In the modern NBA, it is essential to complement your stars and primary creators with a plethora of off-ball wings capable of spacing the floor and sticking it from deep. Such shooting prowess adds offensive value both from the perspective of their conversion of catch-and-shoot threes, as well as the gravity they provide as a means of creating operating room for drivers and shot creators. Modern NBA offensive schemes are very much reliant on the presence of reliable spot-up shooters, so draft prospects that show consistency in catch-and-shoot/spot-up possessions from deep may be more valuable than ever.
In our second Film Room Friday installment, the PBC scouting team has performed a deep-dive into under-the-radar prospects that have shown projectable spot-up shooting prowess and an ability to counter high-hand over-commitments and attack closeouts.
NBA Rookies and Sophomores: Landry Shamet, Mikal Bridges, Shake Milton, Jaylen Adams, Malik Monk, Jerome Robinson, Damyean Dotson, Luke Kennard
NBA Veterans: Klay Thompson, Kyle Korver, Davis Bertans, Channing Frye, Buddy Hield, Bryn Forbes, Robert Covington, Eric Gordon, Joe Ingles, Ryan Anderson, Danny Green, Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Nemanja Bjelica, Allen Crabbe, Reggie Bullock
Recent NBA Retirees: Michael Redd, Mike Miller, Derek Fisher, Michael Finley, Peja Stojakovic, Donyell Marshall, Rashard Lewis, Matt Bonner, Anthony Morrow, Steve Novak, Jodie Meeks.
These lists are not meant as rankings, and are certainly non-exhaustive, but serve the purpose of providing some familiar examples of players who provide offensive spacing due to their shooting gravity as high-level spot-up shooters.
Within the 2019 NBA Draft class, there several likely draftees that stand out as consistent spot-up shooting threats. North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson and Belmont’s Dylan Windler are both 90th+ percentile spot-up threats and really stretch the defense, as highlighted within Johnson’s PBC Senior Spotlight here and Windler’s Mid Major, Big Game feature here.
Below, we will highlight three 2019 draft eligible prospects ranked outside of the top 45 on consensus big board rankings that have excelled as spot-up shooters and have potential as closeout attackers:
Wing | 6’5’’ | 167 | Freshman | Arkansas
PBC Consensus Ranking: 135
Isaiah Joe (#1) is one of the most productive high volume three-point shooters in the nation. The lanky freshman is putting up 8.2 3PA’s per game in less than 30 minutes per game. Typically such strikingly high volume results in efficiency regression to the mean over a large sample, however, Joe is converting at a clip of 43.9% from deep. Joe particularly thrives as a spot-up shooting threat within the Razorbacks offense, converting at a rate of 1.234 PPP, ranking in the 93rd percentile. Joe is able to accelerate his release in the presence of high-hand closeouts without sacrificing the integrity of his shooting form, which helps make him such a dangerous off-ball catch-and-shoot option. Joe could benefit from supplementing his spot-up shooting ability with a more functional driving package to attack aggressive closeouts. While he hasn’t scored driving to the basket out of a spot up, Joe has mastered the art of pump-faking, letting the defense fly by, and taking a side-dribble to create an open look, as highlighted in the video above.
Wing | 6’7 ½ ’’ | 225 | Junior | Marquette
PBC Consensus Ranking: 152
Sam Hauser (#10) is one of the best spot-up players in the nation, ranking in the 99th percentile by scoring at a rate of 1.414 PPP. He’s able to use his height and size to his advantage and shoot over the top of defenders when they contest his shots. While Hauser is one of the best shooters in college basketball, there is still room for improvement within his overall spot-up package. At the next level, NBA athletes will be quicker, longer, and taller, so he will be less likely to get as many clean, uncontested spot-up looks. This highlights the importance of being able to effectively attack closeouts via a dribble pull-up or getting to the rim. As you can see in the clip above, Hauser has shown some flashes of these aggressive closeout counter moves, but, like Isaiah Joe, could bolster his projectability of a prospect by continuing to improve that aspect of his game. Out of his 99 spot-up possessions, Hauser has only driven to the basket five times and shot a runner/floater just once.
Wing | 6’5’’ | 208 | Senior (RS) | Virginia Tech
PBC Consensus Ranking: NR
Ahmed Hill (#13) is a key component of one of the best shooting teams in the country. Virginia Tech’s combination of the shooting ability provided by Hill with Ty Outlaw, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Justin Robinson puts a lot of stress on defenses that are forced to run them all off the three-point line. While Hill might not be as pure of a shooter as Isaiah Joe or Sam Hauser, he has a more versatile overall spot-up scoring package. Hill has shown more consistency and more impressive flashes at attacking closeouts and getting to the rim. He has also proven very capable of adjusting to the defense and hitting a floater or a dribble pull-up. Hill ranks in the 83rd percentile in spot-up possessions, converting at a rate of 1.094 PPP. In the video above, we highlight Hill’s versatility as a spot-up scorer.
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