The Trail Blazers offseason is upon us, and the 2018 NBA Draft will provide Portland with an opportunity to supplement its roster with a talented youngster. With only the No. 24 pick at their disposal on draft night, the Blazers will look to beat the odds by finding an NBA-worthy prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Today we will be looking at the impressive college production of Boise State wing Chandler Hutchison.
- Height: 6’7”
- Weight: 197
- Wingspan: 7’1”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: SG/SF
- Age: 22
- Projected draft range: 20-36
- PPG: 20.0 | Per 40: 25.8
- RPG: 7.7 | Per 40: 9.9
- APG: 3.5 | Per 40: 4.5
- STL: 1.5 | Per 40: 1.9
- FG%: 47.5
- 3P%: 35.9
- FT%: 72.8
As a result of consistent growth throughout college, Hutchison turned in a solid final season at Boise State that will certainly get the attention of every team picking outside of the lottery. By carrying the Broncos’ offense, the 22-year-old wing displayed an ability to score in a variety of ways. Whether it is utilizing screens in the pick-and-roll or capitalizing on isolation looks, Hutchison is an expert at getting to the rim and finishing. To complete his exploits in the paint, the California native has drastically improved his three-point shooting since his first year in Boise. Both of those skills are rounded out by his superb transition offense, which is jump started by his nose for the ball when hunting down defensive rebounds. Hutchison consistently turns seemingly-innocent rebounds into scoring opportunities with favorable numbers for his side. Due to his well rounded offensive game, the former Bronco’s defensive gifts are often understated. Armed with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Hutchison should be able to guard multiple positions and force turnovers early on in his NBA career.
At 22 years old, Hutchison faces concerns over his limited ceiling. After making significant strides over four years at Boise State, it is plausible to think that he has reached his full potential as a player. Outside of the doubts surrounding longterm projections, Hutchison will have to refine his intermediate offensive game. Without a reliable floater or pull-up jump shot in his arsenal, opposing teams found success by forcing Hutchison into midrange shots. Concerns about the level of competition he faced in the Mountain West Conference exist, and gained traction when Hutchison went a meager 4-of-14 in Boise State’s loss to a ranked Nevada squad in February (the lone ranked team that the Broncos faced in 2017-18).
Boise State narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament with a Hutchison-led 23-9 record. Led by their star senior’s team-leading 20 points per game, the Broncos opened the season by going 9-1 through their first 10 games. Hutchison proved he could to it all with a triple-double against University of Portland in December, and followed it up with a 44-point explosion against San Diego State in mid-January. Even with Hutchison’s 39 points in the box score, Boise State’s season ended in the opening round of National Invitation Tournament with a loss against the Washington Huskies.
With all the tools to capture immediate playing time, Hutchison projects as a safe bet for teams selecting outside of the lottery. With adequate ball handling skills and the length to compete with wings, Hutchison will provide his next coach plenty of lineup flexibility. While his days of carrying an offense are likely behind him, the 22-year-old wing still has a bright future as a complimentary piece inside a pro-style offense. His ability to get to the rim, facilitate in transition offense, and play competent defense form an impressive bedrock of NBA skills. Much like Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Kuzma this season, Hutchison could be the next upperclassman to surpass projections tied to a low ceiling.
The Blazers found a franchise cornerstone in their selection of Damian Lillard, and much of his growth at Weber State was credited to Phil Beckner’s coaching expertise. Beckner is now on Boise State’s staff, and he has been the driving force behind Hutchison’s transformation into a first-round prospect. Lillard advocated for the selection of Mitchell last summer, and he’ll likely do the same for Hutchison in the lead up to the 2018 NBA Draft. Portland’s star guard has practiced with Hutchison in previous offseasons, and is familiar with his strengths. Along with offseason workouts, Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer took a closer look at Lillard’s interaction with Hutchison in Eugene this past December.
Hutchison’s fit with the Blazers goes beyond his relationship with Lillard, though, as the talented wing has a plethora of skills that could prove useful for the Blazers. Portland has to find more players capable of creating their own offense, and Hutchison’s offensive repertoire addresses that deficiency. Perhaps the most promising aspect of his game is his high floor, as it will likely result in tangible production in his rookie year.
Do you want to see Hutchison in a Trail Blazers jersey next season? What prospect would you like to see us highlight next? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.