Scouting reports on seven of the top big men prospects seen at the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit, including Mohamed Bamba
, Jaren Jackson
, Wendell Carter
, Isaiah Hartenstein
, Nick Richards
, Felipe Dos Anjos
and Ikey Obiagu
Mohamed Bamba, USA, C, Class of 2017, Uncommitted, 18.9
-Elite physical profile for a center prospect at 7'0, with a 7' 9 wingspan and a 9' 6 standing reach. Very light in his lower body (216 pounds) but has wide shoulders that are bound to fill out really nicely in time.
-Super light on his feet running the floor. Extremely fluid for his size. Quick diving to the rim. Lob target thanks to his massive reach. Can get up in space.
-Has the tools to be a monster defensively. Nimble enough to step out and switch ball screens, space defending and using his huge reach to contest. Quick enough to recover to blocks at the rim if beat. Length and quick leaping should help him develop into an excellent rim protector. Good instincts and timing. Lifetime 4.1 blocks per 40 minutes. Figures to have an immediate impact on the defensive end if he's willing to embrace that role and play with consistent energy.
-Doesn't find a body but uses his tools to gobble up rebounds on both ends - 16.2 boards per 40 minutes. Quick to the ball. Huge rebounding radius.
-Solid IQ on the floor. Very intellectual off the floor. Can high low pass. Finds cutters out of the post. Knows how to play.
-Solid shooting mechanics for his size. Shoots it a little flat but the ball comes out OK. Has good rotation. 68.9 career free throw percentage. May not develop into an NBA 3-point shooter but should at the very least become a respectable mid-range shooter.
-Solid footwork in the post. Can make a right-hand jump hook. Has touch around the rim.
-Has the agility to straight line drive in space.
-Incredible upside given his tools, defensive versatility, budding offensive skill set and overall IQ.
-Thin in his lower body. Still only 216 pounds. Not a very physical guy.
-Motor really runs hot and cold. Looks disinterested at times. Walks around, doesn't jog off the court when subbed out.
-Needs to play with more toughness to maximize his defensive potential. Gets posted up without much resistance. Defensive fundamentals have room to improve. Bites on fakes. Doesn't take great angles on the perimeter.
-Over-thinks the game at times. Can play a more reactionary game.
-Shoots it a bit flat. Forward jumper. Cocked back, off to the side of his head.
-Can develop more of a go-to move on the block. Falls away, avoids contact. Can add more to his mid-post, face up game. Would benefit from a consistent face up jumper, rip through spin finish.
-Struggles to finish in a crowd at times. Needs to be in space to get off the floor. Avoids contact.
-Stands and watches on the defensive glass. Doesn't want to find a body. Relies on tools more than fundamentals.
-Not the most durable guy. Gets dinged up easily. Can he stay healthy long term?
Bamba is a tantalizing prospect with #1 pick type upside who often leaves scouts and executives wanting more. On one hand, his tools are other-worldly and his two-way potential is unquestioned. In an era where length, agility, IQ and touch are coveted, Bamba checks all the boxes and has a monstrous ceiling that other top prospects simply can't match. On the other hand, far too many big-time prospects have failed to live up to expectations due to a hot-cold motor and semi-disinterested approach, a skill that is harder to develop over time than others. Bamba has yet to make his college decision, but going somewhere where he'll be tested, and forced to compete on a day-to-day basis should go a long way in helping him maximize his potential on both ends of the floor. If Bamba can find the inner-dog and compete on a consistent basis, he has a chance to develop into one of the more unique centers in the NBA some day. If Bamba is willing to skate by on tools along, it will may be hard for NBA teams to take the plunge and draft him as high as his upside suggests.
Jaren Jackson Jr, USA, PF/C, Class of 2017, Michigan State, 17.5
-Tremendous physical profile for a PF/C prospect at 6' 10 with a 7' 4 wingspan and 9' 1 standing reach. On the light side (225 lbs) at this stage, but has a big frame that will fill out really nicely. Wide shoulders, good base.
-Very fluid running the floor. Light on his feet. Can finish above the rim in space. May still have some untapped athletic potential. Lob target.
-Versatile defensively thanks to his agility, length and timing around the rim. Has the tools to be play a healthy amount of center, and the mobility to defend most fours. Good feet guarding the perimeter. Can switch ball screens and compete. Quick off his feet around the rim as a rim protector. Flashes of competitiveness. Very vocal.
-Really competed on the offensive glass. Keeps plays alive thanks to his length and quick leaping. Playing much harder and more aggressively than he had in the past.
-Budding skill set offensively. Comfortable finishing with either hand. Almost prefers his left in the post. Quick face up, rip through spins from mid-post spots. Great footwork.
-Untraditional mechanics but can stretch the floor a little bit. Very confident out to three. Quick release. Career 40.5% from three on 84 attempts.
-Has the agility to attack a closeout in space.
-Length helps him finish from different angles around the rim.
-Son of an NBA player. Very well-spoken and aware of his strengths and weaknesses.
-Youngest player on the USA team at 17.5. About a year young for his class.
-Still lacks a degree of toughness and physicality. Doesn't always welcome contact. Motor runs hot and cold.
-Misses box outs on the defensive glass. Lifetime 10.1 rebounds per 40 minutes. Can improve his consistency on the boards.
-Defensive fundamentals can improve. Allows duck ins. Bites on shot fakes. Needs more experience defending on both the perimeter and interior.
-Not the most high IQ passer. Struggles to playmake from the perimeter or make intelligent decisions when pressured. Important for him to develop as a passer if he wants to operate on the perimeter.
-A bit soft with the ball in traffic. Better leaper in space. Not all that explosive in a crowd at this stage.
-Funky stroke - moonball without rotation. Low release point. Forward jumper. How translatable is his jumper versus NBA athletes? Likely better at the five against longer closeouts. Struggles to shoot when contested. Not going to shoot off the dribble or create much space out of face ups or mid-post touches.
-Has tools and checks a few different boxes but isn't quite great in one or two areas
Jackson was the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit's breakout performer, making an impact on both ends of the floor all week long in practice and notching 13 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes in the Moda Center. He's made great strides since we first started evaluating him just under a year ago in Colorado Springs. Jackson has near-elite physical tools, versatility and upside defensively and an offensive skill set that figures to fit well in today's NBA. Jackson's toughness and motor still need some work, but he's in a situation to improve those areas next year as he'll play for hard-nosed Tom Izzo at Michigan State. It remains to be seen what exactly Jackson is as an NBA prospect - a stretch? a finisher? a shot blocker? a rebounder? - but the fact that he can do a little bit of everything while possessing physical upside is what makes him so intriguing. Jackson looked everybit of a future lottery pick in Portland. It may take him some time to adjust to Izzo's demands at Michigan State but he's without a doubt one of the more intriguing long-term prospects to play in the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit game.
Wendell Carter, USA, PF/C, Class of 2017, Duke, 17.9
-6'10 in shoes with a 7'3 wingspan, a 9'0 standing reach and a 257 pound frame. Big enough to play center at any level of basketball
-Comfortable operating both facing and with his back to the basket. Skilled big man with a polished feel for the game. Uses both hands around the basket
-Great hands and timing as a cutter/finisher. Toughness, powerful frame allows him to take contact around the rim.
-Surprises you at times with his explosiveness off two feet when he has time to gather
-Outstanding offensive rebounder thanks to his length, timing and instincts. Multiple effort type guy
-Very good passer out of the post. Type of big man you can run things through in the high post and with DHOs. Solid understanding of the game for a player his age.
-Shows potential with his jump-shot. High release point and soft touch. Solid in mid-range spots, should be able to extend his game out to the 3-point line in time. Has a really nice turnaround jumper he likes to go to out of the post
-Competitive and instinctual defensively. Gets in passing lanes, has timing for blocks. Covers ground.
-Shouldn't have any problem stealing some minutes at the 4 in two-big men lineups.
-Highly productive in every setting he's played in. Ultra consistent. Fundamentally sound.
-Good athlete but not exceptional. Lacks a degree of explosiveness at times with his finishes in traffic. Not the type of guy who is going to catch lobs off the pick and roll. Needs time to load up
-Lacks a degree of focus and intensity in drills. Can get a little bored at times it appears. Doesn't show much emotion. Not overly focal
-Passes up open shots in the mid-range in-game settings. Not very comfortable operating outside the paint
-Doesn't have great height for a center. Earth-bound style makes him somewhat less effective when going up against length. Needs a lot of shot-fakes to get his post-moves off.
-Motor comes and goes at times on the defensive glass
Carter is a known commodity at this stage who gets overshadowed in this class at times by the taller, longer, more explosive and flashier players surrounding him in the top ten of the rankings. Nevertheless, he seems to be the most sure-fire player of the bunch, as he's already very much a ready made product who should be able to come in and make a major impact in college from day one. Carter's NBA upside is significant as well, as he ticks quite a few boxes teams look for in a big man, somewhat in the Al Horford
Isaiah Hartenstein, German, PF/C, Zalgiris, 18.9
-Measured really well at 7' 1.25 in shoes with a 9' 1 standing reach and a 250-pound frame, more than adequate to play the five at the NBA level (likely his more natural position in today's NBA). Similar physically to Donatas Motiejunas
at the same age (in terms of height and reach), yet 26 pounds heavier.
-Solid athlete in space. Hunched and average in traffic but can play above the rim when he's able to load up. Agile for his size.
-Very physical and competitive. Plays with toughness. Not afraid to throw his weight around. Active on the offensive and defensive glass. Lifetime 14.0 rebounds per 40 minutes.
-Showed some instincts on the defensive glass. Can recover for blocks. Lifetime 2.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per 40 minutes. Going to compete. Experience with Zalgiris paying off.
-Agile enough to be effective as and pick and roll drop defender.
-Has the body and strength to defend the post. Proportionate frame that still has room to fill out.
-Did a nice job of playing the right way and moving the ball. Has some vision both from the high post and on the move. Can high low pass and drive and dish. Should develop into a plus-playmaker vs closeouts while at the five. Comfortable playing out of dribble handoffs.
-Showed he can make an occasional spot three despite unfavorable rotation and mechanics. Doesn't need to shoot it as well if he's at the five, which his tools suggest he'll be able to do.
-Has the agility to attack a closeout in space. Will finish with floaters at times. Not an NBA ready skill but an area that he can certainly build on.
-Average length relative to height - 7' 2.25 wingspan. Very hunched over. Doesn't play quite as big as his measurements suggest.
-Good athlete in space but a bit ground bound in traffic.
-Struggled to make shots from the perimeter. Shoots off the side of his hand. Crazy side spin. Off hand is very involved. Lifetime 28.4% from three and 61.6% from the free throw line. Ahead of a lot of current stretch fives at the same age but will definitely need a tweak in his mechanics. How does he score if he's not a threat from the perimeter?
-Poor, choppy footwork shooting off the dribble. Hunched nature hurts his ability to get all the way to the rim in a straight line.
-Overall touch in the half court isn't great. Will have to rely more on finesse at the NBA level and has yet to shown he's going to finish with touch consistently in the paint.
-Doesn't have a traditional post or face up game at this stage.
-Showed he can pass but his decision making has room to improve. Avoidable turnovers. Turns down open spot threes for contested floaters in the lane. Over 5.0 turnovers per 40 minutes (lifetime).
-Feet are good not great guarding the perimeter. Can he develop into a switch defender? Likely best in drop situations. Projects as more of a center defensively, especially in bench lineups.
-Gets down on himself easily. Very emotional after mistakes. Puts a lot of pressure on himself.
Hartenstein has developed the reputation as a 7-footer who can space the floor and attack from the perimeter but after a week in Portland he showed his initial value may be more as a hard-playing, 250-pound big who can make his presence felt on the glass and play with activity defensively as his offensive skill set continues to develop. Hartenstein may very well turn into a threat from NBA three down the road, but he showed that he has quite a bit of room to improve in that regard. His overall skill set offensively could use some polishing. With that said, Hartenstein has NBA tools to fall back on at 7' 1 with a great frame and impressive mobility. He competed all week long, playing only a couple hours from his hometown of Eugene, and proved that his time with Zalgiris has certainly helped him from a toughness standpoint. Hartenstein may not be the ultra-skilled stretch four man he showed flashes of in the past, but there's certainly room in the NBA for centers with his size, strength, aggressiveness, rebounding ability and potential skill set.
Nick Richards, Jamaica, SF, Class of 2017, Kentucky, 19.3
-Strong physical profile for an NBA center prospect at 6' 11.75 in shoes with a 239-pound frame, 7' 3.75 wingspan and decent 9' 0.5 standing reach.
-Super agile for his size. Can really run when motivated. Able to sit down and slide laterally. Nimble diving to the rim out of pick and roll.
-Good leaper in space. Lob target. Can finish above the rim.
-Tools help him on the glass. Excellent rebounder when his motor is running high. Lifetime 14.3 rebounds per 40 minutes. Quick off the floor.
-Shws potential as a rim protector. Solid timing. Long arms. 3.4 blocks per 40 minutes.
-Flashes of touch on the offensive end. Can make a right-handed jump hook when he's playing under control. Occasional quick rip throughs, spins and left-handed jump hooks. Gets good rotation on his free throw stroke. Has some untapped offensive skill.
-Has the feet to develop into a pick and roll switch defender as his fundamentals and awareness improve. Recovers to blocks at the rim if beat. May be able to check some bigger fours in time.
-May be able to develop into the rim running, switch-capable, rim protecting five man that NBA teams covet.
-Motor runs hot and cold. Gets down on himself easily. Doesn't sprint back on defense after mistakes. Very laid back demeanor in general.
-Feel for the game isn't great. Doesn't see the floor at a high level. Strictly a five offensively. Lifetime 0.7 assists per 40 minutes. Struggles to react to stunt men. Not going to put the ball down from the perimeter. Very sped up in the post. Will take off-balance jump hooks with range early in the clock. Still figuring out who he is as a player.
-Defensive fundamentals have room to improve. Too upright guarding pick and roll. Doesn't give himself enough room to keep the ball in front. Reaches on the perimeter. Not as physical as he could be guarding the post. Bites on fakes.
-Can do a better job finding a body on the defensive glass. Relies more on tools than fundamentals. Can improve his discipline there.
-Overall offensive skill set has room to improve. Hands are a bit shaky. Can he develop into more than just a dunker, offensive rebounder? Touch is very inconsistent. Solid free throw stroke but mid-range jumper is slow and quite mechanical.
-Body language can improve.
Richards had a couple very strong days of practice in Portland, flying around on both ends of the floor and showing flashes of touch while measuring really well for an NBA center prospect. Consistency in terms of effort and decision making will be key for Richards. He may have his struggles staying on the floor at Kentucky during low-motor bouts, and he'll have to find a way to defend without fouling while keeping things simple offensively. If Richards is able to buy into his role and put in the work to develop on both sides of the floor, he could have an impact in a Willie Cauley-Stein
type role for the Wildcats after a couple years of development.
Felipe Dos Anjos, Brazil, C, Real Madrid (on loan with Oviedo, 18.9
-Massive center prospect at 7' 3 with a 7' 4.75 wingspan, 9' 6.5' standing reach and 251-pound frame. Well-proportioned upper and lower body. Strong legs for a guy his size. Huge hands.
-More mobile than you'd expect. Can get up and down in transition once he gets momentum behind him.
-Solid hands. Has touch in mid-range spots. Sound mechanics on his free throw stroke. Should be able to develop a short turnaround game in time. High release point on his jump hooks. Touch with his right hand.
-Strong feel for the game. Knows who he is as a player. Well-coached. Doesn't try to play outside of himself. Can high low pass a little bit.
-Able to protect the rim by way of sheer size and length when he doesn't have to cover a ton of ground.
-Natural size makes him a factor on the glass - 12.2 rebounds per 40 minutes (lifetime).
-Professional approach. Great teammate. Going to compete and work to maximize his potential.
-Not very quick twitch. Average leaper. Needs momentum behind him to get going.
-Struggles to cover ground defensively. Doesn't project as much more than a drop defender in pick and roll. Has a tendency to get stuck in no-mans land around the basket in rim protection situations. Instincts, awareness and reaction time can improve.
-Not all that physical as a post defender. Allowed smaller bigs to go through him at times despite his size advantage. Struggles reacting in time to the first move.
-Footwork is still a bit raw in the post. Gets knocked off spots. Fairly basic post repertoire - mostly right-handed jump hooks. Would benefit from a more consistent short turnaround, utilizing his high release point and touch. Holds onto the ball a split second too long on jump hooks. Can improve his left hand.
-Struggles to finish in traffic. Fairly anchored to the floor and isn't all that comfortable playing through contact.
-Nice feel but still learning how to playmake more consistently out of the post and from the perimeter.
-Upside is a bit limited by his average quickness, especially with the way the NBA is trending.
Dos Anjos was rock solid all week in Portland, playing the game the right way, showing flashes of touch and making an impact on the glass by way of his size and length. Dos Anjos has come a long way over the years and is highly regarded in Spain as a very high character individual who really works at maximizing his potential. The 7' 3 Brazilian-born big man doesn't exactly fit the mold of a modern NBA center, as he's not going to be a switch candidate, stretch the floor, or play above the rim, but he's certainly draftable given his massive tools, approach to the game, touch, IQ and stashability with Real Madrid.
Ikey Obiagu, Nigeria, Center, Class of 2017, Florida State, 18.7
-Ridiculous physical specimen. Over 7'1 in shoes with an impressive 241 pound frame that will continue to fill out. Has a 7'5 ¼ wingspan and 9'4 ½ standing reach that are both elite level measures for a center at any level of basketball. Will get looks from the NBA off his tools alone.
-Rangy defensive player. Covers ground and can protect the rim with his length
-Still new to the game
-Mechanical athletically. Runs with very short strides. Doesn't possess great coordination. Often a split-second late with his reaction time.
-Very limited offensive player. Struggles to make basic catches. Doesn't have much touch around the basket. Somewhat of a black hole ones he gets the ball inside the post
-Has a hard time picking up plays. Lacks experience and feel in half-court offenses. Didn't always look very locked in. Game moves too fast for him
-Has potential defensively, but can get schooled at times by more experienced players with shot-fakes.
OutlookObiagu was somewhat of a surprise selection, as he isn't considered in the same tier of prospects that normally gets invited to this event. Those concerns proved to be accurate, as he had a very difficult time in the week of practices leading up the actual game, and then went scoreless in ten minutes of action. Obiagu possesses tremendous physical gifts, but is obviously still at a very early stage of his development, and was put in a difficult situation being asked to hold his own in this setting.