J.P. Batista NBA Draft Scouting Report

J.P. Batista NBA Draft Scouting Report
May 24, 2006, 02:40 pm
Most of Batista’s damage comes within 10 feet of the basket. His massive frame and outstanding lower body strength allow him to establish deep position in the paint, while his fantastic hands allow him to catch anything thrown his way and his footwork, smarts and super-soft touch around the hoop do the rest. Once Batista gets the ball in the paint he is almost impossible to stop at this level as he could very well be the strongest player in the entire country. He also has great post skills and a high basketball IQ to go along with that. Fouling him is an option, but unlike most brute big men, Batista shoots 85% from the line.

When talking about his NBA potential, things get a little murky, as his game does not appear to translate very well. Listed at 6-9 he is definitely undersized for an NBA center even if that figure is legit, which it most likely is not. His extremely wide frame and below average athleticism leave serious questions about his ability to play power forward, especially defensively. Most of his work comes off set plays with his back to the basket, which in the unlikely event that his team somehow does decide to utilize won’t be nearly as easy to translate going up against the monsters of the NBA where everyone is much taller, more athletic and just as strong. The only way Batista really stands a chance at being able to contribute at the NBA level is if he sheds significant bulk from his frame (a la Udonis Haslem) and works on his perimeter skills. Already being 24 years old, it’ll be an uphill struggle.

Batista decided to pass on the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, amistake that could end up costing him plenty of money considering the International exposure he missed out on. He’ll be hoping for an invite to the Orlando pre-draft camp, where he’s likely to show everything he did over the past 4 years all over again. 24 year old undersized centers with limited athleticism and perimeter skills rarely get drafted, but Batista will have a chance to make a team through summer league. If that doesn’t work out, he’ll make plenty of money playing overseas.

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