Jaren Jackson, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ninth-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • 18-year-old[2] without a lot of high level experience. Logged just 764 NCAA minutes. Other than that, has just 85 minutes with the United States National Team at the 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup and an appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit under his belt[3].
  • Averaged 20 points per 40 minutes[4] on 64.7% true shooting and compiled a 25.1 PER last season.
  • Michigan State had a +34.9 pace-adjusted point differential with him in the lineup[5], though it only played the 62nd-toughest schedule in the country[6].
  • Six-foot-11, 236-pound inside-outside big who got a fair amount of touches with his back to the basket in the post, without a lot of space to work with. Projects as a full time center in the pros but logged almost all of his minutes with another center on the floor in college. Shot the ball a lot better during the conference part of the schedule and made a few out of the pick-and-pop but still figures to be only a capable spot-up shooter in the near future.
    • Figures to be a good finisher out of the pick-and-roll but didn’t have many, if any, opportunities to do that at Michigan State.
  • Often matched up against the rangier of opposing big men but still managed to make a massive impact as a rim protector. Wasn’t stretched a whole lot in East Lansing but figures to offer a ton of versatility in terms of pick-and-roll coverage based on his coordination and agility out in space.
    • On the other hand, fouled a ton, which kept him from being a high-minutes player.

OFFENSE

  • Was sought after quite a bit in the block. Doesn’t get a lot of deep seals but creates good enough angles to get the ball around the mid-post area. Hasn’t yet developed a lot of polish but did very well one-on-one.
    • Logged 23.5% usage rate.
    • Didn’t show much in terms of head fakes, shot fakes, face-up jumpers or fade-away jumpers.
    • Was very productive with basic turnaround hooks and running hooks, proving to have soft touch with either hand.
    • Flashed a slick pivot-to-pass move but for the most part only spotted cutters and shooters when they were evident, aside from posting a displeasing turnover rate for someone who wasn’t a risk taker.
      • Assisted on just 9.2% of Michigan State’s scores when he was on the floor.
      • Averaged 3.2 turnovers per 40 minutes.
    • Can’t really be considered a power play but looked to back down weaker matchups a decent amount and didn’t shy away from contact.
      • Earned seven free throws per 40 minutes.
  • Shot the ball very well as a weak-side floor-spacer, even flashing some advanced footwork in a few instances, whether it was catching it on the hop on spot-ups or adjusting his feet quickly after moving to an open spot.
    • Has a compact release, launching the ball out in front but managing to get his shots off over closeouts comfortably enough due to his height and the good deal of elevation he gets.
    • Took 41.3% of his shots from long range. Nailed 39.6% of his 96 three-point shots, at a pace of five such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • Has the touch. Hit 79.7% of his 133 foul shots.
    • Took and made a few shots out of the pick-and-pop but for the most part didn’t look as capable when an opponent forced him to rush through his mechanics. Certainly not yet the sort of shot maker who opens up driving lanes at the point of attack.
  • Demanded closeouts, which opened up paths for him to put the ball on the floor. Very well coordinated attacking out of triple threat position. Likes to go left, has long strides and maintains his balance through contact to get all the way to the basket on straight line drives.
    • Is not a powerful leaper off one foot with an opponent attached to his hip but proved able to elevate off two feet off a jump-stop with power.
    • Only an up-and-down finisher, not someone who can hang or adjust his body in the air. But proved to be ambidextrous at the basket, used his length well to score around rim protectors on scoop finishes and showed pretty good touch on non-dunk finishes.
      • Shot 65.4% on his 108 attempts at the rim[7].
  • Wasn’t asked to isolate against his man out in the perimeter often but did flash some shiftiness in the game against Illinois, shaking his man side-to-side with multiple dribbles between the legs and getting by him on his way to the basket.
      • Didn’t show much of anything in terms of running floaters, step-back or stop-and-pop jumpers and passing on the move.
  • Didn’t have the space to roll hard to the basket.
    • Less than half of his makes at the rim were assisted.
    • Despite his seven-foot-five wingspan[8], was not particularly productive on the offensive glass.
      • Collected just 8.7% of Michigan State’s misses when he was on the floor.
      • But did finish his 19 putback attempts at a 77.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Excellent rim protector. Challenged everything he was close by. Showed a ton of versatility as a shot blocker:
    • Stepping up to the front of the basket, going up off two feet and making full use of his nine-foot-two standing reach;
    • Going up off one foot coming off the weak-side in help-defense;
    • Keeping pace with smaller players on straight line drives and blocking shots defending on the ball;
      • Averaged 5.5 blocks per 40 minutes.
      • Was the main reason why opponents shot 45.8% at the rim against Michigan State, which ranked second in the country[9].
  • All that activity near the basket came at the cost of him getting into constant foul trouble.
    • Averaged 5.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which limited him to just 21.8 minutes per game.
  • Was asked to extend out to the top of the key consistently, either hedging or showing-and-staying-out-an-extra-second to try preventing the ball handler from turning the corner right away or getting to the middle on side pick-and-rolls. Did well more often than not.
    • Very fluidly sliding laterally and able to keep up with smaller players stride-for-stride on straight line drives foul line down.
    • Can still improve in drop-back defense, in terms of not letting the roll man get behind him.
  • Was not asked to pick up smaller players on switches out on an island. Figures to have the agility for it but unclear.
  • So-so attention to his boxout responsibilities. Not all that physical either. Showed over-reliance on quickness chasing the ball off the rim, which didn’t go over great as the level of competition got tougher.
    • Collected 19.7% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor through the season overall but just 17.7% against Big Ten competition.
    • Had the best defensive rating among rotation players on a team that ranked 10th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 9/15/1999

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to RealGM

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to the measurements at the NBA Combine

[9] 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

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Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Had a great year. If not for Marvin Bagley III on the same team taking away the spotlight, would probably be even more highly touted by now.
  • Has the physical profile (six-foot-10, 259 pounds[1]) of a pure center in a time where pure centers are devalued but showed the skill he was previously known for and surprised with his nimbleness out in space.
  • Has a good deal of high level experience for a just-turned 19-year-old[2]:
    • 997 NCAA minutes with Duke;
    • 206 minutes defending the United States National Team at the 2015 U16 FIBA Americas and 2016 U17 FIBA World Cup;
    • 82 minutes at the 2016 adidas Nations;
    • An appearance at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit.
  • Averaged 20.2 points per 40 minutes[3] on 62.8% true shooting and compiled a 26.3 PER in 37 appearances last season[4].
  • Duke played the 15th-toughest schedule in the country[5] and had a +33.3 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor, which was the best net rating on the team among rotation players[6].
  • Played primarily center, though shared the court with Marques Bolden some.
    • Got most of his touches in the post.
    • Didn’t roll hard often but flashed a catch-and-shoot three-pointer out of the pick-and-pop.
    • Guarded pick-and-rolls mostly below the foul line during the first half of the season.
    • Defended the front of the basket when Duke went to a full time zone during the conference part of the schedule.

OFFENSE

  • Advanced post game for someone his age:
      • Power moves;
      • Head fakes;
      • Shot fakes;
      • Fake pivot move;
      • Pivot move to pass;
      • Turnaround, fadeaway jumper;
      • Most often looking for right handed hook but has a counter finishing with his off hand;
      • Struggled with touch during the second half of the season.
        • Shot 36.8% on 95 two-point attempts away from the basket[7].
      • Decent passer out of hard double teams with good court vision but not some exceptional passer and turned it over a displeasing amount;
        • Assisted on 12.9% of Duke’s scores when he was on the floor.
        • Averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes while logging 22.6% usage rate.
      • Prefers to rely on skill but doesn’t shy away from contact;
        • Averaged 6.8 foul shots per 40 minutes.
    • Didn’t roll hard to the basket often out of setting ball-screens:
      • Part of the problem was Bagley, III not always spacing out to the three-point line and Trevon Duval being a poor shooter but part of it was due to lack of explosiveness;
      • Can play above the rim as a target for lobs in transition and sneaking behind the defense with time to load up but can’t go up strong off two feet in traffic;
      • Proved to be coordinated enough for instances where he needed to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a finish with a defender between him and the basket;
      • Has decent touch on non-dunk finishes;
        • Shot 70.2% on 178 attempts at the rim.
    • Only a capable open shot shooter at this point of his development:
      • Fluidity of release improved the second half of the season, though it remains not quick enough to get a good look off when rushed by a closeout or over a contest;
      • Flashed quick shots out of the pick-and-pop and out of roll-and-replace but most suited for spot-ups as of now;
      • Touch was OK, though it can certainly improve;
        • Shot 73.8% on 168 free throws.
      • Shooting percentage indicates he certainly can become a real asset as a floor-spacer down the line but was not perfectly reflective of how real a long range shooter he is right now, as most of his misses were considerably short;
        • Nailed 41.3% of his 46 three-point shots, but at a pace of just 1.9 such attempts per 40 minutes.
    • Doesn’t play with a particularly impressive motor or toughness disentangling himself from boxouts but was pretty effective crashing the offensive glass.
      • Has a seven-foot-four wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area.
        • Collected 12.7% of Duke’s misses when he was on the floor.
      • Decent second jump fighting for tip-ins.
        • Shot 75% on his 41 putbacks attempts.
    • Flashed a dribble drive from the elbow down, lacking an explosive first step but able to maintain his balance through contact, but isn’t suited to attack closeouts and hasn’t yet develop an in between game in terms of stop-and-pop jumpers, step-back jumpers, running floaters or floaters off jump-stops.

DEFENSE

  • Effective rim protector when he was able to hang back and patrol the lane, which was less challenging for him to do once Duke installed a full time zone:
    • Has decent short area lateral quickness;
    • Was proactive stepping up the front of the basket as the last line of defense;
    • Not an explosive leaper off two feet in a pinch but acted as a shot blocking threat thanks to his nine-foot-one standing reach.
      • Averaged 3.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Challenged shots via verticality very well. Has a thick frame some guards will just bounce back off on impact, though at a risk of getting into foul trouble;
      • Averaged 4.2 personal fouls per 40 minutes.
    • Proved himself a willing charge drawer;
    • Was able to stick with ball handlers from the foul line down in college;
    • When he had less ground to cover, developed some awareness shadowing isolations and making preventive rotations that kept the dribble driver from getting all the way to the rim, which he didn’t show earlier in the year when Duke was guarding man-to-man.
  • When forced to guard out in space, flashed some decent nimbleness but doesn’t figure to be suited to venture far away from the basket in the pros.
    • Was able to influence ball handlers on hedges but can’t hustle back to contest effectively at the rim.
    • Unclear how well he can keep action in front if asked to show hard at the three-point line.
    • Can bend his knees to get down in a stance some and keep pace on straight line drives in a few matchups but isn’t agile enough to stay in front of shifty types.
  • Used his length some to get into passing lanes, though nothing at a difference making level.
    • Averaged 1.2 steals per 40 minutes.
  • Stout post defender.
  • Was attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not exceptionally quick chasing the ball off the rim.
    • Collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.
  • Had the best defensive rating among rotation players on a team that ended up ranked ninth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

[1] According to Duke’s official listing

[2] DOB: 4/16/1999

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

[6] According to RealGM

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to measurements at this year’s NBA Combine

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

Omari Spellman Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Omari Spellman averaged 15.4 points per 40 minutes[1] on 57.3% effective shooting and posted a 19.5 PER in 40 appearances last season[2].
  • Villanova played the sixth-toughest schedule in the country[3] and had a +27.3 pace-adjusted point differential in Spellman’s 1,125 minutes[4].
  • The six-foot-nine stretch big was a vital part of Villanova’s offense, which often relied on lead guard Jalen Brunson taking his matchup into the post while Spellman vacated the area near the basket by spacing out to the three-point line.
    • Despite logging all of his minutes at center, Spellman took 44.6% of his shots from three-point range.
    • Despite possessing a strength advantage on most nights, given his thick 245-pound frame[5], he posted a low 18.3% usage rate.
  • On the other end, the 20-year-old[6] was an effective rim protector when well positioned and flashed some ability to defend out in space – extending pick-and-roll coverage slightly above the foul line and picking up smaller players on switches, but doesn’t really move in a way that makes you presume he will be as capable in the pros.
  • Other than his two years of college basketball, one of which he redshirted, the Ohio native only has 71 minutes at the 2014 Nike Global Challenge of meaningful experience under his belt.

OFFENSE

  • Spellman has proven to be a pretty good shooter for someone his size. He has a fluid release and good touch, launching the ball from a high point and getting his shots off comfortably over closeouts.
    • Other than spot-ups, Spellman has shown he’s able to take three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop as well, proving himself nimble enough to screen, relocate to an open spot and set his feet quickly.
    • Spellman nailed 43.3% of his 150 three-point shots, at a pace of 5.3 such attempts per 40 minutes – which is a very appealing rate for a center.
    • He converted 70% of his 70 foul shots – which is not necessarily concerning, but gives you some pause over how killer a shooter he truly is.
  • Spellman hasn’t yet developed a lot of dexterity in terms of handle and coordination attacking closeouts. When forced to put the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, he often ends up dribbling into a post-up, which is how he feels more comfortable with the ball in his hands.
  • Spellman showed a decent mix of power moves and face-up shooting operating out of the mid-post (he enjoys sizing up his man, jab-stepping and launching no-dribble jumpers), though he still has plenty of room to improve in terms of passing out of the block and incorporating pivot moves and fakes into his post-up routine.
    • He hit 42.2% of his 90 two-point shots away from the basket, with over half of them unassisted[7].
    • He assisted on just 4.3% of Villanova’s scores when he was on the floor.
  • When he screened at the point of attack, Spellman was either asked to prioritize popping to the three-point line or isn’t easily inclined to roll hard to the basket. And even when he did, Spellman didn’t show enough explosiveness to play above the rim as a target for lobs, though he flashed appealing coordination in instances when he was forced to catch, take a dribble for balance and go up for a non-dunk finish over a defender between him and the basket.
    • He took just 28.6% of his shots at the rim and hasn’t yet developed versatility to his finishing ability – converting just 59.4% of his 96 shots at the basket.
  • Considering his role on the offense, Spellman was fairly effective in the offensive glass. He doesn’t play with a lot of energy and isn’t a high leaper but is a big body that can be tough to boxout and has a seven-foot-two wingspan[8] to rebound outside of his area or win battles for tap-outs.
    • He collected 9.9% of Villanova’s misses when he was on the floor.
    • But doesn’t have a quick second jump to translate these second chances into immediate scores – finishing his 37 putback at a very lousy 43.8% clip.

DEFENSE

  • Spellman is a so-so pick-and-roll defender.
    • At times, he was able to keep action in front dropping back to prioritize interior defense and moved his feet decently in tight spaces to clog driving lanes.
    • When asked to hedge-and-recover, Spellman struggled to influence the ball handler and then hustle back to the roll man quick enough to relieve the weak-side help-defender and not leave a shooter uncovered for too long.
    • Villanova switched quite aggressively and Spellman had to pick up a smaller player from time-to-time, proving he’s attentive enough to execute strategies that asked him to switch on the fly. He is not built to be able to stay in front of shifty types side-to-side but is able to keep pace on straight line drives decently enough to challenge or block shots from behind.
  • Spellman is also a so-so help defender.
    • Spellman is not always attentive to his responsibilities rotating off the weak-side or stepping up to the front of the basket in rim protection. He is also not very quick covering ground when put in long rotations. Despite his size, he is not very feared.
    • But when well positioned, Spellman was a reasonably effective rim protector. He is a big body that can be challenging to finish around when he’s standing between the opponent and the basket. He’s also pretty long, looked to contest shots via verticality and proved himself a willing charge drawer as well.
      • He averaged 2.1 blocks per 40 minutes.
    • Spellman is a stout post defender.
    • He’s attentive to his boxout responsibilities but not all that physical, making him a good defensive rebounder but not really dominant.
      • Spellman collected 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor.

[1] According to sports-reference

[2] According to RealGM

[3] According to Ken Pomeroy

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to Villanova’s official listing

[6] DOB: 7/21/1997

[7] According to hoop-math

[8] According to Draft Express

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

Wenyen Gabriel Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Wenyen Gabriel averaged 11.8 points per 40 minutes on 56.1% true shooting and posted a 14.3 PER[1] in 37 appearances last season.
  • Kentucky played the 12th-toughest schedule in the country[2] and had a +15.1 pace-adjusted point differential in Gabriel’s 854 minutes[3].
  • The six-foot-nine energy big not only sustained his three-point percentage over the second half of the season but even flashed some versatility to his shooting, as he continued to be used as a floor-spacer who also managed to make a decent impact on the offensive glass considering his role.
  • On the other end, the native of South Sudan wasn’t as effective in terms of creating events through the conference part of the schedule but his intensity and versatility maintained him a very effective presence.
    • He had the second best defensive rating on the team among rotation players.
  • Other than his 1,526 minutes of college basketball over the past two seasons, the 20-year-old[9] also has 201 minutes at the 2015 adidas Nations of experience under his belt.

OFFENSE

  • Gabriel’s catch-and-shoot stroke continued to look good; fluid and quick when he was spot-up in the corner. He also flashed some ability to set his feet quickly and make shots on the move; drifting around the wing, out of the pick-and-pop and coming to the ball on dribble hand-offs.
    • 53.8% of his shots were three-pointers last season.
    • Gabriel nailed 39.6% of his 106 three-point shots, at a pace of five such attempts per 40 minutes[4].
    • He hit just 62.5% of his 56 free throws as a sophomore, after hitting 61.8% of his 55 foul shots as a freshman – which gives you some cause for concern over how good a shooter he really is.
  • Gabriel hasn’t yet developed any dexterity putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position and has no in-between game at this point of his development; no stop-and-pop jumper and no floater. Gabriel can also only get to the rim on straight line drives unimpeded and has no versatility to his finishing going up off the bounce.
    • His average of 1.9 turnovers per 40 minutes is sky high for someone with a 15.2% usage rate.
  • Gabriel is a well-coordinated athlete with quick leaping ability but was not given opportunities to dive to the rim out of the pick-and-roll. He also didn’t do much as a cutter, not just because there wasn’t much space but because he showed an inclination for staying static off the ball.
    • He took just 25.4% of his shots at the rim last season[5].
    • Just 12 of his 30 makes at the rim were assisted.
  • Gabriel leveraged his athleticism and nine-foot-one standing reach[6] on the offensive glass pretty well when you consider he wasn’t always in good position to battle for second chance opportunities. He was also a putback threat, thanks to his quick second jump.
    • He collected 9.1% of Kentucky’s misses when he was on the floor last season and converted his 32 putback attempts at a 63.6% clip.
  • Gabriel has sort of a thin 205-pound frame[7] in the context of his height and isn’t able to set deep position in the post. When he has gotten the ball with his back to the basket, Gabriel relied on a face-up jumper that isn’t much of an asset yet.
    • He hit just 36.6% of his 41 two-point shots away from the basket.
  • Gabriel is yet to show much of anything in terms of helping facilitate offense.
    • He assisted on just 4.1% of Kentucky’s scores when he was on the floor and posted a 0.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.

DEFENSE

  • Gabriel plays defense with great intensity; with effort, hustle and energy.
  • He is proactive coming off the weak-side in help defense and can leap off one foot quickly to play above the rim as a shot blocker. He is also able to leap off two feet and block shots stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense or even defending on the ball.
    • He averaged 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Gabriel can bend his knees to get down in a stance and has enough lateral quickness to pick up smaller players on switches, as he’s able to keep pace with them stride-for-stride on straight line drives, though he doesn’t use his frame to contain dribble penetration.
    • He’s not an option to cross-match onto smaller players for entire possessions, though, as he’s unable to navigate over screens at the point of attack.
  • Gabriel has a six-foot-11 wingspan[8] to make plays in the passing lanes and reach around smaller players for strips defending on the ball.
    • He averaged 1.4 steals per 40 minutes last season.
  • Gabriel can cover a good amount of ground quickly, which makes him effective running shooters off the three-point line on closeouts; both spot-ups and pick-and-pops.
  • His focus away as a weak-side defender can be iffy, as he is prone to giving up a backdoor cut from time-to-time and is a so-so decision maker in terms of which player to prioritize when guarding two on the weak-side.
  • He is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but doesn’t have enough strength to erase many opponents out of the play.
    • He collected just 16.1% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor last season.

[1] According to RealGM

[2] According to Ken Pomeroy

[3] According to RealGM

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to Draft Express

[7] According to Kentucky’s official listing

[8] According to the measurements at the Kentucky Combine

[9] DOB: 3/26/1997

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

Jontay Porter Scouting Report

Jontay is the less famous of the Porter brothers but that changed a bit last season when Michael, Jr. went down in the opener with a back injury that eventually held him out for pretty much the entire year.

The six-foot-11 stretch big was a heralded prospect himself – ranked 11th in the 2018 high school class[1] before deciding to reclassify and join Missouri a year earlier, but was not expected to end up a one-and-done prospect, which he will after Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo reported the 18-year-old[2] intends to hire an agent and forgo the remainder of his college eligibility.

In his one year in Columbia, Porter compiled a very impressive statistical profile, as he averaged 16.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 blocks per 40 minutes[3].

His game features the old ways of low post scoring, offsetting his limited athleticism with immense skill, footwork and IQ, and the modern perimeter skill-set of your prototypical stretch big.

He might still be in his brother’s shadow come draft night, but there’s a good chance Porter ends up being a heck of pro himself. His potential is clearly immense and whichever team selects him will hope to mold him into a David Robinson-esque big, even though he will probably never reach those lofty highs.

Porter really stands out on offense thanks to his shooting ability at this size. He took 46.2% of his shots from three-point range and nailed 36.4% of his 110 attempts, at a pace of 5.4 such looks per 40 minutes.

The lefty is an effective catch-and-shoot floor-spacer on spot-ups but can also launch long bombs out of the pick-and-pop, aiding the shot creation process by opening up driving lanes at the point of attack.

He is not simply a tall shooter opponents can feel comfortable switching aggressively or guarding with smaller players, though. Porter can take his man to the post and does well creating offense with his back to the basket, whether it’s scoring or finding cutters and shooters drifting around the wing.

You can tell he’s been guided by someone with NBA experience before[4], given his great basketball IQ and overall feel for the game. He has a sense of when double teams are locking in on him, can see the floor and spot teammates becoming open, and gives up the ball before the opponent can trap him – assisting on 19.5% of Missouri’s scores when he was on the floor last season[5].

Porter passing out of mid post, kicks it to weakside, open shooter on wing for three, third assist of game

Porter great job passing out of post-double teams, finds man on wing open for 3

Porter can also make the extra pass around the perimeter, was used as a hub to facilitate offense from the high post when the opponent zoned against Missouri and flashed the awareness to pass ahead in transition to speed up the pace of the game.

As an interior scorer, Porter showed a patient approach in the post and more nimble feet than his 240-pound frame suggests. He is strong enough to set deep position, can get his man out of position with fakes and has great touch on side finishes, converting on 60% of his 40 attempts at the rim, which is vital because Porter is not a high leaper and won’t be making baskets over contests very often.

Porter can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs, taking just 16.8% of his shots at the basket, which limits his effectiveness diving down the lane in the pick-and-roll or roaming near the baseline in the dunker spot. His role as a floor-spacer took him away from the offensive glass but even in the instances where he went after a miss, Porter didn’t show a particularly impressive second jump.

His lack of athleticism is more of a cause for concern on the other end, though.

He could be a liability in the pick-and-roll, as he was in the game against Florida, which had the shifty guards and the driving lanes to take advantage of his lack of lateral quickness out in space.

He could be a liability in the pick-and-roll, as he was in the game against Florida, which had the shifty guards and the driving lanes to take advantage of his lack of lateral quickness out in space.

His lack of vertical explosion also draws questions regarding his ability to protect the rim. Porter was able to overcome that problem in college thanks to his awareness and length, blocking 7.2% of opponents’ two-point shots when he was on the floor – a superior block rate than better athletes like Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley, III. But he will be more stressed in the pros. Too often you’ll see him hesitate to block a shot, even if he’s in position to beat his man to the rim.

Porter is a productive rebounder but not a dominant one, collecting 23.1% of opponents’ misses when he was in the game but not always attentive to his boxout responsibilities , at times getting caught staring at the rim and getting outworked to the ball.

But what he lacks in athleticism and quickness, Porter makes up for with effort, length and awareness. He is attentive to his responsibilities coming off the weak-side in help-defense and does well on closeouts, even proving himself able to block a few jumpers.

At the end of the day, Porter was an effective defender in college, despite his athletic limitations. He led the team in defensive rating among rotation players and Missouri defended far better with him on the floor than with on the bench[6].

Ultimately, I’m not sure Porter is a can’t-miss prospect but he’s definitely someone I’d want on my roster. He’s a stretch big who can burn switches and make plays out of the post, while carrying his weight on the other end and even offering some potential to anchor an elite defense if his shot blocking translates.

I view Porter similarly to Kelly Olynyk – not the best player on any team but a key cog in the rotation and someone who can offer lineup flexibility. Porter doesn’t shoot as well as Olynyk at this point of his development but should probably end up picked around the same range in June.

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 11/15/1999

[3] According to sports-reference

[4] He was coached by Brandon Roy at Nathan Hale

[5] According to RealGM

[6] According to RealGM

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

Marvin Bagley, III Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Marvin Bagley, III was the top prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

Even though he was a late addition, not making his decision to reclassify and join Duke until mid-August, the 19-year-old[2] adapted right away to the highest level of college basketball and was the number one priority in the offense from day one.

Though he projects as a center in the pros, the six-foot-11, 234-pounder[3] played just about every minute with another true big man in the lineup. As a result, opponents matched up their stronger big on the pure center and often designated lighter, smaller types to guard Bagley, which Duke consistently viewed as an opportunity to explore getting him to work mostly below the foul line.

His 25.9% usage-rate led the team and he proved to be worth of those touches. In his 1,118 minutes in Durham, Bagley averaged 24.8 points per 40 minutes on 64% effective shooting and had the highest offensive rating on a team[4] that ranked third in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency[5].

And yet, so much of the intrigue over him isn’t over his production but the way he looks. Bagley is incredibly smooth for someone his size, which influences how he is often seeking to take opposing big men off the dribble.

He is not the sort of modern prototype who can draw his man to the perimeter and shake him side-to-side but Bagley has a very quick first step for a big man and has proven he can get by his man from the high post down.

On top of that, he is an explosive leaper and figures to be an excellent pick-and-roll finisher, while also flashing a three-point shot that looks very fluid.

The concerns regard the other end, where many people question his ability to protect the rim, which in turn lead to questions over his ability to anchor an above average defense. His shot blocking numbers were underwhelming and he didn’t show particularly impressive instincts anticipating rotations.

Duke’s struggles on defense through the non-conference part of the schedule led to Mike Krzyzewski installing a full time zone during the second half of the season, which was incredible to see, given that team had a handful of players who will be given multiple chances to fail in the pros. Bagley wasn’t the only reason why they eventually resorted to that strategy but he was part of the problem.

If he doesn’t develop and has to play with a center by his side more often than not, Bagley probably won’t be considered as much of a difference maker, though it might end up being the most appropriate end game. Thanks to his athletic prowess, he impressed in instances where activity was required of him and projects as someone who will offer flexibility by picking up smaller players on switches often.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

[1] According to ESPN

[2] DOB: 3/14/1999

[3] According to Duke’s official listing

[4] According to our stats’ database

[5] According to Ken Pomeroy

Mohamed Bamba Scouting Report

CONTEXT

Mohamed Bamba was the fourth-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].

In his one year at Texas, the seven-foot center accumulated 906 minutes of college basketball experience, while posting a 26.3 PER, averaging 17.1 points per 40 minutes on 59.3% true shooting, collecting 28.3% of opponents’ misses when he was on the floor[2] and ranking fourth in the country in total blocks.

Bamba projects as a catch-and-score finisher in the pros but didn’t get the benefit of playing with someone who would set him up very well very often. There were two other NBA prospects on the team, Andrew Jones and Kerwin Roach II, but neither is a particularly special ball handler and Jones only played the first third of the season before leaving the team to battle leukemia.

Texas put in the effort to space the floor but stretch-four Dylan Osetkowski is more of a shot taker than a shot maker and Jones was the only true above average shooter the team had. As is, the Longhorns ended up rating below average in three-point attempts, makes and percentage, which didn’t offer the 19-year-old[3] many opportunities to look as great as he’s expected to be rolling hard to the rim.

Nonetheless, the Harlem, New York native still made a living getting looks near the basket, sneaking behind the defense and on put-backs, while mixing in the eventual post-up attempt here and there. Bamba also took three-pointers out of the pick-and-pop fairly aggressively. His release looks promising enough for him to keep working on it but he is not yet a real threat to make these shots often.

On the other end, Bamba also made more of an impact near the goal, not just thanks to his remarkable length but also due to good rim protection instincts. He has a lean frame within the context of his height and got bumped off his spot from time-to-time but wasn’t really exposed in the post and the defensive glass all that often, suggesting he might become a steady presence in these areas once his body matures some more.

Bamba is quite mobile for someone his size and Texas tried leveraging this by having him show high above the three-point arc or hedge against the pick-and-roll somewhat frequently. He was also asked to pick up smaller players on switches every once in a while. Bamba has physical talent to be expected to develop into an effective defender out in space but for now isn’t as much of an asset as you’d assume.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

[1] According to ESPN

[2] According to our stats’ database

[3] DOB: 5/12/1998