Sixers

Sixers would need to trade up if they want high-level 3-and-D prospect

Sixers
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Our scouting report on NBA draft prospect Devin Vassell: 

  • Position: SG/SF 
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 194
  • School: Florida State 

Devin Vassell checks just about every box you’re looking for in a 3-and-D NBA prospect.

He went from a sporadically used freshman to the leader in scoring and rebounding for the 26-5 Seminoles this season, averaging 12.7 points and 5.1 rebounds. 

Strengths 

Vassell slides his feet and corrals the ball very well defensively. He also has a blend of length, anticipation and effort that enables him to clean up mistakes and be disruptive off the ball (1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks per game) and is a little Matisse Thybulle-esque.

Over 168 three-point attempts in his two years at Florida State, Vassell shot 41.7 percent. His jumper is reliable when he has a solid base, and his high release should allow him to shoot over smaller NBA wings and compensate for a trigger that’s not especially quick. It is worth mentioning that Vassell isn’t a great free throw shooter (73.8 percent this season) and doesn’t get to the foul line much. 

Still, Vassell appears to have a rather high floor in the NBA, with the defensive tools to improve a team immediately. 

A smaller nugget on Vassell is he had an ACC-best turnover percentage of 6.6, which is indicative of both his ability to bail himself out of difficult situations by launching over defenders and his having a mature sense for what he can and cannot do. 

Weaknesses 

Vassell might not be able to contribute a ton in the NBA offensively for the time being other than three-point shooting, although he just turned 20 years old in August and did make big strides from his freshman to sophomore year. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, Vassell made just one jumper off the dribble as a freshman and 39 this season.

 

His strength is a slight concern and was sometimes problematic for him even at the college level. If Vassell gains muscle, it should help him not get bumped off his path on drives as often, as well as make it easier to fight through screens and firmly cut off angles as a point-of-attack defender. Vassell’s strength is also a factor when trying to project how many positions he can guard — it’s difficult to envision him holding his own against any sort of NBA post-up threat or true power forward — and whether he can stand his ground as a help defender and rebounder. 

Fit 

In all likelihood, Vassell won’t be available for the Sixers, who have the 21st pick, unless they decide to trade up. 

Should they consider doing so? While Vassell wouldn’t add much in terms of shot creation, a skill the Sixers could certainly use, he looks like a player who can be successful regardless of the environment. The team would presumably have to think very highly of his shot to contemplate a trade up. Can his college numbers translate to to the NBA, where he’ll face longer, more athletic defenders?