The 2017 NBA Draft is less than one month away and the Portland Trail Blazers possess three first round picks (15, 20, 26). After previously looking at prospects Ike Anigbogu, OG Anunoby, John Collins, and Justin Jackson, today we examine another prospective player and how he could benefit the Blazers: Texas big man Jarrett Allen.
- Height: 6’10.5”
- Weight: 235 lbs
- Wingspan: 7’5.25”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: C
- College: Texas
- Age: 19
- Projected draft range: 12-17
- PPG: 13.4 | Per 40: 16.7
- RPG: 8.5 | Per 40: 10.5
- APG: 0.8 | Per 40: 1.0
- BLK: 1.5 | Per 40: 1.9
- STL: 0.6 | Per 40: 0.7
The first thing to notice about Allen is his massive size. At 235 pounds, he still has weight to add, but his incredible wingspan would immediately put him in the top-10 wingspans in the current NBA. To add to that, his hands are the second biggest of any player at the NBA combine. Not only is Allen long, but he is coordinated and a good runner for his size. In the NBA combine, he finished 18 out of 55 total prospects in the shuttle run, and second among centers. He is does not have an NBA ready jump shot, but he has a soft touch when he is 2-4 feet out. Allen is also an aggressive finisher at the rim and can score with either hand. He does not have terrific lateral quickness, but he sits down low in his chair and his long strides make up for his lack of rapid change in direction. His speed, length, athleticism, coordination, and massive hands are a receipt for an excellent pick-and-roll finisher.
While Allen has the frame and athleticism to be a great NBA player, his motor is a bit of a concern. It feels like it has more to do with his conditioning than his lack of effort. He will sprint the floor occasionally but just does not have the stamina to sprint consistently. He was late on the basketball scene so that stamina may come with some more work. Allen rebounded well and blocked some shots, but it was mostly due to being so much taller and longer than anyone else on the court. He was not always in the best position defensively and never really got the hang of boxing out. Offensively, he is very raw. He’s not going to beat you off the dribble and he did not touch the ball enough to warrant the 2.5 turnovers per game that he put up in college. His post up game is not NBA ready and his free throw shooting (56.4%) is a problem.
Texas, as a team, was horrible, finishing last in the Big 12 Conference and 11-22 overall. Allen was up and down. He put up up 22 and 19 against Kansas one game and then put up 20 and 11 the next time they played. But then he also had games against Georgia and Long Beach State (my alma matter) where he played roughly 30 minutes and couldn’t break four points. Allen did progress as the year went on, ending the season scoring double figures in 11 of his last 12 games, and grabbing at least seven rebounds in 20 of his last 22.
Allen can screen-and-roll and he can rebound at an NBA level right now, but that’s probably about it. The frame and athletic ability that he possesses gives him a lot of room to grow into a big time NBA player. His ceiling is very high, even though his lone college season did not lead to wins. The improvement he showed was proof he is willing to learn.
The Blazers have their big man of the future in Jusuf Nurkic, but are thin behind him. With Ed Davis’ contract up after next year and Meyers Leonard playing himself into irrelevancy, there are minutes to be had for a backup center. For the time being, the center position is the most over-flooded position in the NBA, but with the Blazers cap situation, drafting a center may still be their best bet. The Blazers may never be able to run the offense through Allen like they can with Nurkic, but Allen has the potential to be reliable scorer and the supreme defensive player the Blazers have been looking for, all while being able to contribute for a playoff team next season.
Do you want Allen in a Trail Blazers jersey next season? Which player would you like us to analyze next? Tell us in the comments below.