The Portland Trail Blazers are working out 6 more prospects today in preparation for the 2015 NBA Draft. Here's the list.
George de Paulo, a 19-year-old, 6'6" projected PG from Brazil currently playing with Esporte Clube Pinheiros
Strengths: Great size for the PG position, has amazing physical tools to play basketball, 7' 0" wingspan with huge hands and a strong body at his age at 200 pounds ... Possesses some intriguing PG skills, very good ball handling, with great crossovers, hesitation moves, change of directions, combo moves, creating plays for himself and teammates ... Knows how to post up smaller players ... Good court vision, always looking for the open man for a drive and dish, a creative passer ... From a defensive standpoint, he's capable of defending on the ball, has good feet, and also good plays the passing lanes well with his amazing arms ... Has the potential to be very good on rebounds on both ends and block shots ... Can contest shots and disrupt jumpers ... Just 19 years old, so has time to improve ...
Weaknesses: Not an athletic player, doesn't have great leaping ability and lacks an explosive first step ... Experience and feel for the game are low ... Has a tendency to over dribble ... Sometimes takes ill advised shots and misses opportunities because of that ... Doesn't have a good midrange shot, and needs to improve his shot selection ... Form and fundamentals on his shot are bad ... Has a long, looping release which makes it difficult for him to get it off, and difficult to replicate consistently ... Assist/TO rate is not good, makes bad decisions on the court causing TO ... Needs to be more unselfish and concentrate, doesn't have great focus ... Need to improve his defensive skills, don't have good fundamental skills on D, relies upon his amazing body.
Interview from the Nike Hoops Summit by DraftExpress:
Pierria Henry, a 6'5" Senior projected PG from Charlotte
Summary from a February article by the UNC-Charlotte NinerTimes:
Scouts around the country have heard Henry's name, but it certainly doesn't help that the 49ers aren't a nationally recognized team at the moment. James Blackburn, Director of Scouting for Basketball Elite, says that Henry is a special talent.
"I have had the opportunity to watch Henry play multiple times. He is a terrific passer and floor general, good defender and has active hands. I doubt he is an NBA guy because of his offensive liabilities, but he's a great candidate for the NBDL and the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. He'll be playing professionally next year, it's just tough to say where."
Jarell Martin, a 6'9" Sophomore projected SF/PF from LSU
Excerpt from his DraftExpress summary:
On film, Martin shows a lot of promise with his face-up game and he looks comfortable either taking the ball to the basket or pulling up for a jump shot. His ball-handling skills are above average for his size, which when coupled with athleticism, makes him hard to defend when he attacks the basket. Unsurprisingly, he did a better job of getting to the foul line, logging 6.6 attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted and showing the ability to finish through contact when willing (59% at the rim in the half-court). These attributes also allow him to thrive as a scorer in transition, where he converted 64.5% of his attempts.
One area that Martin did not improve in as much as hoped is as a jump shooter, after showing some promise as a freshman (hitting 33% of his 3-pointers, which made up a third of his overall field goal attempts). He made just 27.5% of his overall 3-point attempts this season, including 29.5% of his catch-and-shoot opportunities, and seemed a lot less confident in this part of his game. He also showed some potential shooting off the dribble, though he made only 33.3% of his overall attempts.
His inconsistent shooting mechanics are likely to blame, as he shoots with a variable release point and occasional hitch while falling away from the basket and lacking much elevation or arc. The fact that he once again shot below 70% from the foul line suggests that he has quite a bit of work to do before he develops into a respectable jump shooter at this level or the next. This will be an important area for him moving forward.
Martin's post-game also remains a work in progress. For one, he does not consistently use his strength and size to his advantage while posting up. He also does not look to score on the low block that often; just 13.1% of his attempts come out of post-up situations. While he has outstanding mobility, his footwork leaves much to be desired at this stage.
And the Video Breakdown from same:
Joshua Smith, a 6'10" (350lb!) Senior projected C from Georgetown
Excerpt from his DraftExpress profile:
Standing at 6'9 with a massive frame, Smith is surprisingly nimble considering he is generously listed at 305 pounds. He remains an effective post scorer, which is where nearly 60% of it comes from according to Synergy Sports Technology. He's more than willing to use his size to establish position can play through contact, and shows good touch on a tough-to-guard right handed hook.
While not quite as prolific of an offensive rebounder as he was during his freshman season, where his 19.5% offensive rebounding rate ranked second in the nation, Smith is still one of the best offensive rebounders among prospects in our database, with his 5.4 offensive rebounds per-40 minutes pace adjusted ranking second in our top 100. He uses his strength to his advantage here, and has extremely soft hands to go along with consistent effort helping to maximize his impact in this area of the game.
His offensive game remains confined to the paint, not showing much development in his perimeter game. He attempts virtually no jump shots, and his free throw percentage dropped slightly, from 61.3% his freshman season to 59% last year. While Smith is likely going to remain a post scorer at the collegiate level where he has a big advantage over most defenders, showing the ability to hit from the outside would be good for his draft stock, even if it's not in large quantities.
The weight and conditioning issues have limited Smith, both in his effectiveness in certain parts of the game and his ability to stay on the court. Smith saw his minutes decrease, from 21.7 minutes per game his freshman season to 17.2 per game last year, and he remains extremely foul prone - his 7.4 personal fouls per 40 minutes is head and shoulders the highest among the top 100 prospects in our database, with the second highest being at only 5.1 fouls per 40 minutes.
Seth Tuttle, a 6'8" Senior projected PF from Northern Iowa
Excerpt from DraftExpress:
At 6'8", Tuttle is undersized for a power forward at the next level, his usual position with the Panthers. He is not particularly athletic, but is a crafty player, using his intelligence while not wasting movements to get his shots. He would be at a significant disadvantage physically at the next level, as he doesn't possess great speed or explosiveness to offset his lack of height and length. He moves well without the ball, finding open spots on the floor to get open against bigger and more athletic players, but there are significant question marks about how his game will translate to better competition.
Tuttle did most of his work in the post, where he was one of the most prolific scorers in the country according to Synergy Sports Technology. He is comfortable on either block and demonstrated a variety of moves and excellent footwork, including a spin move, drop step and hook shot with either hand. He's an excellent finisher at the rim, converting 67.3% of his attempts according to Synergy Sports Technology. He is able to finish through contact and get to the line, attempting 8.2 free throw attempts per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Tuttle was a definite mismatch at the college level, sliding in between the 4 and the 5 spots and using his excellent feel for the game and a very disciplined offense to find ways to score effectively.
He's a willing passer out of the post, demonstrating good vision, as his 4.9 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted were the most of any power forward in the nation last season, although his pure point rating was -1.95. While he won't have the offense run through him as much at the next level, he showed he can make plays with the ball in his hands.
Tuttle will have to adjust to become a role player at the next level and one way to demonstrate he can be a complementary player is by becoming a better 3-point shooter. He attempted just 44 3s in 35 games, but has seen his attempts from beyond the arc go up each year while improving his accuracy to 43.2%. He has nice form, although his release point can be low and a little slow at times, which will hurt his ability to get uncontested shots off at times. NBA teams will want to look closer at his jumper to gauge what his chances are of becoming an "automatic" shooter from outside, which will be a major key to any chances he has of sticking in the League.
Tuttle isn't a great ball handler, which will limit his effectiveness as a perimeter player. He doesn't like to put the ball on the floor and struggles to create offense when he does look to drive. He isn't quick with his first step and he struggles to get separation on dribble penetration.
Defensively, Tuttle will need to show he is capable of guarding either the perimeter or interior players in the pre-draft process. He may struggle to do so, as he isn't quick enough to guard perimeter players but he isn't tall or long enough to bother interior players.
Chris Walker, a 6'10" Sophomore projected PF/C from Florida
Excerpt from DraftExpress:
Despite his less than stellar production at Florida, its Walker's simply outstanding combination of length and athleticism that makes him an intriguing prospect, much like it made him a force at the prep level. Standing 6'8.75 without shoes, Walker isn't overly tall for a power forward, but he sports a 7'2.75 wingspan and is every bit as explosive as the 30.5 inch no step and 37 inch maximum vertical leap marks he registered at the 2015 NBA Combine.
Walker's best moments at the college level came when he was engaged and putting those tools to use on both ends of the floor. With 50% of his offensive possessions coming on cuts and put backs according to Synergy Sports Technology, Walker did the majority of his scoring in catch and finish situations last season. A target for lob and dump passes from penetrating guards, the sophomore big man shot a solid, but not spectacular 59.8% when finishing around the basket on the year. Able to effortlessly play above the rim, Walker struggled at times to finish in traffic and needs to continue adding muscle to his 208-pound frame, but also generated some material for his highlight reel when his teammates created an opening for him.
Defensively, Walker was also very effective in short bursts as a rim protector. Ranking 6th in our top-100 in blocks per-40 minutes pace adjusted, Walker's length and athleticism made him an impactful defender for stretches defending both on and off the ball. Showing the ability to block shots with both hands, step out and hedge with terrific quickness on the pick and roll, and make an impact as a rebounder at points, Walker has very interesting defensive potential at both big men positions once he adds strength....
Offensively, Walker is extremely raw at this stage. A non-factor from the midrange with an extremely basic post repertoire, Walker's lack of polished skills on this end are a major concern in projecting him to the next level.
And their scouting report video from the beginning of the 2014-15 season:
Do any of these prospects intrigue you? Talk about it below.
--Dave email@example.com / @DaveDeckard / @Blazersedge