Omari Spellman

NBA draft profile: Villanova F Omari Spellman

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NBA draft profile: Villanova F Omari Spellman

Omari Spellman

Position: Forward

Height: 6-9

Weight: 254

School: Villanova

In last year’s draft, the Sixers had four second-round picks and turned none into players that came to training camp. They sold off two (Nos. 39 and 46) and used the others on draft-and-stashes (Jonah Bolden at No. 36 and Mathias Lessort at No. 50).

Now slated to make another four second-round picks, this draft could have a similar outcome. The Athletic’s Michael Scotto reported Thursday that the Sixers' second-round picks are available for trade and they’re open to moving them in exchange for future second-rounders. This isn’t surprising considering they already have 11 contracts on the books for 2018-19 without including their two first-rounders and incoming free agents.

But should the Sixers use at least one of those picks on non-draft-and-stashes, Omari Spellman is the type of the player they should target. His combination of size, shooting (43.3 percent on 150 attempted threes) and defensive potential makes him an intriguing prospect in today’s NBA. 

A five-star recruit out of high school, Spellman was ruled academically ineligible for his true freshman season. During his redshirt year, Spellman lost 30 pounds and returned to play an integral role in Villanova’s national title run. The 6-9 forward averaged 10.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 29.1 minutes, earning Big East Freshman of the Year honors as well. He really shined late in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 13 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks from the Sweet 16 beyond.

Strengths 
For Spellman, his catch-and-shoot three-pointer is easily his most translatable NBA skill. Not only did he hit over 43 percent of his overall threes, but Spellman shot around the same clip on triples from NBA three-point range, per The Stepien's shot chart data. While he does most of his scoring out of pick-and-pops and spot-ups, Spellman contributes in other ways; he has good vision and passing skills, cuts and moves off the ball, and crashes the offensive glass.

Defensively, Spellman works hard, is a strong team defender and a surprisingly-good shot blocker. Although he doesn’t leap out of the gym, he has the body and length (7-2 wingspan, 8-11.5 standing reach) to bother opponents in the post and at the rim. And since he can’t simply outjump everyone, Spellman creates space with his body to be an effective defensive rebounder.

Weaknesses
A big that can stretch the floor and pull down offensive boards is already appealing, but can Spellman add more to his game? For instance, as good a shooter he is, if he can put the ball on the floor and create a shot when defenders close out too hard on a spot-up or overplay his shot on a face-up, he’ll become a lot more dangerous. He can also improve at the free throw line after shooting 70 percent at 'Nova.

His other limitations come down to his height and body, of which he's still working to slim down. He doesn’t have great explosiveness jumping off two feet, so he struggles to finish above length around the rim. When he’s switched onto smaller, quicker players, it's tough for him to stay in front. His career's swing skill will be how he defends in space on the perimeter, both in isolations and pick-and-roll coverage.

Since Spellman still has developing to do skill and body-wise, it’s important to note that he’ll already be 21 when he makes his NBA debut.

NBA comparison
While Spellman is a few inches shorter and a better rebounder, the player his game resembles most is Kelly Olynyk. The Heat's forward is a career 37 percent three-point shooter who operates in pick-and-pops and is a solid team defender despite some athletic limitations.

How’d he fit with the Sixers
Even though it sounds like Bolden is coming over next season, Spellman could still carve out a role on the Sixers. He could be utilized as a stretch-five in small lineups to pull opposing centers away from the rim or at the four alongside Joel Embiid or Bolden. Although, unless he cracks the rotation immediately, it's probably best for Spellman’s development to spend time in the G League so he can get a ton of playing time and reps. 

Draft projection 
While all it takes is one team late in the first round to really like him, Spellman will likely be a second-rounder. There’s a good chance he’s there for the Sixers' taking at Nos. 38 and 39, but won’t last until 56 and 60.

More on the Sixers and the NBA draft

Omari Spellman the latest Villanova Wildcat to leave for 2018 NBA draft

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Omari Spellman the latest Villanova Wildcat to leave for 2018 NBA draft

When Donte DiVincenzo announced Tuesday he was leaving Villanova for the NBA, it wasn’t much of a surprise.

Wednesday’s news that big man Omari Spellman would also be leaving the defending champs will definitely be a shocker to many. In an Instagram post, Spellman announced that he’s leaving the Wildcats after just one season.

View this post on Instagram

My experience in college has by far. more than anything else in my life, shaped me into the young man I am today. I have met friends that I will cherish forever. Villanova University is a very special place, and it holds an even more special place in my heart. And to my teamma- no to my brothers I will love you guys forever. Coach Wright has helped me mature as a man along with some of the best coaches in the country Kyle Neptune, Ashley Howard, George Halcovage, and Mike Nardi. I will forever appreciate everything done for me. To the Nova Nation, thank you for the support and love I have received as a member of the family and community, that is something that I will cherish forever and I know Villanova is a place I can always call home. And last, but probably the most important to me, is my mother away from home, Arleshia Davidson. We share a love and bond that will never be broken. In saying this, I would like to announce that I will forgo my final three years of college eligibility and remain in the NBA Draft! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING NOVA NATION!!!

A post shared by Omari Spellman (@omarispellman) on

After missing the 2016-17 season while entrenched in a weird academic eligibility battle, Spellman showed the reason he was a five-star recruit. The redshirt freshman recorded 10.9 points and eight rebounds a night. He also shot an impressive 43 percent on 3.8 threes a game.

Spellman’s skill set should be appealing to NBA teams looking for a stretch four or mobile five. At 6-foot-9 (7-2 wingspan) and 253 pounds, Spellman has an NBA body. He’s a great athlete and an instinctive rebounder who has a shooting touch that extends to the three-point line. The only question may come on the defensive end of the floor when he’s asked to cover quicker stretch fours or true centers.

With his decision to stay in the draft, you have to believe he’s been told he has a chance to go in the first round. If he does, he’ll likely join teammates Mikal Bridges (a projected lottery pick), Jalen Brunson and DiVincenzo as a first-rounder.

The NBA draft takes place on June 21 at Barclays Center in New York.

Donte DiVincenzo will leave Villanova, enter 2018 NBA draft

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Donte DiVincenzo will leave Villanova, enter 2018 NBA draft

Villanova’s title defense just got a little tougher.

Donte DiVincenzo, the Most Outstanding Player of last season’s national championship, has decided to hire an agent and keep his name in the NBA draft pool.

View this post on Instagram

I want to thank Nova Nation for an amazing season this year and the unbelievable amount of support throughout. The Villanova Community has done nothing but support and motivate me to become the best player and person I can be. I love everything about college and Villanova including the amazing people from the professors, staff members, and all the fans across the country. I want to thank my teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point. My teammates are my brothers and will share a bond forever. I thank Coach Wright for challenging me day in and day out all while loving me like a son. I would not be in the position I am today if it was not for him and the Villanova Basketball program. After gathering all of the information possible, my decision is to keep my name in the NBA draft and plan to hire an agent. I thank everyone who has helped me reach this decision because it was not easy. I strive to get better as a person and a player everyday, everything that Villanova has instilled in me will allow me to reach all goals I have in mind. Thank you everyone who has supported me and the continuous support going forward. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat. I love you Nova Nation. \\\///

A post shared by Donte Divincenzo (@divincenzo9) on

In addition to shining during the NCAA Tournament, DiVincenzo was impressive during the draft combine and will likely be a first-round pick. He could be an attractive option for the Sixers at pick No. 26.

He joins fellow Wildcats Mikal Bridges, a likely lottery pick, and Jalen Brunson in hiring an agent. Omari Spellman’s name is still in the pool, but he has not hired an agent. The deadline to return to school is May 30.

For the season, the Michael Jordan of Delaware averaged 13.4 points, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals a game this season. He also shot 40 percent on 5.3 threes a contest.