One of the most unique prospects in this year's draft class, the #8 spot on Brew Hoop's 2015 draft board goes to Kristaps Porzingis, a 19 year old power forward from Latvia. Porzingis currently plays for Seville in the Spanish ACB.
Porzingis boasts the size and athleticism of an elite power forward, standing an imposing 7-foot-1 with above-the-rim talent. But it's his shooting ability that sets him apart more than anything else, as he combines size and skill in a way few others in this class can match. Porzingis is a terrific catch-and-shoot weapon from both behind the arc and in midrange, and he's capable of burning defenders off the dribble when they close out too aggressively. His high, quick release makes his shot nearly unblockable, allowing him to find space against nearly any defender.
Such skilled forwards are in high demand in today's NBA, but as the "stretch-4" becomes more coveted and inevitably more common, the demands grow as well. That's where Porzingis runs into trouble, as he's little more than an unusually large shooter right now. While strong per-minute block and steal numbers bode well for his ability to adjust to a more athletic NBA game, Porzingis isn't much of an interior presence at the moment. Scouts also expect he'll struggle with the speed of the game for some time as he works on his instincts.
Still, where many skilled European big men flame out because they can't augment one standout skill with other elements of their games, Porzingis' strong metrics do offer hope that he'll grow into an excellent all-around player with a potentially game-changing skill.
Brew Hoop Draft Board 2015
1. Karl-Anthony Towns - PF/C, Kentucky, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
2. Jahlil Okafor - C, Duke, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
3. D'Angelo Russell - G, Ohio State, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
4. Emmanuel Mudiay - PG, International - DraftExpress Profile
5. Justise Winslow - SF, Duke, Freshman - DraftExpress Profile
6. Mario Hezonja - G/F, International - DraftExpress Profile
7. Willie Cauley-Stein - C, Kentucky, Junior - DraftExpress Profile
8. Kristaps Porzingis - PF, International - DraftExpress Profile