NBA Draft prospect Devin Vassell was trending among NBA Twitter on Thursday for reasons he and his camp would rather have avoided.
A video was released of Vassell, who is regarded as one of the best shooting prospects in the 2020 draft class, with a significant change to his shooting motion. The video was quickly deleted but at that point the video had already made it's rounds.
The 6-foot-7 shooting guard displayed a pronounced dip in his shooting form that placed the ball far behind his head. A technique that is typically only seen from taller players and avoided amongst guards to generate a quicker release. It also leaves one more prone to blocked shots whether from the front or the back.
For comparison of what his shot looked like before the apparent transformation, here are a few examples of his pull-up jumper.
Yeah, that noticeable dip did not exist while he was one the Seminoles. There were times that you saw the motion slightly in his spot-up jumpers. However, this shooting form is almost at a Marcus Camby level.
Most importantly, though, his release point did not change, which will not really affect his accuracy.
The only question is why did he and his team of trainers work to change his shooting motion? This drastic of a switch is alarming because it simply did not need to be fixed.
There is not a single prospect in the draft that can display proficient shooting numbers over two seasons like Vassell did as a freshman and a sophomore. In two seasons he averaged 41.7% from behind the arc on 2.7 attempts per game. Even with limited shots from range - partly due to FSU's system - Vassell is projected to be a lottery pick with tremendous upside. In NBC Sports Washington's latest mock draft, he goes eleventh overall to San Antonio.
He is lanky that will eventually fill-in to his 6-foot-10 wingspan. Factoring in his defensive abilities as an aggressive on-ball defender, he's an ideal guy that can fit on any roster. The Golden State Warriors even are rumored to be eyeing him if they can move back from the No. 2 pick.
This very well could all be smoke. It was reported by Yahoo's Keith Smith that the video was shot at the end of a workout when the players were just having fun.
It also won't likely change how teams will evaluate Vassell. For a team like Golden State, who has apparently locked on him, one video of two shots isn't going to alter an evaluation of a player. They are also operating with a ton more film and recent video of the SG than a quick clip on social media. Other teams may note the concern and perhaps favor another three-and-D prospect that is close on their big board.
But, even if this is his new form, there are so many other pros in Vassell's game that will keep his stock high. After all, despite the change in his shot, both still went in as seen in the video.