got physical defending his rebounding area at the level he played at in high school.


[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

[3] DOB: 3/31/2001

[4] According to d1circuit.com

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

Chet Holmgren Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Fourth-ranked prospect in the 2021 high school class[1];
  • Aged 17;
  • Listed at seven-feet tall and 190 pounds[2];
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota native who played his first couple years of high school basketball at Minnehaha Academy;
    • Played a key role in the school’s back-to-back title winning campaigns at the Minnesota state championship class 2A these past two seasons;
  • Played AAU ball with the Grassroots Sizzle in the Under Armour Association last offseason;
    • Statistical profile: 22.6 points per 40 minutes on 64% shooting, 49% three-point shooting on 4.6 such attempts per 40 minutes, 8.6 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, 7.3 blocks per 40 minutes in 14 appearances[3];
  • Projects as a modern center who can space the floor on one end and protect the rim on the other;
  • Is developing some versatility to his release and has flashed the ability to put the ball on the floor against hard closeouts;
    • Extremely thin frame for someone his height makes him a very mobile big man and Minnehaha even called some plays for him to catch off running around screens;
  • Lack of strength is a factor in the more physical areas of the game but plays with energy and intensity in pick-and-roll defense and as a help defender.

HELP DEFENSE

  • Blocked 63 shots in 373 minutes in the Under Armour Association, which averages out to 7.3 blocks per 40 minutes;
  • Aggressive rotating across the lane off the weakside;
    • Not impressively explosive elevating off one foot but seems to have superior length to block a shot even when he’s not in the immediate area of the finisher;
  • Attentive to his responsibilities stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense;
    • Quick leaper off two feet to block shots in volume or challenge them via verticality – does not need to load up to go up off a standstill;
    • Gets knocked back at times when trying to challenge shots via verticality due to lack of core strength;
  • Showed glimpses of very good awareness making preventive rotations that intimidated ball handlers from driving all the way to the rim;
  • Shadows isolations and is aggressive coming to the rescue of teammates getting beat out in space.

PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE

  • Was most often asked by Minnehaha Academy to go up to the foul line and drop-back in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Nimble and agile enough to move sideways, intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner, then turning around to contest the roll man effectively;
    • Coordinated and fluid while dropping back but doesn’t leverage his length into making plays on the ball going for strips or challenging feeds to the roll man;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players on straight line drives foul line down;
    • Can block a shot defending on the ball;
  • Picked up smaller players on switches from time-to-time;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance;
    • Mobile enough to stay in front of less shifty types out on an island;
    • Puts in the effort to contest pull-ups.

OTHER AREAS OF DEFENSE

  • Not always diligent with his boxout responsibilities and isn’t very physical when he does put a body on whoever is close by but plays with decent activity chasing the ball off the rim and can reach it at a higher level than other high schoolers in Minnesota;
  • Can execute the scheme and make a difference as a weakside defender on actions in the middle of the floor;
    • Agile enough to stunt inside, take away a driver’s path to the basket, and then recover into blocking a three-pointer on a hard closeout thanks to his combination of long strides and length;
    • Flashed some awareness to switch on the fly;
  • Struggles to hold his ground in the post but does guard with his arms up near the basket, which often intimidates the opponent from trying to finish over him;
  • Hustles back in transition defense and can pick up the occasional chase-down block.

OFFENSE

  • Played mostly as a floor-spacer with Minnehaha Academy, clearing the lane for Jalen Suggs to post up smaller guards or get downhill in isolation;
    • Has a fluid release and a fairly quick trigger for someone his height;
    • Compact mechanics without that much of a dip for rhythm, launching the ball from out in front and off little elevation, but managing to get his shot off prior to or over closeouts consistently comfortably due to his height;
    • Doesn’t always get the greatest arc on his shot;
    • Guide hand discipline could use some work;
    • Nailed 49% of his 43 three-point shots in the Under Armour Association, at a pace of 4.6 such attempts per 40 minutes;
  • Got some catches sprinting off screens on the side of the floor: not yet an aggressive shot taker on the move but has enough of a handle and coordination to put the ball on the floor curling around pindowns;
    • Has long strides to get from the three-point line all the way to the rim in one dribble;
    • Can go up strong off one foot if left unchallenged;
    • Tucks the ball to protect it from getting stripped of him in traffic;
    • Despite thin frame and lack of strength, showed some ability to play through contact in high school;
  • Was involved in pick-and-pop a little bit;
    • Slip screener only;
    • Can get quick looks off from midrange;
    • Glimpses of being able to roll into a face-up isolation: showed a quick first step to get by the level of competition he played against in high school, flashed a euro-step to maneuver his way through traffic and exhibited decent touch on a lefty finish over the crowd;
  • Good cutter;
    • Can catch the ball on the move and go up strong off two feet with a little bit of room to load up;
  • Struggles to set deep position in the post due to lack of strength;
  • Can grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end if left unchallenged but hasn’t shown a lot of dexterity triggering offense in the half-court;
  • Willing passer over the crowd but yet to show anything particularly impressive in terms of court vision, either on the move or facing the defense or operating with his back to the basket;
  • Doesn’t often crash the offensive glass in high school due to role as floor-spacer but has flashed a quick second jump when does mix it up around the rim.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to USA Basketball

[3] According to uaa.io

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

Victor Wembanyama Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Seven-foot-two French center who emerged as a surprise standout performer at the FIBA U16 European Championship last month, where France placed second;
    • Is said to have struggled during preparation and started the tournament as the third center in the rotation but eventually became the most productive player on the team;
    • Statistical profile in that event: 34.5 PER, 15.3 points per 40 minutes on 51% effective shooting, 27.1% defensive rebounding rate, 16% offensive rebounding rate, 11.5% assist rate, 20.2% turnover rate, 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes, 2.2 steals per 40 minutes in 165 minutes[1];
  • Turned 15 in January[2], which meant he matched up against players on average a year-and-a-half older than him;
  • Nanterre, Ile-de-France native currently being developed on Nanterre 92’s youth system;
  • Exceled on defense, not only due to his combination of supreme height and length for someone his age but by showing remarkable quickness going up off two feet to put a lid on the basket and dominate the defensive glass;
    • Led the tournament in defensive rating;
  • Acted as a constant threat to score around the rim on catch-and-score finishes and, despite a very thin frame for someone his height, on a few deep seals posting up within close range;
    • Helped facilitate offense by flashing to the foul line or as a reset mechanism at the top of the key;
    • Flirted with some outside shots and his release looks quite projectable but it’s more theoretical than real for now.

RIM PROTECTION

  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line of defense and coming across the lane in help defense;
    • Quick leaper off one foot on longer rotations and off two feet out of a standstill position;
    • Averaged a jaw-dropping 9.0 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Without fouling – averaged just 1.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes;
  • Showed great awareness shadowing isolations and post-ups;
    • Can leverage his length to block or alter shots even without being in the finisher’s personal space;
  • Can keep pace with smaller players getting downhill from the foul line down and proved himself quick enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Struggles to boxout all that well due to lack of strength and gives up inside position at times but still managed to dominate the glass due to massive rebounding area, length to rebound outside of his area and supreme quickness chasing the ball off the rim;
    • Collected 27.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor;
  • Can’t hold his ground in post defense due to lack of strength but guards with his arms up to wall off and intimidates opponents from trying to shoot over him.

PERIMETER DEFENSE

  • Asked to venture above the foul line regularly, showed some versatility in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Dropping back: showed a good deal of nimbleness sliding laterally to intimidate the ball handler from turning the corner but not yet fluid back-pedaling and let the roll man get behind him a couple of times;
    • Hedging: so-so at influencing ball handlers with his hedges, moves OK in recovery and leverages his length into deflecting passes or generating steals on his way back – averaged 2.2 steals per 40 minutes;
    • Switches: hunches rather than bends his knees getting down in a stance but proved himself able to stay attached on straight line drives well enough to block shots defending on the ball;
  • Sprints on closeouts to the three-point line and isn’t just effective contesting shots but can even block a few jumpers.

OFFENSE

  • Flashed some ability to grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and even ran a break when left unchallenged but doesn’t appear to have the sort of dexterity bringing the ball up to be expected to develop into a capable ball handler;
  • Decent screener for someone his age: has a thin frame but widens his stance to try seeking contact and set some clever moving screens;
  • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense and going up in traffic diving down the lane in pick-and-roll;
  • Active on the glass, not just to generate second chance opportunities with his ability to rebound outside of his area or reach the ball higher than most of his opponents within his age group, but acting as tip-in and tip-dunk threat as well;
    • Collected 16% of France’s misses when he was on the floor;
  • Iffy touch on non-dunk finishes and is unable to finish through contact at this point of his physical development;
    • Shot just 54.5% on 44 two-point shots, which is pretty low for the sort of close-range looks he got;
  • Flashed to the foul line to facilitate high-low action on occasion and often acted as an escape valve floating to the top of the key to aid the ball reversal process but attempted some reckless passes at times;
    • Assisted on 11.5% of France’s scores when he was on the floor;
    • Averaged 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes, which is a sky-high rate for someone with a 20% usage rate;
  • Got some deep post-ups against overwhelmed opponents on occasion but lacks the strength and physicality to get such a seal regularly;
  • Took six three-point shots in this tournament, not all of them in emergency situations, showing a fairly projectable stroke on spot-ups;
    • Hopped into his shot, got some unexpected elevation for a seven-foot-two guy and went through comfortable mechanics with good guide hand discipline and follow through;
    • Touch is questionable, though – made just 12 of his 21 free throws.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] DOB: 1/4/2004

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

Evan Mobley Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Top-ranked prospect in the 2020 high school class[1];
  • Temecula, California native who played his sophomore and junior seasons at Rancho Christian School;
  • Turned 18 last month[2];
  • Listed at seven-feet tall by the Compton Magic[3] with a thin frame for someone his height, speculated to be around the 192-pound range[4];
    • Measured with a seven-foot-four wingspan[5];
  • Has the potential to become a very dynamic center who can draw opponents out to the perimeter and drive by them out in space;
    • Rancho Christian even flirted with the idea of sending him a ball-screen to operate in 5-4 pick-and-rolls at the top of the key;
  • Gets most of his offense from the post at this point;
  • One-dimensional defender as of now but moves with a lot of fluidity for someone his height and might develop into a more versatile defender down the line;
    • Pretty good shot blocker at the high school level thanks to proactivity as a helper, quick leaping ability and standing reach but hasn’t shown much other than basic rim protection;
  • Was part of the US team that won the U19 FIBA World Championships in Crete earlier this month but played very little due to injury.

INTERIOR OFFENSE

  • Rarely put in the pick-and-roll;
  • Gets most of his touches in the post: doesn’t yet have the physicality to get a deep seal consistently and hasn’t yet developed a lot of versatility but has shown to be an effective scorer with his back to the basket in high school;
    • Doesn’t shy away from contact and plays with some physicality looking to bump back the opponent on attempted power moves;
    • Has very light feet for someone his height and can spin around stiffer defenders with ease;
    • Flashed the ability to face-up and go around his man off a rip-through move;
    • Hasn’t yet developed a patient approach trying to get his defender out of position on shot fakes, head fakes or pivot moves;
    • Showed glimpses of quick reactions on touch passes against hard double teams;
  • Good finisher out of the dunker spot or roaming around the lane to present himself as a drop-off option;
    • Coordinated enough to catch within close range, take a dribble for balance and go up with power off two feet;
    • Showed glimpses of being able to go up without needing to load up;
    • Has the quick leaping ability and the standing reach to play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense;
    • Doesn’t yet have enough strength to knock back the defender and create space to go up without an effective challenge;
    • Showed some power going up off two feet in a crowd;
    • Capable finisher through contact;
    • Adept at using a head fake to bait rim protectors into leaving their feet and exposing themselves under the basket;
    • Showed of glimpses of being able to find a corner shooter from under the basket;
  • Decent activity in the offensive glass;
    • Has great length to rebound outside of his area;
    • Has an impressive second jump to fight for 50-50 balls or play volleyball at the rim;
    • High leaper off two feet, which helps him reach the ball higher than most opponents at the high school level;
    • Can go up with enough explosiveness to act as a tip-dunk and put-back threat from time-to-time;
    • Collected 15.2% of his team’s misses in 109 minutes with AAU squad Compton Magic at the adidas Gold Gaunlet[6] last season;
    • Does get boxed out by smaller players from time-to-time;

PERIMETER OFFENSE

  • Can grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end or slow transition into an isolation;
  • Was given the freedom to isolate against opposing centers way out on the perimeter a fair amount;
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step to just blow by his defender on speed;
    • Can’t power through similarly heighted players;
    • Can pivot on the fly into a spin move with so-so coordination;
    • Looks to gallop into a two-foot leap in traffic, yet to show he is able to attack the basket off one foot regularly;
    • Has shown flashes of smooth pull-up shooting when given the time and space to go up in rhythm;
  • Has not yet shown the ability to trigger offense in the half-court or run pick-and-roll against a set defense;
  • Rancho Christian flirted with the idea of sending him a ball-screen at the top of the key for 5-4 pick-and-rolls every once in a while, but it’s not yet clear he could be that dynamic a shot creator;
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step or much speed with the ball to turn the corner with decisiveness;
    • Hasn’t shown a lot of side-to-side shake;
    • Hasn’t yet developed an advanced handle manipulating the on-ball defender into the pick and stressing the big defender into overplaying or the ability to play with pace;
    • Hasn’t shown much in terms of court vision hitting the roll man or making passes across to the court to the opposite end;
  • Underdeveloped as a screener;
    • Jogs to screen;
    • Often unable to disrupt on-ball defender due to thin frame at this point of his physical development;
    • Hasn’t shown anything in terms of widening his stance, flipping the screen, re-screening, setting moving picks or slipping the pick;
  • Spaces out to the three-point line when his brother is posting up;
    • Usually sets up to elevate off 1-2 footwork, rises with great balance off the catch, launches it from the top and goes through his shooting process with good fluidity for someone his height;
    • More of a shot taker than a real shot maker at this point;
    • Often shows good touch on foul shots;
  • Can attack closeouts on straight line drives;
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step but has long strides to get all the way to the basket and enough ball skills to drive through soft contact – even going to his left;
    • Can adjust his body in the air and flashed an extended finish with his strong right hand to deal with a rim protector parked between him and the basket;
    • Shows good touch on non-dunk finishes for the most part;
    • Can make basic reads on drive-and-dish’s and drive-and-kick’s off drawing two to the ball;
  • Showed decent court vision reading the defense out of standstill position from the perimeter and inside a zone;
    • Might develop into an asset facilitating offense from the elbows and out of the short roll;
    • Assisted on 15.5% of Compton’s scores when he was on the floor at the adidas Gold Gaunlet.

DEFENSE

  • Often shows diligence with his boxout responsibilities but lacks the strength to be physical protecting his rebounding area;
  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim acting as the last line of defense and quick leaper off two feet to block shots;
    • Showed glimpses of being able to challenge shots via verticality as well;
  • Active coming across the lane in help-defense;
    • Hustles to contest or block shots shadowing isolations or post-ups;
  • Hasn’t yet developed the proactivity to switch on the fly and make up for breakdowns on the defense;
  • Often flat footed in drop-back pick-and-roll defense but agile enough to profile as capable of venturing above the foul line;
    • When engaged, can move his feet to completely prevent ball-handlers from turning the corner at the high school level;
    • Can show and recover to contest the roll man;
    • Can contest mid-range jumpers out of the pick-and-pop;
    • Puts in decent effort to contest pull-ups by the ball-handler and has the standing reach to be somewhat effective;
    • Can keep pace with ball-handlers from the foul line down and block a shot defending on the ball;
  • Found himself crossmatched on a smaller player on occasion;
    • Can’t stay in front but stayed attached well enough and leveraged his length into discouraging shots defending on the ball;
  • Hasn’t shown killer speed to run the shooter off his shot on closeouts but hustles to contest catch-and-shoot’s, though with only so-so effectiveness.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 6/18/2001

[3] An AAU squad that plays the Adidas Gauntlet circuit

[4] According to Draft Express

[5] According to ESPN, during the broadcast of Rancho Christian’s game against Memphis East

[6] 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 Wiseman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Top-ranked prospect in the 2019 high school class[1];
  • Nashville, Tennessee native who played his last two years of high school basketball at Memphis East High School;
  • One of five top 100 recruits joining the University of Memphis, with coach Penny Hardaway landing the top-ranked class in the country[2];
  • Turned 18 last March[3];
  • Listed at seven-foot-one and 240 pounds[4];
    • Measured with a seven-foot-four wingspan at the U16 USA Basketball Training Camp a couple of years ago[5], might be lengthier by now;
  • Profiles as a modern center on offense who could offer vertical and horizontal spacing down the line;
    • Had the freedom to step out to the three-point line at Memphis East and even flashed some versatility to his release;
    • Wasn’t put in the pick-and-roll often in high school but has the combination of leaping ability and standing reach that suggests he will be asked to play above the rim more regularly at higher levels;
    • Tries to make plays off the bounce but hasn’t yet shown the handle and coordination needed to project he will become that dynamic;
    • Underdeveloped shot creator from the post as well, though did show glimpses of appealing court vision;
  • Impressed with his activity as a rim protector and rebounder on defense, making the sort of multiple effort plays that aren’t always a given for players of his stature;
    • Might offer the versatility to pick up smaller players on switches;
  • Currently ranked first on ESPN’s way-too-early 2020 mock draft;

ATHLETICISM ON OFFENSE

  • Can grab-and-go off a defensive rebound and take it end-to-end at times but doesn’t have the handle and the coordination needed to initiate offense in the half-court;
    • Doesn’t always sprint up the court in transition but can change ends in impressive fashion when he does do it;
  • Might need to work on his conditioning – was seen putting his hands on his knees and resting during live-ball play;
  • So-so screener who walks or lumbers into setting picks but does widen his base to try drawing contact and disrupt the on-ball defender, though his teammates often didn’t know how to use him;
    • Hasn’t yet developed or wasn’t asked to deploy more advanced techniques like flipping the screen, re-screening, slipping the pick or setting moving picks;
  • Wasn’t put into pick-and-roll regularly and hasn’t shown how capable he is of diving hard down the lane but can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense in transition and out of the dunker spot;
    • Has flashed some ability to catch the ball high, keep it high and go up with quickness without ever bringing it down;
    • Has shown glimpses of powerful leaping ability off two feet without needing to load up;
  • Doesn’t play with particularly impressive intensity crashing the offensive glass but is a put-back threat when he goes for it and has a quick second jump to fight for the ball in scrums or play volleyball at the rim;
    • Does get physical trying to push smaller players out of the way when they are tasked with boxing him out on switches;

SKILL LEVEL

  • Lefty shooter who feels more comfortable facing up and sizing up his man in the post;
    • Doesn’t play with a lot of intensity trying to set up a deep seal against similarly sized players and at times lets himself get pushed out to the elbow extended area in order to face up against his man with a little more space to operate;
    • Does get physical trying to get deep position against switches;
  • Hasn’t yet developed a patient approach or a diverse set of moves operating with his back to the basket;
    • Despite his large frame, hasn’t yet developed power moves or the ability to create space via physicality;
    • Hasn’t shown anything in terms of being able to get his defender out of position with skill via head fakes, shot fakes or pivot moves;
    • Mostly looks for quick turnaround hooks or hooks off a jump-stop with his left hand over the defender and is yet to show he can go to his right hand at all;
    • Did show flashes of court vision throwing darts to the opposite corner over the crowd;
  • Spaced out to the three-point line a fair amount and showed some versatility to his release taking shots on the move – out of the pick-and-pop, as the trailer in transition and jogging to the top of the key;
    • Doesn’t have an impressively quick trigger but has a fluid enough release for a seven-footer, launches the ball from the top and gets a good deal of elevation for someone his size, so manages to get his shot off over closeouts somewhat comfortably;
    • Hit eight of 16 three-point attempts in 10 appearances with AAU squad Bluff City Legends at the Nike EYBL Circuit last season[6];
    • Tends to miss short;
    • Uneven foul shooter at this point – touch looks fine but hit just 58.5% of 41 free throw attempts at the Nike EYBL Circuit;
  • Can shot-fake into straight line drives attacking closeouts;
    • Has long strides to get all the way to the basket off the bounce;
    • Can attack the rim with explosiveness elevating off one foot;
    • Flashed decent touch on a lefty finger-roll finisher but hasn’t yet been forced to show the extent of his finishing ability in traffic and most often shows so-so touch on non-dunk finishes;
    • Showed glimpses of impressive passing on the move – on drop-offs off engaging the last line of defense on straight-line drives and darts to the corner on quick catch-and-throw’s in transition;
  • Isolated from the perimeter from time-to-time;
    • Doesn’t have a quick first step out of a standstill;
    • Can’t power through contact against similarly sized players;
    • Can pivot into a not-all-that-fluid spin move on the fly;
    • Tries to go between the legs on occasion, doesn’t have that level of ball skills for advanced dribble moves at this point;
    • Has a loose handle for the most part and isn’t strong with the ball on the go – prone to getting it stripped of him in traffic;

DEFENSE

  • Gets beat down the court by opposing big men in transition at times;
  • More of often than not attentive to his boxout responsibilities and gets physical defending his rebounding area;
    • Collected 22.7% of opponents’ misses in 202 minutes at the Nike EYBL Circuit last season;
  • Active stepping up to the front of the rim as the last line defense, quick leaper off two feet, guards with his arms up near the rim, has a nine-foot-four standing reach[7] to block shots and challenges shots via verticality;
    • Shadows isolations;
    • Impressed with multiple efforts stepping up to discourage a shot attempt by the ball-handler, then turn around and go up in a split-second to block a shot by his man roaming around the dunker spot;
    • Makes some of the mistakes you tend to see on teenagers – sells out for blocks at times, is a bit overaggressive leaving his man to try contesting a shot with a teammate between him and the opponent, and is prone to biting on head fakes;
  • Explosive leaper off one foot coming across the lane in help defense and has the length to make up for being a step late when needed;
  • Dropped back in pick-and-roll defense;
    • Agility out in space wasn’t tested all that much in high school;
    • Gets in a stance defending the two-man game;
    • Can slide laterally and backpedal fluidly to prevent the ball-handler from turning the corner right away off the pick;
    • Kept pace with smaller players from the foul line down to discourage shots at the rim;
  • Proved himself attentive enough to switch on the fly to make up for breakdowns on the defense;
    • Bends his knees to get down in a stance guarding out on an island;
    • Can move side-to-side some to stay in front, though the poor spacing at the high school level didn’t make it that challenging;
    • Reacts quickly to leverage his length into discouraging opponents from trying to attempt a shot with him defending on the ball;
  • Puts in the effort to closeout to the three-point line;
    • Flashed killer speed to run the shooter off the line on occasion;
    • Has the body control to contest a shot without crashing into the shooter, which is impressive considering his size;
    • Can stay balanced and defend on the ball when he does manage to force the shooter into putting the ball on the floor;

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to ESPN

[3] DOB: 3/31/2001

[4] According to Memphis’ official listing

[5] According to Draft Express

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to ESPN, during the broadcast of Memphis East’s game against Rancho Christian

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

Nicolas Claxton Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

Claxton is a very unusual player. Despite being seven-feet tall and being listed as a center by ESPN, the Greenville, South Carolina native is essentially a pure perimeter player.

He’s taken almost two thirds of his shots away from the basket, gets touches curling off screens, takes three-pointers off some movement and clearly feels more comfortable facing up and taking his man off the bounce.

The Legacy Charter School product not only has grab-and-go ability off defensive rebounds and can trigger offense in the half-court but has proven he is capable of going end-to-end on fastbreaks.

Claxton has remarkable agility for someone his height – having shown a functional handle for isolations against less nimble defenders, side-to-side shake to crossover into pull-ups and light feet to spin into hooks off a jump-stop or euro-step his way through traffic in the lane.

He’s an explosive leaper elevating off one foot and can hang or adjust his body in the air, having also shown exceptional touch with his dominant left hand on non-dunk finishes and proved he is capable of scoring with his off right hand as well. He lacks strength to finish through contact and actively shies away from contact at times but cleverly uses fakes to get shot blockers off their feet – converting his 111 attempts at the rim at a 71.2% clip, with less than half of those assisted.

Claxton has also shown he is a capable shot creator for others off the dribble, able to deliver simple drop-offs and kick-outs against a collapsing defense – assisting on 12.2% of Georgia’s scores when he was on the floor.

That said, it’s his three-point shooting that will likely be his swing skill in the pros. Claxton spaces out to beyond the arc off the ball when Georgia ran middle pick-and-roll and took quick shots jogging to open spots around the perimeter from time-to-time. He gets a lot of elevation on his jumper and fully extends himself for a high release, though his mechanics at the top can improve – nailing just 28.1% of his 64 three-point shots last season, at a pace of 2.5 such attempts per 40 minutes.

His touch needs improvement as well, as Claxton has shown to be a more comfortable three-point shooter than foul shooter, which causes skepticism over his ability to develop into an above average threat from long range – hitting just 64.1% of his 192 free throws.

He lacks strength and doesn’t play with enough force to try setting deep position in the post against just about every opposing big man but has shown he has a functional enough post game to perhaps discourage opponents from switching smaller players onto him without any worry.

Defensively, Claxton struggles to contribute.

He hasn’t yet developed the ability to stop the ball dropping back in pick-and-roll defense and though his agility suggests he should be suited to pick up smaller players on switches consistently, Claxton doesn’t often play with the sort of intensity needed to do well in possessions that require multiple efforts.

He also tends to be soft on closeouts and can’t stayed balanced enough to defend off the dribble when he does manage to rush the shooter off his shot, although Claxton has shown a knack for using his seven-foot-two wingspan to make plays in the passing lanes – averaging 1.3 steals per 40 minutes.

He flashed proactivity helping on doubles near the rim when he was close by but was often late stepping up to the front of the rim in help defense and is prone to biting on shot fakes.

Claxton is quite soft on his boxouts, regularly giving up inside position. Though he is an explosive leaper off two feet and can reach the ball higher than his opponents – collecting 20.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season, the issue figures to become problematic in the pros.

He is hopeless defending the post as well with his underdeveloped 216-pound frame – desperately needing to front to deny post entries or be helped with hard doubles that immediately force his defense into scrambling mode.

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