Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony. Video Breakdown by Mike Schmitz
Damien Inglis is one of a handful of 18-year olds to see meaningful minutes in Pro A France over the past decade. After attending the Nike Hoop Summit, and seeing his team relegated to the second division, Inglis elected to declare for this year's NBA Draft. We take an inventory of everything he displayed this season as an NBA prospect, as well as the things he still has to improve on.
Inglis is a unique prospect in terms of the versatility he displays, but his best attribute from a NBA standpoint likely revolves around his defensive potential. He's got great instincts and fundamentals to compliment his outstanding size, length and strength, making him capable of guarding up to three positions (2-3-4) at the NBA level. He's just as big as many power forwards, but is capable of getting in a stance and keeping opponents in front. He's very aware and attentive both on and off the ball, showing very good feet and lateral quickness, which makes him a real playmaker in the passing lanes (1.6 steals per-40 pace adjusted) and occasionally even as a shot-blocker. Inglis ranked as the second best rebounding small forward in the entire French league despite his youth, hauling down 9.5 boards per-40, something he's done in every setting he's played, which makes it likely to translate to the NBA level as well in some capacity.
Inglis' ball-handling in the open floor, passing ability and basketball IQ are likely his biggest selling points offensively. He's operated as somewhat of a point forward growing up, racking up assists at a very high rate in turn, even if he didn't get much of an opportunity to show that at the pro level this season. His strong frame allows him to bulldoze his way into the lane and make plays for teammates, as he's extremely unselfish and has a knack for finding the open man, showing the ability to make plays with either hand.
With that said, there are some question marks about the role Inglis will play in the NBA offensively, at least in the short term. While he's incredibly powerful, he's not what you'd describe as a freakish athlete in terms of his sheer quickness or explosiveness, which can get him into trouble at times when he puts the ball on the floor and attacks the paint in the half-court. Inglis turned the ball over on 24% of his possessions this season, the fourth highest rate of any of the players in our Top-100 rankings. He still has work to do on polishing his ball-handling against set defenses, improving his experience-level, and making good decisions.
Inglis shot 39% for 3 in France this year, and appears to have solid mechanics, but really struggled to make jumpers all week long at the Nike Hoop Summit practices, scrimmages and game. His release is fairly slow, and his touch leaves something to be desired, which is an issue in today's NBA which revolves so heavily around perimeter spacing. Inglis' ability to become a legitimate threat with his feet set from NBA range is likely the biggest key to him becoming a valuable contributor.
On the plus side, Inglis is the sixth youngest player in our Top-100 right now, not turning 19 for another few weeks. It's safe to say he has plenty of room to grow still, and looks like someone who will reach his potential based on what we know about his character and work ethic. Inglis left his home country of French Guiana (a small country just north of Brazil) when he was only 13 years old, and is clearly very mature for his age. Unlike some international prospects, he speaks very good English and there are no question marks about his desire to play in the NBA. He also has a comfortable buyout and the flexibility to either come over right away or stay for another year in Europe if need be. All those things combined leave a lot of room for optimism regarding his situation and should help him if he decides to keep his name in the draft.
We've taken a more visual look at Inglis' strengths and weaknesses thanks to game film from France and the Nike Hoop Summit in the following video scouting report, courtesy of Mike Schmitz.
-Has terrific physical attributes for the wing at 6-7, with a very mature and strong frame, long arms and excellent athleticism
-Tremendous potential defensively. Has the wingspan, frame, intensity level, lateral quickness and instincts to stay in front of virtually any player. Guarded every position in the games we saw
-Playmaker on defense who racks up blocks, steals and rebounds with regularity
-Excellent feel for the game. Reads the defense. Very good court vision. Unselfish. Makes the extra pass
-Can play some pick and roll and find the open man
-Drives both left or right
-Very difficult to stop driving down the lane at the junior level as he's just too strong to stay in front of
-Very effective in transition. Unselfish enough to pass ahead but also strong enough to take the ball himself and score
-Can make an open 3-pointer (averaged one made 3-pointer per game at the NIJT, and also in French league)
-Has a bit of a post game. Looks for contact on his finishes
-Must improve perimeter shooting. 7/26 (27%) from beyond the arc at the NIJT. Possesses poor mechanics, shooting ball on way down and giving him a very inconsistent release point
-Doesn't always defend as well as he can. Doesn't get into a stance. Lets opponents blow by him
-Lacks experience. Decision making isn't always the best
Outlook: Likely the most interesting long-term prospect seen at the NIJT. Has ideal size for a wing, but saw plenty of time at point guard or power forward or even center depending on the matchup. Posted a triple-double in one outing and came close in others. Not quite as effective in London as he was in Belgrade due to foul trouble. Needs to improve his outside shot to continue to progress as a prospect. May need to revamp shooting mechanics. Has a very mature frame that already looks ready for senior-level basketball. Needs experience, good coaching. [Read Full Article]
Emptying the Notebook: Elite International Prospects Scouting Reports
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-Good size at 6-8
-Terrific frame for a player his age
-Long wingspan. Huge hands
-Good in transition
-Solid feel for game
-Fluid with the ball. Good body control
-Does a lot of little things that players his age usually don't do
-Finds ways to score in transition, put-backs
-Very good rebounder
-Super effort level
-Rotates for charges
-Gets in passing lanes
-Sees most of his minutes at power forward right now
-Skill-level is average at best
-Cannot shoot with any real range
-Needs to improve ball-handling skills in half-court
-Doesn't know how to utilize his athleticism offensively. Doesn't get to the free throw line
Outlook: Hails from French Guiana. Promising prospect thanks to his combination of strong physical tools, feel for game and effort level. Much more advanced defensively at the moment. If he can develop a jump-shot, has a chance to play at the highest levels of basketball. Currently playing major minutes in the French 3rd division with INSEP.