Scouting Report: Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson is a small forward from the University of Virginia. Anderson is 6’6 with a wingspan of 6’11. For the year, he averaged, 27.8 minutes per game, 12.2 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game, 0.5 blocks per game, while shooting 46.6% from the field, and 45.2% from three. 

Pros:

  • Good basketball IQ
  • NBA size body
  • Elite athleticism
  • High motor
  • Unselfish player
  • Can play either shooting guard or small forward
  • Can hit any shot
  • Smooth release
  • Can finish through contact at the rim
  • Good free throw shooter
  • Jumpshot has improved over each of his three college seasons
  • Runs the floor well, good in transition
  • Clutch shooter
  • Can guard multiple positions
  • Great defender, who gives a lot of effort
  • Good ability to use his strength the defend bigger players in the post
  • Great lateral quickness
  • Uses length to disrupt passing lanes
  • Will battle for rebounds

Cons:

  • Good at everything he offers, but is not great in anything he offers either
  • Very limited ball handler
  • Struggles to create his own offense
  • Needs improvement on finding teammates on offense
  • His jumper needs more consistency(as mentioned, it has improved drastically)
  • Needs to work on touch around the rim
  • Puts up a lot of bad, or contested shots up when in the paint
  • Although, Anderson attacks the glass it is more with athleticism, than fundamentals

Overall: 

There is a lot of love or hate on Justin Anderson, and very few, who are indifferent. A lot of people think he could be the steal of the draft, while others view him as nothing more than a role player. I am on the fence about Anderson, mainly because he has so many useful skills, but his lack of ability to create his own offense is hard to miss. Anderson uses his speed and athleticism to be a great slasher on offense. Anderson is very powerful, and strong, and uses this to attack the rim. Although, Anderson attacks the rim, he will need to work on his touch around the rim, and a pull-up game. Anderson does not possess good ball handling skills, so he solely relies on straight line driving to the basket. This is where Anderson finds most of his assists, as he looks to dish to his teammates on the perimeter. When Anderson is on the perimeter, this is where his is most deadly. Anderson shot lights out from three this year at over 45%. He is a mainly catch and shoot guy, like stated before, he cannot create his own offense off the dribble. Anderson has seen is mid-range jumper improve each season, and with his smooth, fluid release, this should only improve, and with that his consistency as well. On the defensive side of the ball, Anderson is a very good, active defender. Anderson can guard 1-3, and even smaller fours, if needed. Anderson is very strong, and is hard for opposing wings to back him down. Anderson is also good at using his length to contest many shots from smaller wings, as well. His length and quickness allow for him to make up for lapses in concentration on defense. Anderson can be caught distracted on defense, but for the most part, he is putting in a lot of effort on that side of the ball. Rebounding is not a strong point to Anderson’s game, as he relies almost always on length and athleticism to gain a rebound, instead of using basic fundamentals to give himself the advantage. This is a key thing that needs to be worked upon for Anderson. As an overall, Anderson is looked at as a first round pick. His draft range is all the way from 16-35, with one of the wing needy teams in the early twenties looked upon to take him. Rumors have recently swirled that the Boston Celtics have interest in Anderson at 16, but with the recent selection of James Young, adding another guard/forward combo would not be in their best interest. I have Anderson going to the Spurs in my latest mock draft, which would be a tremendous place for Anderson to develop further.

Pro Comparison:

DeMarre Carroll

Credit is due to Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report, who gave a great pro comparison for Justin Anderson, of DeMarre Carroll. Neither Carroll or Anderson will develop into star players, but given the opportunity, they are both good three-and-D wings. Both players will have to be complementary scorers, as neither really possess a great ability to create their own offense, or be the go to guy. Coming out of college, both Carroll and Anderson are centered around their defensive ability and athleticism. Anderson has a clear head start on his offensive game, which should allow for him to make a difference much sooner than Carroll was able to. Defensively, they match up coming out of college almost word for word, good overall defender, long wingspan, disrupts passing lanes, good shot blocker for position played, lateral quickness, and so on. If Anderson has the same defensive impact as Carroll, and with an already better offensive game, Anderson could become a very good player in the league. In a day, where Carroll, a three-and-D player, could be offered a potential max contract this offseason, guys with his skill set, such as Justin Anderson, will be coveted in the draft.

By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17

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