2015 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Kristaps Porzingis

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Prospect Strengths: 

Before one goes into the specifics of Porzingis’s game, what jumps out most to me (from his individual workouts posted on Draftexpress.com’s profile of him) is the way he carries himself on the court. There is very little tentativeness to him. Every stride has a purpose, every dunk is made with authority, and there is very little fluctuation in his picturesque jump shot. Despite the fact that he is putting his future on the line in a country he has spent little time in, Porzingis maintains an impressive level of aggression and consistency during his workout.

When one breaks down the most impressive facets of his game, it’s easy to see why Porzingis has climbed draft charts as high as he has. Wojnarowski broke it down into terms even the least-informed NBA fan could grasp onto.

"He is 7-foot-1 with Dirk’s shooting touch and Pau’s athleticism, a European prodigy blessed with fluent English and the threat of transcendent talent."

Porzingis does possess a picture-perfect jump shot that, when paired with his uncanny wingspan, would take a pair of stilts to block on a clean release. As mentioned before, Porzingis makes sure to utilize every inch of his frame. He releases the ball from a high point, gets lift from his lower body, and follows through on seemingly every shot regardless of distance. Kevin Durant has become nearly unguardable on the perimeter because he knows how to take advantage of his wingspan, Porzingis appears to do the same on his jumper.

What caught me most off-guard watching Porzingis work out was how ferocious and aggressive he was around the basket. He consistently plays above the rim, finishing alley-oops and post moves with authority and a quick bounce. His coordination on receiving passes is impressive and should benefit teammates in the assist column because of it. It will be interesting to see how he operates with opposing big bodies around him, but he makes sure onlookers know he plays with a bit of an edge to him.

The last of the observable traits that stood out to me watching Porzingis work out was his frame. One can’t help but fear a minimal growth potential in terms of packing on muscle with a  taller, thinner player like Porzingis. Though he doesn’t look like a stiff wind would send him tumbling, it’s safe to say he’ll need some time in the gym and some Chipotle burritos before he starts taking defenders into the post. I would argue that his broad shoulder frame should ease most concerns about that being an issue, especially with an NBA training and nutrition staff at his disposal.

For those who have watched Porzingis more closely, here are some things that have stood out to them.

"Although he’s far from being a finished product on this end of the floor, Porzingis also shows interesting potential defensively, evidenced by his 1.5 steals and 2 block averages per-40 minutes. His combination of size, length and mobility gives him impressive versatility on the pick and roll, allowing him to hedge out past the 3-point line and still recover in time to make a play in the paint for example. He’s also agile enough to switch and stay in front of smaller players if called upon, giving his team the type of positional flexibility every coaching staff in the NBA covets greatly these days. From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/#ixzz3dLi5Pd3y"

More from NBADraft.net

"Porzingis has great instincts to run in transition, and often outhustles opposing bigs for easy dunks … If he can improve his finishing ability, we are talking about a high level player capable creating his own shot from a number of areas … Defensively his size and wingspan make him a tough opponent to score over, he gives good rim protection, and he has good enough feet where he can show hard on pick and roll, or even switch and still create some problems for the ball handler … Once he gets more physical he can easily plug the ball screen … The bottom line is that Porzingis has every tool to make a really good contribution for whichever team that drafts him, and he can be an impact player for many years in the league …"