2016 NBA Draft: Skal Labissiere scouting report
Skal Labissiere 2016 NBA Draft scouting report
Skal Labissiere scouting report
Skal Labissiere’s life journey from Haiti to Kentucky and now the NBA is remarkable. He was the No. 2 ranked high school recruit, but now finds himself in the conversation as a borderline lottery pick – not a top pick. Confidence was an issue for him at Kentucky, but the tools are there for him to be a versatile two-way center.
Click through the slides for Labissiere’s strengths, weaknesses, and his fit on the Celtics.
Labissiere has good physical dimensions, at 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan. He’s fluid. He’s athletic. He’s quick. The potential is there for him to be a great rim protector that can also switch onto some forwards. Labissiere needs to get stronger and box out more often, but with his length he could develop into a terrific rebounder.
As a scorer Labissiere bleeds upside. The 20-year-old has deft shooting touch, but didn’t receive opportunities at Kentucky to fire threes. But he was a knockdown shooter from mid-range, and it’s easy to see him extending his range. Beyond that, he’s athletic enough to be a rim runner once his screening improves, and his post game has potential as his footwork progresses.
Labissiere was a major disappointment at Kentucky, playing just 15.8 minutes per game. His performance revealed his troubling flaws.
He had just 11 assists and is a slow decision-maker. It looks like he pre-determines his decisions when he doesn’t recognize his open teammates and forces shots. Though he’s a solid offensive rebounder, he brings the ball down and leaves himself prone to getting stripped.
It’s these little things that often go unsolved, and leave you wondering whether Labissiere will be just another player that should be better than he ends up being. Coach John Calipari rarely let him play through mistakes and ridiculed him on the bench. This completely tore apart Labissiere’s confidence, which hurt him on the floor. He’ll need a coach that isn’t such an authoritarian.
The real question is whether or not they’ll want to invest in the years of hands-on development required to make him (possibly) achieve his upside. Labissiere will likely need to spend time in the D-League and he’ll need a team that can afford to let him play through his growing pains.
Are the Celtics that team? Maybe. In theory, Labissiere is undoubtedly a fit for the Celtics. In theory, Brad Stevens is the perfect coach for him.
It really depends on how this offseason goes. If they go with a youth movement, then Labissiere is a high upside pick that fits Danny Ainge’s track record of drafting prospects that were once elite high school recruits (Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley, Gerald Green, and Al Jefferson). But he might not be worth it.
Labissiere’s draft range is hard to pin down, but there’s a strong probability he’s on the board when the Celtics are up with the No. 16 pick. There’s been some rumblings that Labissiere will work himself into the high-mid lottery conversation after pre-draft workouts.
But it’s unrealistic the Celtics take a shot at him with the No. 3 pick. If he is a possibility, then it makes Labissiere made serious strides since the end of Kentucky’s season.
Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.