Ethan Chargois Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Ethan Chargois was not ranked in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-nine stretch big has averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes on 60% true shooting and posted a 22.4 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Southern Methodist has deployed the 19-year-old[3] as a center who spaces the floor out of the three-point line on one end and offers some semblance of rim protection on the other. In that role the freshman has been very effective on both ends, despite lacking elite height for the position.
  • He’s unranked on ESPN’s top 100.

OFFENSE

  • 44.4% of his shots have been launched from three-point range, as Chargois has shown the ability to not only space the floor as a spot-up shooter but also taken catch-and-shoot jumpers on the move coming out of the pick-and-pop and as the trailer in transition.
    • He has a compact release and a quick trigger for someone his size, catching it on the hop and displaying decent touch.
    • He’s nailed 40.3% of his 67 three-point shots this season, at a pace of 6.2 such attempts per 40 minutes, though his 65.4% foul shooting over 52 free throws is a head-scratcher.
  • Other than that, Chargois has gotten the ball in the post and in the elbow on low horns sets as well.
    • He uses power moves to burn smaller players on switches but flashed the traits of a very skilled post game against bigger players, using shot-fakes and head-fakes to work his defender out of position and finish around them on up-and-under’s.
    • Chargois can take his man off the bounce on straight line drives, lacking an explosive first step but using the strength in his 235-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact and high-stepping to weave his way through traffic. He lacks lift off one foot to go up strong at the basket but flashed a running floater to score over length from the in-between area and showed nice touch on lefty finger-roll finishes.
    • Prior to the game against Tulane, Chargois had converted his 57 attempts at the rim at a 70.2% clip, with a third of his 40 makes at the basket unassisted[5].
  • He’s proven himself an asset to help facilitate offense on dribble hand-offs in the perimeter or scanning the floor out of the low post and figures to be an option passing out of the short roll if put in that position too – assisting on 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 433 minutes this season.
  • He is not a target to play above the rim as a target for lobs, lacking lift to go up strong off two feet in a pinch, and his impact in the offensive glass has been marginal.

DEFENSE

  • Chargois is pretty nimble for someone his weight and can be somewhat effective defending the pick-and-roll around the foul line but isn’t suited to pick up smaller players on switches or match up with shooting big men.
    • He has a couple of lateral slides in him to show-and-recover well against the pick-and-roll, able to contain the ball-handler and prevent him from getting downhill or turning the corner right away.
      • Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[6].
    • But he can get exposed backpedalling and doesn’t act as a deterrent for passes over the top.
    • Chargois bends his knees to get down in a stance in individual defense in the perimeter but lacks lateral quickness to stay in front of smaller players for more than a slide or two.
    • His closeouts are also ineffective, as he doesn’t seem to have above average length to contest catch-and-shoot jumpers effectively and isn’t quick enough to run shooters off their shots.
  • Chargois has shown good attention to his rotation responsibilities stepping up to the front of the basket as the last line of defense and coming off the weak-side in help defense.
    • He’s shown a knack for making plays on the ball – averaging 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per 40 minutes, but that pursuit of events have come at the cost of him putting himself at constant risk of foul trouble – as he’s averaged 4.9 personal fouls per 40 minutes, which have limited his playing time to just 22.8 minutes per game.
    • He ranks second on the team in defensive rating among rotation players[7].
  • Chargois plays disciplined post defense and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but has a high center of gravity, which affects his ability to hold ground some.
    • He’s collected just 17.8% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 1/19/1999

[4] According to Southern Methodist

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to hoop-math

[7] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: Omari Spellman | Brady Manek | Jaren Jackson, Jr.

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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Jarrey Foster Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Jarrey Foster was unranked in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-six combo forward has averaged 16.3 points per 40 minutes on 53.8% true shooting and posted a 20.8 player efficiency rating[2].
  • Foster is a wing-sized player who has been forced to play most of his minutes as a big in college, at times even as a center. The 21-year-old[3] has shown he can certainly execute the scheme operating as the last line of defense but ultimately lacks the physical profile not to be a liability one-on-one against true behemoths.
  • On the other end, his meal ticket is going to be his shooting. The junior is having a relative down year but has proven he is able to make quick catch-and-shoot shots out of the pick-and-pop. His off dribble portfolio isn’t much yet but has proven to be effective against bigger players out in space.
  • He’s ranked 32nd on ESPN’s top 100.

EXECUTION

  • Foster is an intelligent defender operating as the last line of defense, attentive enough to:
    • Step up to the front of the rim to prevent the opponents from taking uncontested layups and dunks – Southern Methodist ranks 22nd in the country in lowest percentage of shots allowed at the basket[4];
    • Come off the weak-side to play above the rim as a shot blocker elevating off one foot – averaging 1.5 blocks per 40 minutes;
    • Rotating in to pick up the roll man – unable to go up strong off two feet to block shots but smart enough to raise his arms and wall off the front of the basket.
  • Foster is obviously mobile enough to guard pick-and-rolls above the foul line but has also shown quick thinking playing the angles and preventing the opposing ball handler from turning the corner whenever he could.

INDIVIDUAL DEFENSE

  • Foster bends his knees to get down in a stance and can slide multiple times to stay in front in individual defense against similarly sized players.
  • He doesn’t use the strength in his 220-pound frame[5] to contain penetration but can contest mid-range pull-ups somewhat effectively.
  • Against bigger players, Foster puts in the effort to front the post and is attentive to his boxout responsibilities but lacks reach to prevent the post entry over the top and struggles to clear these types of players out of his rebounding area.
    • He’s collected just 11.7% of opponents’ misses over his 616 minutes this season.
    • Given these weaknesses having to play out of position for the most part, Foster has the second worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players[6].

OFFENSE

  • Foster is not a volume outside shooter at this point – taking just 29.8% of his shots from three-point range and averaging just four such attempts per 40 minutes this season. But ultimately, that’s how he projects to produce the most on offense in the pros.
    • He has a fluid release with a reasonably quick trigger, dips for rhythm, has decent touch and often gets a nice arc in his shot.
    • Aside from basic spot-ups, Foster has also taken and made shots out of the pick-and-pop, able to set his feet quickly off a slip-screen.
    • He has nailed just 32.3% of his 62 three-point shots this season but 37.4% of his 174 such shots over his two-and-a-half year stay at Southern Methodist.
    • However, Foster has hit just 69.8% of his 53 foul shots this season and just 59.3% of his 177 such shots over his time in Dallas, raising legit concerns over how good of a shooter he is really.
  • Other than on spot-ups and out of the pick-and-pop, Foster has also gotten touches in the elbow out of a low horns set and on ball reversals. He is not particularly smooth putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position, doesn’t have an explosive first step and has a loose handle but uses a few resources to get all the way to the basket off the bounce:
    • Shot fake to get his man out of position;
    • Strength to maintain his balance through contact;
    • Spin move to weave his way through traffic;
    • A high step to sustain his momentum forward.
      • Foster has taken 52.4% of his shots at the basket and, though he is not an explosive leaper off one foot, has finished these attempts at a 61.5% clip[7].
        • Partly because he can play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts and filling the lanes in transition, as 39 of his 67 makes at the basket have been assisted.
      • Foster can make adequate passes off the bounce on drive-and-kick’s and has also flashed excellent court vision making crosscourt passes out of the low post – assisting on 16.6% of Southern Methodist’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season.
      • He has power moves to burn smaller players on switches in the post.
      • He has also played with nice energy crashing the offensive glass – collecting 10.5% of Southern Methodist’s misses when he’s been in the game, though he lacks the lift off two feet to translate these second chances into immediate scores – converting his 23 putback attempts at a 46.2% clip.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 12/9/1996

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to Southern Methodist

[6] According to sports-reference

[7] According to hoop-math

READ MORE: Nik Slavica | Brady Manek | Wenyen Gabriel

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

Shake Milton Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Shake Milton was the 79th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school class[1].
  • Through 19 games this season, the six-foot-six combo guard has averaged 20 points per 40 minutes on 56.6% effective shooting and assisted on 24.9% of Southern Methodist’s scores over his 693 minutes[2].
  • Having logged 2,912 minutes of college ball up until this point, Milton is the sort of player you can project whichever way you want, as there is at least some piece of evidence to support whatever view you have of him.
    • The junior can break down a set defense off the pick-and-roll and create shots for others against a scrambling defense or on pre-arranged reads, while also a threat to spot-up off the ball. He has shown appealing quickness matching up with smaller players one-on-one when engaged and has the length to potentially develop into an asset picking up bigger players on switches down the line.
    • On the other hand, the 21-year-old[3] lacks explosiveness to put pressure on the rim regularly, isn’t yet an elite shot maker or the sort of valuable gunner who can be moved around the floor, has a low assist-to-turnover ratio and rarely translates his elite physical traits into making an actual positive impact on defense.
  • ESPN ranks him 25th in its top 100.

INTERIOR OFFENSE

  • Milton runs some middle pick-and-roll against a set defense late in the shot clock but a lot of his catches come off Iverson cuts on the side of the floor. He subsequently gets a ball-screen attempting to guide him towards the lane.
  • Milton doesn’t have an explosive first step to blow by his man on speed and hasn’t yet developed many dribble moves to shake his defender off balance often. He has a strong preference for going left and his best resource for now is a hesitation move that can be effective at times but rarely results in him just losing his man.
    • More concerning, perhaps, is the fact that Milton hasn’t shown any burst to burn big men on switches.
    • Also yet to develop strength in his thin 205-pound frame[4] to maintain his balance through contact regularly, Milton’s taken just 22.5% of his shots at the rim this season[5], though he’s been successful at earning foul calls, as he’s averaged 5.6 free throws per 40 minutes.
  • When he’s managed to get all the way to the basket, weaving his way through traffic with euro-steps, Milton has flashed a diverse arsenal of finishes. Aided by his seven-foot wingspan[6], he’s shown the ability to overextend and complete reverses among the trees. Milton lacks explosiveness elevating off one foot with possession of the ball, though. He’s also unable to finish through contact at this point of his development.
    • Milton has shot 52.8% at the rim as a junior, after shooting just 56.5% there as a sophomore.
    • He shot 70.4% at the rim as a freshman but 20 of his 38 makes were assisted.
      • Milton can play above the rim as a target for lobs filling the lanes in transition and sneaking behind the defense on backdoor cuts.
    • He’s shown decent touch on floaters, both off jump-stops and on the run, to finish over length from the in-between area.
    • Milton is an adequate passer off dribble penetration, able to make a drop-off or a kick-out pass against the defense collapsing to his drive, but not a particularly special shot creator for others as of now. He’s flashed a wraparound pass to the opposite corner and can toss up lobs on the move but it’s rare to see him sucking in the defense deep into the lane before putting someone in scoring position.

PERIMETER OFFENSE

  • Most of Milton’s assists come with him facing the defense and making passes over the top, aided by his advantageous point of view, or on-pre-arranged reads. He can toss up well timed lobs to wings diving to the rim on baseline cuts and make the skip pass to the big in the pick-and-pop. He’s also flashed some ability to make passes across his body to the opposite end.
    • Milton is more of a robotic passer rather than an instinctive one, which can be fine if you have a well-structured offense (which Southern Methodist reasonably does). But the cost of it manifests itself against teams that have him well scouted and know when to jump the passing lanes[7], as well as in the fact that Milton sometimes passes a split-second too soon, without totally engaging the help, making it easier for the opponent to closeout effectively.
      • He has a 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio this season and a 2.13 one over his time at Southern Methodist.
    • Milton has attempted to hang dribble or cross his man over into pull-ups but isn’t much of a tough shot maker at this point. His most effective way to shoot off the dribble is a step-back fade-away, which he doesn’t do with deep range yet, as just 10 of his 49 three-point makes have been unassisted this season. Though he struggles to create separation against high level competition, Milton has nailed 45.1% of his 71 two-point jumpers this year, with just 10 of his 32 makes assisted.
    • He is at his most valuable as a spot-up shooter. Milton gets little elevation but fully extends himself for a high release off the catch and has a quick trigger. He’s nailed 42.8% of his 428 three-point shots over his two-and-a-half years at Southern Methodist, at a pace of 6.5 such attempts per 40 minutes this season in particular.
      • Milton has also improved as a foul shooter year over year, going from 72.5% as a freshman through 75.8% as a sophomore to now 82.5% as a senior.
    • He seems to have changed his base a little, looking to bring knees closer together. Perhaps because of this or simply because of an increased need for him to operate on the ball, Milton is taking fewer shots coming off screens, which he did more regularly last season.

DEFENSE

  • Milton looks the part of an impactful defender:
    • When engaged, he can use his quickness to stay in front of smaller players one-on-one;
    • When well positioned, he steps up to the front of the rim in help defense and has proven himself willing to attempt drawing charges;
    • He has the body control to stay balanced closing back to his man after taking a couple of steps inside to help pack the lane;
    • He has exceptional length for someone his size and decent instincts making plays in the passing lanes – averaging 1.7 steals per 40 minutes this season.
  • But he’s not one, for the most part:
    • Milton looks go over ball-screens at the point of attack but rarely gets skinny well enough to navigate the pick cleanly and beat his man to the spot on the other side, playing with the sort of low energy that makes him completely dependent on his big teammate stopping the ball in order to be able to get back in front of his man;
    • Aside from not yet having developed a lot of strength, Milton generally doesn’t play with much toughness and can’t contain dribble penetration. He has lateral quickness to stay in front but only has two or three slides in him and eventually gets lots along the way;
    • He rarely stays in a stance off the ball, making him slow in his reactions, resulting in weak closeouts more often than not;
    • He’s not always attentive to his responsibilities as a help defender rotating inside to pick up the roll man and doesn’t make himself any sort of asset helping protect the rim;
    • Milton has picked up big men on switches a few times and does try to execute in these instances, looking to front the post and putting a body on his man in the glass, but plays with no physicality and isn’t suited to matchup with bruising types;
    • He is just an average rebounder – collecting 12.4% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 9/26/1996

[4] According to Southern Methodist’s official listing

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to ESPN’s Mike Schmitz

[7] As it happened in the game against Texas Christian, when he had four turnovers

READ MORE: Troy Brown, Jr. | Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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

Nik Slavica Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Nik Slavica is the 7th-ranked European power forward born in 1997[1].
  • The six-foot-eight athletic big transferred from Cibona Zagreb to Cedevita Zagreb last summer but the move hasn’t improved his experience level.
  • Through 20 appearances this season, Slavica has logged just 209 minutes[2].
    • 147 of those minutes have come in the less competitive Croatian A-1 Liga[3], where Cedevita has won its 10 games by an average margin of 22.1 points per victory[4].
  • In his 11 appearances in the Adriatic League and the Eurocup, the 20-year-old[5] is averaging just 5.7 minutes per game, in an end-of-rotation role.
  • He injured his arm during a 47-point performance against KK Zagreb a couple of months ago and returned just this week.
  • Slavica was expected to develop into a big wing who could draw opposing big men out to the perimeter, use his athleticism to beat them off the bounce and attack the basket with power off one foot but that projection has not materialized.
    • His outside shot hasn’t developed yet and given his foul shooting percentages, it’s unclear to which extent it truly can.
  • As is, he’s becoming more effective as a catch-and-score finisher, even logging some time as a center when he’s shared the court with Damir Markota.
  • On the other end, Slavica leverages his athleticism into mobility extending pick-and-roll coverage beyond the foul line and has impressed with his rotations as the last line of defense, though he hasn’t created many events.
  • He was not ranked on ESPN’s top 100 as of December, 12th.

GOOD DEFENSE

  • He is attentive to his help defense responsibilities and has flashed some very good awareness making preventive rotations to keep the opponent from getting to the rim attacking baseline on side isolations.
  • Guarding middle pick-and-rolls, Slavica can keep pace with ball handlers attacking downhill when he is asked to show hard at the top of the key. He’s also flashed appealing lateral quickness containing the ball handler from turning the corner dropping back to prioritize interior defense.
  • Slavica is an asset to pick up smaller players on switches, as he’s comfortable defending out in space, given he was a wing at the youth level. Sometimes he hunches rather than bends his knees to get down in a stance but can slide laterally multiple times to stay attached and use his size to intimidate or effectively contest shots.

IFFY DEFENSE

  • He doesn’t seem suited to cross-match onto smaller players for entire possessions, though. Slavica works to go over ball-screens defending at the point of attack but is too big to navigate them cleanly.
  • He struggles with the most physical aspects of the game. Slavica has a 231-pound frame[6] but hasn’t developed a lot of toughness yet. He can’t hold his ground in the post and while he is attentive to his boxout responsibilities, Slavica isn’t very physical clearing the opponent out of his rebounding area.
    • He’s collected just 16.7% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season.
  • Despite his athleticism, Slavica hasn’t been very impactful challenging shots at the rim, averaging just 0.7 blocks per 40 minutes.

OFFENSE

  • His best skill at this point of his development is his passing. Assisting on 9.17% of Cedevita’s scores when he’s been in the lineup, Slavica has pretty good court vision and can act as a hub to facilitate offense in multiple ways:
    • On pre-arranged reads in high-low action;
    • Kicking out to shooters out of the short roll;
    • Scanning the floor from the low post with his back to the basket;
    • Driving-and-kicking attacking a closeout.
  • He is very fluid and coordinated putting the ball on the floor out of triple threat position and can go up strong off one foot to attack the basket with power. He can hang in the air and finish through contact as well.
  • If Slavica develops his three-point shot, he can become a truly dangerous weak-side option. Harder closeouts would open up better opportunities for him to attack the rim on catch-and-go’s off ball reversals against a scrambling defense. But right now, he shoots kind of a sling-shot and doesn’t have good touch.
    • Slavica has missed nine of his 12 three-point shots with Cedevita this season and 38 of his 44 three-point shots with Cibona last year.
    • He’s also missed nine of his 13 foul shots this season and hit just 55.9% of his 134 free throws a year ago.
  • Diving off the pick-and-roll, Slavica can elevate off two feet explosively and play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense.
    • Sometimes he cuts his rolls shorts near the foul line area to attempt floaters off jump-stops. His touch in these instances is merely so-so.
    • He’s converted 62.9% of his 89 two-point shots this season.
  • At times the most athletic big man on the floor, Slavica crashes the offensive glass and has been effective generating second chances – collecting 11.9% of Cedevita’s misses with him in the game.
  • He struggles to get deep position in the post and doesn’t have much in terms of power moves, shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves at this point of his development. But his feet are light and he gets good lift on turnaround hooks, though his touch here has plenty of room to improve as well.

[1] According to Next-Step Basketball

[2] According to Real GM

[3] Which Next-Step Basketball does not rank as one of the 10 strongest domestic leagues in the continent

[4] According to Real GM

[5] DOB: 2/7/1997

[6] According to Cedevita’s official listing

READ MORE: PJ Washington | Sacha Killeya-Jones

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

PJ Washington Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • PJ Washington was the 12th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through the first 13 games of the season, the six-foot-seven post-up big has averaged 15.6 points per 40 minutes on 52.9% effective shooting but posted only a 16.6 PER[2].
  • He is getting his touches in the low post with his back to the basket and at the elbow area within Kentucky’s horns set. Though he’s shown a lack of lift and explosiveness with the ball, the 19-year-old[3] has managed to generate efficient offense down low thanks to the strength in his 243-pound frame.
  • On the other end, Washington is more effective close to the basket as well, though his rebounding has been subpar. And despite looking like an athlete who should be able to defend out in the perimeter, he’s struggled to stay in front and closeout to the three-point line properly.
    • His defensive rating is second worst on the team among rotation players[4].
  • ESPN ranks him 40th in its top 100.

BELOW THE FOUL LINE

  • Washington uses his strength well to get a deep seal in his spots, also being aided by having spent most of his time on the floor with Nick Richards in the lineup, as few opponents have two big men strong enough to matchup with both.
    • He’s posted 20.2% usage-rate over his 334 minutes.
  • Almost always relying on power moves to back his way into close range attempts, he doesn’t seem to have much versatility in his post game, yet to show anything in terms of shot fakes, head fakes and spin moves.
  • Facing up his man, Washington also plays bully-ball more often than not, though he has flashed a jumper off sizing up his man. His first step isn’t very quick and he hasn’t shown side-to-side shake or dribble moves, though he attempts a behind the back dribble every once in a while.
  • His brute force has been effective at the collegiate level. Able to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact, he’s taken 51.8% of his shots at the basket and converted them at a 70.5% clip[5], despite the fact he lacks explosiveness elevating off one foot or two feet in traffic.
    • Washington has also shot 7.8 free throws per 40 minutes, while posting a 76.5% free throw rate.
    • He has struggled feeling double teams, though – turning it over on 20% of his possessions.
  • When he’s been kept from getting a good look at the basket, Washington has struggled with his touch on floaters to finish over length from the in-between area – missing 22 of his 33 two-pointers away from the basket.
    • He has, however, shown to be an adequate passer making a drop-off or a kick-out pass against the defense collapsing to him – assisting on 15.2% of Kentucky’s scores when he’s been on the floor. He’s also been an asset operating from the foul line inside zone defenses.
  • Washington doesn’t play with a high enough motor to be a volume offensive rebounder – collecting just 8.5% of Kentucky’s misses when he’s been in the game. But he has enough strength to win inside position and a seven-foot-three wingspan[6] to rebound outside his position, aside from showing a decent second jump, so when he goes for it, he can be productive.
    • A quarter of his shots at the basket have been putback attempts and he’s converted them at a 100% clip.
  • Washington has been a proactive rim protector, whether it’s stepping up to the front of the basket or coming off the weak-side in help-defense. He’s a quick leaper off two feet and has an eight-foot-nine standing reach[7] to challenge shots at the basket – averaging 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes.
  • Washington is often inattentive to his boxout responsibilities and though he does have long arms, he is not a high leaper to consistently chase the ball at a higher point than his opponents – collecting just 13.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor.

ABOVE THE FOUL LINE

  • Washington has started spacing out to three-point line a little more over the last few games but it’s still pretty rare. He has a decent catch-and-shoot stroke but a methodical release and poor touch on his shot. Opponents play off him and pack the lane.
    • He’s missed six of his eight three-point attempts and shot just 61.5% on 65 free throws.
  • Washington bends his knees some and has decent lateral quickness for someone his weight defending out in space but doesn’t get all that low in a stance and doesn’t slide laterally multiple times to stay in front all the way.
    • Though he looks like someone who should be an asset to pick up smaller players on switches, Washington needs to make more multiple effort plays in order for that to be the case.
  • Washington can run shooters off their shots at the three-point line but sells out to do so, sometimes even leaving his feet, which gives the opponent a free path to attack off the bounce and compromises the defense behind him.
  • Despite great length, he hasn’t shown many instincts many plays in the passing lanes or using his reach to make plays on the ball defending in the perimeter. His contributions through steals have been marginal.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 8/23/1998

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to hoop-math

[6] According to the measurements at the Kentucky combine

[7] According to nbadraft.net

READ MORE: Nick Richards | Marques Bolden

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

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the 35th-ranked prospect in the 2017 high school class[1].
  • Through the first 13 games, the six-foot-six combo guard has averaged 16.2 points per 40 minutes on 55% effective shooting and assisted on 24.9% of Kentucky’s scores over his 372 minutes[2].
  • Gilgeous-Alexander has alternated between running point when Quade Green is out of the game and playing off the ball alongside him.
    • The native of Hamilton, Ontario can make an open jumper and is a quick decision maker putting the ball on the floor off the catch but his best work has been done running middle high pick-and-roll.
  • On the other end, the 19-year-old[3] has also alternated between defending the point of attack and as a wing defender while accommodating Green.
  • He has great assets in terms of height, length and quickness to be expected to develop into an elite defender who offers his coach a lot of flexibility on how to place him in the lineup and the fact that he already puts in the effort is a great sign. He needs bulk up, though, possessing a weak 182-pound frame at this point of his development.
  • ESPN ranks him 47th in its top 100.

SHOT CREATION

  • Gilgeous-Alexander has an almost complete package in terms of athletic abilities running pick-and-roll:
    • Speed turning the corner or getting downhill to drive deep into the lane;
    • The ability to play with pace, mixing in change of speeds to wait for driving lanes to clear on slower developing plays;
    • A height advantage over the average opposing point guard, which helps him to make passes over the top.
  • But he still has a lot of room to refine his actual skill level working off a ball-screen:
    • Being prone to having the ball stripped in traffic – turning it over on 19.2% of his possessions;
    • Having not yet developed dynamic enough pull-up jumpers or floaters to force opponents to play up on him – missing 26 of his 39 two-pointers away from the basket up until now[4];
    • Able to make a kick-out and a drop-off pass against the defense collapsing to him but yet to show advanced court vision in terms of making passes across his body to the opposite end of the court.
  • Gilgeous-Alexander can breakdown the defense without the aid of a screen. He has dribble moves (crossover, in-and-out, behind the back, hesitation) and side-to-side shake to get by his man and attack the basket in straight isolations or on catch-and-go’s off ball reversals and dribble hand-offs.
    • He’s taken 43% of his 100 live-ball attempts at the rim and averaged 5.1 foul shots per 40 minutes.
  • Given his height, it’s tempting for a coach to play him as a wing but Gilgeous-Alexander is a legit point guard, having shown good feel for controlling the rhythm of the game, in terms of finding the right balance between passing ahead to speed up the pace or walking the ball up to run organized half-court offense.

SHOOTING & FINISHING

  • Gilgeous-Alexander is a below-the-rim finisher at this point of his development, lacking explosiveness off one foot to go up strong in traffic. But he’s flexible enough to adjust his body in the air and finish around length on reverses or stretching out his long arms on side toss-ups.
    • He’s converted 69.8% of his 43 attempts at the rim, even proving himself able to finish with his left hand.
  • Gilgeous-Alexander is only an open-shot shooter at this point of his development. He is almost a set shooter, getting little elevation and launching the ball from a low point. His release is also slow and mechanical as of now. But his mechanics seem like a decent foundation to build upon and he certainly has touch on his shot.
    • He’s nailed eight of his 18 three-point attempts and 87.2% of his 47 foul shots so far this season.

DEFENSE

  • Gilgeous-Alexander has shown to be a disciplined individual defender. He bends his knees to get down in a stance and can slide laterally several times to stay in front. He lacks strength to contain penetration but uses his length to contest shots effectively.
  • He has also shown to be an excellent pick-and-roll defender:
    • Able to get skinny to go over the pick;
    • Showing a sense of urgency to hurry back to his man in order not to compromise the integrity of the scheme behind him too much;
    • Using his seven-foot wingspan[5] to block, deflect and effectively challenge shots and passes from behind as the trailer.
  • His height and length suggests he could be an option to pick up bigger players on switches but he is not strong or tenacious enough for that just yet.
  • Gilgeous-Alexander has shown a knack for using his length making plays in the passing lanes and reaching around to strip opposing point guards of the ball in individual defense – averaging 3.2 steals per 40 minutes.
  • His contributions in the defensive glass or coming off the weak-side to crowd the area near the basket have been marginal.

[1] According to ESPN.com

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] DOB: 7/12/1998

[4] According to hoop-math

[5] According to the measurements on Kentucky’s Combine

READ MORE: Trevon Duval | Collin Sexton | Cassius Winston

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

Wendell Carter, Jr. Scouting Report

CONTEXT

If Marvin Bagley III hadn’t reclassified and joined Duke in mid-August, perhaps Wendell Carter, Jr. would be a more prominent pro prospect right now.

In Bagley III’s absence, the six-foot-10 center would have probably benefited from extra touches and more notoriety.

Carter, Jr. could have used that bump in his numbers and perception of his dominance because he isn’t quite a perfect fit for the way the game is played in the NBA these days.

The 259-pounder is not an explosive leaper and can’t play above the rim as a target for lobs, so he figures to be a below average option as a pick-and-roll finisher. He is also yet to prove he can space the floor out to the three-point line in a way that truly threatens the opposing defense.

The 18-year-old[1] has mostly played as an old school type who earns most of his scoring working with his back to the basket, though he has flashed traits of perimeter skills that fit more easily with the modern game in terms of handling the ball to facilitate offense on hand-offs and passing on the move as well.

The same is true on the other end where Carter, Jr. is an effective defender close to the basket but whose frame doesn’t seem to make him suited for picking up smaller players above the foul line often, though he’s done reasonably well when tested.

(Check the rest of the post at RealGM)

[1] DOB: 4/16/1999