In this edition, I will be reviewing Isaiah Austin. Draft Express has him getting drafted 40th in the second round. If he declares or the draft, I think he will go in the first round. He simply has the combination of physical rareness combined with rare skills for a player his size.
He currently weighs in at 220 lbs, and is too weak to play the center position in the nba. However, he has gained 20 lbs since he was weighed before the 2013 draft. This leads us to believe that he could fill out his thin frame nicely. Despite his shortcomings in the strength category, he makes up for it with height. Austin stands 7'1" with a 7'3" wingspan. He has great potential to be an excellent shot blocker at the NBA level. In fact, he is blocking shots at an excellent rate in college, averaging 3.4 blocks in only 28.5 mpg. Austin runs the floor well and displays great fluidity in his game despite being a seven footer.
One of the things that stands out about Austin's offensive game is his jump shooting. He has the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. For a player of his size and position, that is incredible. His jumper is very smooth and features very solid mechanics. Not to mention, a high release point which makes his shot even harder to block. He has shown the ability to shoot it off the dribble and out of the post.
One of the things that is so intriguing about Austin is his potential. However, he would also be an excellent fit on this team. If he reached his full potential(imo, a two way big man that is an all-star), he would mesh very well with Beal and Wall. He has the mobility and length to run with John on the fast break and catch lobs. He also possesses the passing ability to feed Beal at the three point line out of the post on a double team. He also would be a great pnr partner for both John and Brad due to his shooting and finishing ability. On the defensive end, he could become both and excellent shot blocker and rebounder. His length alone would make our defense a terror with him John and Otto all on the same court. In terms of numbers, if Austin maximizes his potential, I could see him averaging(with John as his pg) 20-22 ppg, 10 rpg, 2 apg, and 2 bpg. Now these are very lofty predictions, but I truly believe he possesses the ability to average these numbers if he has what it takes.
Despite his incredible potential, Austin has some glaring weaknesses. Most noticeably, he does not have an NBA ready body. It is obvious after watching him for a few minutes he doesn't have the lower body strength to bang down low with NBA big men. However, in his defense, the NBA is becoming more and more about spacing and having big men who can shoot. So maybe he won't have to guard down low as much. You can also look at guys like Anthony Davis who is thriving in the NBA at 220 lbs. Either way, it is clear that Austin needs to put on weight.
One thing that is very alarming about his season is his severe decrease in numbers. Last season, Austin shot 46% from the field, and 33% from 3, all while scoring 13 ppg. This season, he is shooting 43.5% from the field, and 28.8% from 3, only scoring 11 ppg. This could be due to his reduced role, nevertheless, its still something significant to look at. However, the biggest drop off in his numbers was in rebounds(8.3 per game last year, 5.6 this year). This could be due to his increase in bpg(3.4:1.7), and getting pulled away from the hoop.
Despite his shortcomings, I have to think the Wiz would draft him if he was still available in the 45-50 range. He is a no brainer to me, just based off potential alone.