NBA Draft Profile: USC’s Evan Mobley and G-League Ignite Jalen Green

Throughout this draft season I will be watching draft prospects and giving them grades. Before you go on to read them, I’d like to make a few things clear with a disclaimer. 

  1. 50% of a player’s grade will be determined by offensive skill set, this is because in the modern NBA offense is king, so it is by far the most valuable. 30% is determined by defensive value and 20% goes to intangible factors. 
  2. Rebounding is not a category and will be considered in the athleticism tier. While rebounding is important, with the game evolving to more of a transition and perimeter basis, rebounding has become considerably less predictable and predictive, so I no longer think it warrants a category. So, if you aren’t a good rebounder but you can get out on the break well, I see that as equally, if not more, valuable.
  3. Grades may appear harsh but consider them closer to marks in grade school. 80% is still an A!
  4. All of these grades are based on film watching alone, I did not consider analytics. I consider myself an analytically minded person, however I believe it’s an entirely separate part of the process. 
  5. The only stat that will be considered at all is free throw percentage, as shooting sample size is far too low for most prospects. So it gives a relative baseline of repeatability.

Offense 38/50:

This grade may appear low and come across like I hate Mobley’s offensive game. Which isn’t true, I just view him as a high risk as if he is without a topflight skill he could easily find himself without a home on the offensive end of the floor.

Shot Creation 9/10

  • Most underrated part of his game. 
  • Decent handle
  • Good instincts going towards the rim

Playmaking 8/10

  • Overall a great passer
  • Passing instincts in the post could use work, often predetermining his decision to get to the rim.
  • Can get a little too passive early in the shot clock

Offensive IQ-Shot Selection 7/10 

  • Great court vision in transition and when facing up
  • Only takes makeable shots sometimes to a negative extent
  • Draws contact and foul shots often

Shooting 8/10

  • Nice form on his jump shot, looks translatable
  • Takes him a little too long to load up
  • Easier release from the corners
  • 69.4% FT shooter on reasonable volume

Offensive Theory 6/10

  • Mobley’s skill set is diverse, his top range of outcomes would make him a game changing player.
  • Lower range outcomes could make him a hard player to place

Defense 25/30:

Mobley has the makings of a great defensive player if he’s able to add weight and maintain athleticism this grade will look foolishly low.

On-Ball Defense 6/10

  • Has ability to get vertical at the rim
  • Gets bullied in the post by bigger players
  • Sometimes loses his man in the halfcourt.

Off-Ball Defense 9/10

  • As a weak side blocker/help defender he’s dominant
  • Speed and technique to switch swiftly and does okay keeping up with guards 
  • Likely to get pushed through early on switches vs big wings

Defensive Theory 10/10

  • As a switching big man who could ideally both guard the perimeter and the rim, 
  • If Mobley fulfills his potential, he could fit on any NBA team.
  • Inability to fill out his frame should not lead to him being played out of games, as he should still be able to guard the 4 position adequately 

Intangibles 18/20:

Mobley has freakish potential, the only thing keeping this ranking low is the relative reachability of his ceiling.

Athleticism 8/10

  • Shows aggressiveness on the defensive glass but his size sometimes causes him to be pushed out of the way. 
  • Great speed to get out late on open 3’s
  • Small frame MUST fill out if he is to play 5 in the NBA

Untapped Potential 9/10

  • Mobley has one of the deepest toolboxes we’ve ever seen in the draft on both ends of the floor
  • He’s 20 years old on draft day, a little older than your typical freshman and big men typically have shorter peaks than other positions

Overall Grade 81/100:

The biggest boom/bust prospect in this draft, he could be the next unicorn, or he could settle into a role as a rotational switch defender. Both players are valuable, but that’s not the kind of volatility you want out of a first round pick.

Offense 45/50:

Jalen Green is not the perfect offensive player, but he’s got all the tools to be an elite scorer at the NBA level, and his off-ball chops suggest a portability that is unmatched by most. 

Shot Creation 9/10

  • Strong finisher that gets to the rim in multiple ways
  • Strong pull up jumper
  • Finishes through contact and draws fouls
  • Tight handle he moves with quickly
  • Limited isolation arsenal 

Playmaking 9/10

  • Great transition passer
  • Excellent court vision
  • Great lob passer

Offensive IQ – Shot Selection 9/10

  • Great cutter off ball, gets to the rim quickly
  • Exhibits patience, rarely takes bad shots
  • Has a relatively unearned reputation as a chucker from the film I’ve watched
  • Doesn’t seem to know how valuable his shooting gravity is, he cuts through the paint off-ball too often
  • Doesn’t call for passes emphatically when open
  • Sometimes posts up for no reason

Shooting 8/10

  • Quick release and effortless stroke, not perfect, but oh so clean
  • Pulls up effortlessly, sometimes he’s too hesitant to take that shot

Offensive Theory 10/10

  • Solid ball handling passer, who moves well off the ball. Green would fit well in the vast majority of offenses
  • All of his outcomes, from 30-90 percentiles will result in a competent offensive player

Defense 21/30:

Defense is not Green’s calling card, but he is better at it than the public perception. If he adds some weight to his frame, he could outperform this grade, that could however be detrimental to his stamina and accompanying offensive load.

On-Ball Defense 7/10

  • Speed and technique strengths let him get into his stance fast and recover quickly from mistakes
  • Gambles Frequently and falls out of position 
  • Fights through screens well, does a good job getting skinny
  • Size is often enough to get it the way at the least
  • Can get blown through easily by bigger players

Off-Ball Defense 6/10

  • Does a good job anticipating and jumping passing lanes
  • Switches with relative ease, gets in position quickly
  • Has the athleticism to get out on switches, he still needs to improve on his instincts there though
  • Not a great helper on driving opponents when positioned inside the 3-point line
  • Sometimes lacks effort at times and can find himself alone on an island

Defensive Theory 8/10

  • Doesn’t profile as a great defender, could be well above average
  • If he is even average on defense it will be incredibly valuable with his projected offensive load

Intangibles 17/20:

Athleticism 9/10

  • Topflight speed that helps him fly all over the court
  • Decent stamina, gets tired but doesn’t lose effectiveness late in games
  • Great vertical athlete who can play above the rim
  • Lacks some rebounding instincts, but is solid tracking the ball

Untapped Potential 8/10

  • Has potential to improve at what he is currently good at, but probably shouldn’t add much to him game
  • More ballhandling opportunity could assist growth, but could also take away from the off-ball presence 

Overall Grade 83/100

Green has a legitimate shot to be a difference maker in the NBA. He may end up playing better with a primary initiator, but I think he deserves a chance to see if he can be that guy. He also provides a safer floor than most top picks, by having NBA level off-ball skills.

Follow Nico Miatello on Twitter @NicoQPPN

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