H: 6' 8"|
W: 210 lbs
(29 Years Old)
|RSCI: 59||Agent: Rich Kleiman |
High School: Benton Harbor
Hometown: Benton Harbor, MI
Drafted: Pick 23 in 2007 by Knicks
Overview:A physical specimen of a combo forward. Possesses a great frame, long arms and freakish athleticism. Very young, but seems to be making great progress considering where he was picked in the draft. Given plenty of playing time very early on to aid his development. Somewhat of a limited offensive player, primarily a spot-up shooter and off-ball role player. Not an efficient option offensively just yet, but can come up with some big scoring nights from time to time. A little bit stuck between the 3 and the 4 offensively, due to inability to create own shot or knock down long-range jumpers consistently. Very versatile defensively, and shows great potential on this end of the floor. Still has to find his bread and butter in the NBA, as well as mature, gain experience and become a more polished all-around player. Played just two seasons at DePaul, deciding to leave before making much of an impact at the collegiate level. Received a late first-round promise very early on in the draft process from Isiah Thomas—who knew him thanks to mutual acquaintances in Michigan-- and thus refused workouts with every NBA team.
Offense: Capable of putting up scoring numbers, but has yet to learn how to do so efficiently early on in his career. Relies extremely heavily on his jump-shot as his main source of production, but is not very consistent from beyond the arc just yet. Very solid from mid-range on the catch and shoot, but is extremely streaky from 3-point range and struggles pulling up off the dribble. Cannot create his own shot off the dribble, possesses a quick first step, but is a poor ball-handler, particularly with his left hand, and cannot change directions on his way to the basket. Does not get to the free throw line much at all. Terrific in the open floor, and is a fantastic finisher around the basket if he has space to operate. A good fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense for that reason, especially if he can improve his perimeter jumper. Shows potential in that regard from time to time, but shot-selection and consistency still leave a lot to be desired. Decent passer and not too turnover prone. Would be wise to develop a back to the basket game, in order to take advantage of mismatches at the SF position.
Defense: Has phenomenal tools on this end of the floor, and is already used in a multitude of ways by Mike D’Antoni for this reason. Shows great potential as a one on one perimeter defender. Guards virtually every position from 1-4, can switch on screens with ease, and is quick enough to stay in front of almost all perimeter players. Terrific combination of wingspan and lateral quickness gives him the ability to sag off his matchup and tempt him to settle for long pull-up jumpers, being just long enough to still close out and get a hand in his face once he does. Seems to lose focus from time to time, getting out of his stance, showing poor awareness off the ball, and not always showing the same intensity. Teams like to post him up inside when presented with the opportunity to do so, and he struggles denying space in the paint and not being backed down. Could still stand to get tougher on this end of the floor, as well as add weight to his very promising frame. A good, but not great rebounder at the forward spot.
Chandler came through with a one of the best performances of the day, showcasing just how far he’s come since last summer. He looked exponentially more comfortable shooting from deep, knocking down one three and a handful of catch and shoot jumpers from around 22 feet. His range is significantly better than last year primarily due to his form, which has always been consistently good.
In the same vein, Chandler was dominant from the midrange, knocking down one-dribble jumpers routinely. He did a great job getting up and down the floor and making plays for himself and his teammates. While he’s not a great ball handler, he’s capable of bringing the ball up the floor in this setting.
Defensively, Chandler was very effective, defending the post for the majority of the game. His ability to guard multiple positions on this level is a testament to just strong he is for a wing player. The timing he showed blocking shots was impressive, as was his ability to anticipate passes on the perimeter. This was a great contest for the second year forward, and he should prove to be one of the best players in attendance if he keeps it up.
Emptying out our scouting notebook, we continue our series examining under the radar underclassmen that played for non-NCAA tournament teams. Wilson Chandler, a fairly anonymous name in college basketball, is in this year’s draft for good despite having an extremely inconsistent season and not being assured of a spot in the first round. Is he making the right move?
One player who has elicited widely varyin opinions since his arrival at the D1 level is DePaul wing Wilson Chandler. The Michigan product was billed as more of a PF as a prep, but it was clear from day one last season that he would eventually be spending all of his time at the wing. Chandler struggled through a rough freshman season, not always seeing eye to eye with the coaching staff and struggling with his perimeter shot. However, several huge games over the second half of the season gave many reason to believe that the best was still yet to come for the rangy, athletic youngster.
The very high-upside Chandler presents us with a bit of a dillema, in that he has always most productive using is explosiveness and length around the basket but his upside comes in brilliant flashes of midrange shot creating ability. Chandler struggled a season ago because he relied too much on his inconsistent perimeter game, and failed to translate his immense natural gifts into on-court production. A player with Chandler's combination of size, athleticism, and finishing instincts should never shoot the 43.6% from the field that he did a season ago.
This year, Chandler is showing some major improvement as far as his transition to the wing goes. His perimeter jumper has gone from inconsistent at best to downright dangerous (21.1% from 3 a season ago, 40.5% this year), and he is getting behind the defense for acrobatic, highlight reel finishes on a regular basis. His combination of size and leaping ability is quite formidable, and not many wing prospects can match Chandler's athletic tools at the college level.
In last week's emphatic win over Wake Forest, Chandler was a legitimate go-to force. He spotted up and created shots for himself in the midrange, spent some time picking up garbage points around the rim, and flew up and down the court for severasl spectacular alleyoop dunks. He poured in 20 first half points, and probably would have continued to dominate had the game still been a game in the second half. Very rarely do you see a player who can hang in the air and finish around the rim quite like Chandler, and the highlight of the night was a spectacular finish where he started underneath the basket almost toeing the baseline and somehow managed finish at the rim by half reversing his body, half using his length to flip the ball into the basket.
As far as tangible development goes, this was one of the more significant draft-related performances of the year so far. The sophomore has remained consistent all season, not a full time go-to guy just yet, but certainly sharing the load with Sammy Mejia. He put together an excellent showing in Maui, and has put together a nice stretch of scoring games since then. Chandler needs to continue to use his natural advantages in length and explosiveness around the basket, but it appears that an NBA future does await. It remains to be seen if this is the beginning of a breakout season, or if he will need to come back for a season as the full-time man once Mejia moves on. Either way,this is a player with the natural tools and upside to warrant a lot of attention from scouts even as an underclassman.
We’re talking about a 6-7 or 6-8 forward with excellent tools to play the game. To start with, he’s extremely athletic, with a nice vertical leap, good quickness, and a strong first step. His frame is solid-- although it could certainly use some more bulk-- and his wingspan long enough to allow him to play bigger than his size. On top of that, Chandler is very smooth and seems to have a really nice feel for the game. In a nutshell, that’s where the majority of his intrigue stems from.
Offensively, Chandler shows a lot of promise in terms of making the transition to being a full-time wing. He is smart moving off the ball and really knows how to present himself around the basket for athletic finishes. His ball-handling needs work, but he showed plenty of potential in terms of creating his own shot and making his way to the hoop.
Although his shooting mechanics are not consistent at this point in his career, he has the touch to improve drastically in this area if he puts in the work. He does a little too much standing around at times waiting for things to come to him, but most of that has to do with DePaul’s unbearably slow offense, a direct derivative of his coach Jerry Wainwright’s background at Richmond and UNC Wilmington—two other programs with notoriously ugly styles of play. Wainwright’s insistence on playing at this slow pace was fairly surprising considering that he had the horses to get and up down the floor consistently last year if he pleased.
Defensively, Chandler is largely untested on the perimeter, as he was asked to play in the post for most of his freshman season. He has nice tools here, though, including good length, nice quickness and the intelligence to stay in front of his man, but his mentality was a bit hit or miss in terms of the effort he brought night in and night out. He was suspended for two games for what Wainwright described as “time management issues,” and was rumored to be unhappy with his role in DePaul’s offense. Whether this is something to be concerned about is anyone’s guess, as he is supposedly actually a great kid off the court. As a rebounder he showed plenty of potential, averaging 7.2 per game in 30 minutes, and also came up with his fair share of blocks despite giving up a few inches on most nights.
All in all, Chandler has plenty to build on after a very successful freshman season—averaging 13 points per game in the Big East slate--one that could have been even more successful had he been on the same page with his coach for the entire year. He’s by no means a sure-thing, but if he continues to improve the NBA certainly looks to be in his future down the road.