Porzingis was discovered in Latvia in 2010 when he was 15-years old and already 6-8. Despite his youth, he moved to Spain to sign with Cajasol Sevilla, where he's been playing for four years already. He's grown significantly through the years and is now listed as being 7-feet tall. In addition to his tremendous size he also sports a very long wingspan and a frame that looks like it can carry plenty of weight as he matures physically.
Porzingis is extremely athletic for a player his size. He runs the floor well, is very mobile, and plays above the rim with ease. His big, long strides allow him to cover a huge amount of ground, as you often see him running stride for stride with players much smaller than him, which helps him as a rim-runner in transition and defensively on the pick and roll.
Porzingis shows intriguing versatility offensively, as he has a unique skill-set that allows him to operate comfortably facing the basket. He has good shooting mechanics and range that extends out to the 3-point line, even if he is not a consistent shooter at this point in time. He's also a good ball-handler, being capable of taking his man off the dribble with either hand from the high post or beyond the 3-point line.
Additionally, Porzingis has soft hands that make him an excellent target for lobs when accounting for his quickness, length and ability to play above the rim. He has good touch around the basket with either hand, and can hit turnaround and fadeaway jumpers from the post impressively.
Besides the potential he shows as an athletic “stretch four,” Porzinigis also possesses another coveted attribute in his shot-blocking ability. The 6.6 blocks he averaged per-40 minutes this past summer at the U18 European Championship is the highest rate of any player in our database since 2012 by a wide margin. His 2.9 blocks per-40 is also the third best rate in the past fifteen seasons in Spain among players under the age of 20 (better than what current NBA per-minute shot-blocking leader Serge Ibaka averaged at the same age for example).
Porzingis' length, mobility and instincts give him great potential in general on this end of the floor. Despite his size, he has no problem covering most power forwards on the perimeter, as he does an excellent job of staying in front thanks to his terrific lateral quickness, and uses his length to contest shots effectively. He is also very adept at hedging screens well beyond the 3-point line, still being able to recover quickly enough to make a play at the rim, as he understands the concept of verticality quite well. Additionally, he uses his quickness to get in the passing lanes prolifically, averaging 1.7 steals per-40 minutes.
On the downside, Porzingis' lack of strength and experience can be taken advantage of fairly easily by older and more physically mature players. His lower body in particular is underdeveloped, as he gets backed down fairly easily inside the paint, and is very foul prone at this stage at over 7 fouls per-40 minutes. He's also a poor defensive rebounder at just 4.7 per-40, something he should be better at considering his length and athleticism.
Porzingis isn't the toughest guy you'll find right now, which plays against him with his ability to finish effectively around the basket in traffic. He's converted just 49% of his attempts around the rim this season, and doesn't show any real resemblance of a post-game to take advantage of his superior size. He doesn't get to the free throw line very often (2.2 times per-40) as he tends to avoid contact around the rim.
As skilled as he might look in warmups and in occasional flashes he shows in games, Porzingis isn't a terribly consistent shooter at this stage, making just 33% of his 3-point attempts and 58% of his free throws. He can get really hot at times, like he did at least year's Nike International Junior Tournament, where he hit 13/27 (48%) from outside in five games, but he'll need to keep working on this part of his game, particularly in terms of speeding up his release and avoiding dipping the ball substantially before he winds into his shot. He'll almost certainly need to be effective with this part of his game to make up for his lack a back to the basket arsenal.
What's important to keep in mind is just how young Porzingis is. He doesn't turn 19 until August, which makes him the fourth youngest player in our Top-100 rankings. Players his size usually take longer to mature physically and really blossom, so there is a lot to be optimistic about moving forward.
Sevilla's highly respected head coach Aito Garcia Reneses (ex-Spanish national team and Ricky Rubio's coach in Joventut) seems to like him quite a bit, as he gives him plenty of freedom to operate from the perimeter and make creative decisions with the ball, which is not exactly common at this level of European basketball for a player his age. Porzingis has been averaging a steady 15 minutes per game all season long, sometimes even seeing the floor with the game in the balance against Sevilla's toughest opponents, which is invaluable experience.
While it's unknown whether or not Porzingis will elect to keep his name in the draft, he is certainly in an excellent place to continue to develop for a team looking to draft and stash a talented prospect later in the first round. He has only two more years left on his contract with a comfortable buyout for the NBA.
We've taken a more visual look at Porzingis' strengths and weaknesses thanks to game film from the ACB in the following video scouting report, courtesy of Mike Schmitz.
All of our video scouting reports this season can be found here.