Marquese Chriss is a power forward from the University of Washington. Chriss is 6’10 and has a wingspan of 7’1. For the year, he averaged, 24.9 minutes per game, 13.7 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting 53.0% from the field, and 35.0% from three.
- Athletic freak
- Great motor
- Excellent speed
- Dominate in transition
- Good shooting mechanics
- Can knock down mid-range jumpers
- Developing a consistent three point game
- Obliterates the rim
- Knows how to create for himself
- Defensive potential
- Natural rim protecting instincts
- Struggles to finish around the rim
- Needs to seek out more contact when attacking the basket
- Free throw shooting needs improvement
- Needs to watch turnovers
- Defensive IQ
- Foul prone
- Rebounding fundamentals
- Seeks the defensive highlight play
- Body control
Marquese Chriss is the most athletic player in this year’s draft class. Now in recent years, many teams have gambled on extreme athleticism, and the player having an underdeveloped skill set, but Chriss is a little different. Chriss is still extremely raw, and far away from contributing meaningful minutes, but with the proper development, he has the skill set to be a mid-level star in the league.
On the offensive side of the ball, Chriss is learning to do it all. He started the year staying close to the rim, but as the year went on, Chriss kept straying away from the rim, and developed a nice mid-range attack. Chris also developed a consistent three point shooting attack, one that looks he will only improve on at the next level. When he is not shooting jumpers, Chriss is excellent in transition, and lives for the highlight reel dunk. When the offense slows down, Chriss can handle the ball, and can create for himself. He uses his speed to drive past his man, and get to the basket. When he is low in the paint, Chriss has a limited set of moves, which causes him to struggle, and leads to a lot of turnovers. Chriss also does not seek out contact on his drive, and these are just easy points he is missing out on. Chriss was not much of a distributor at Washington, but this could be taken with a grain of salt, as his teammates were not as gifted as him.
Defensively, Chriss has bounds of potential. As of right now, Chriss is heavily dependent on his athletic ability instead of using his basketball knowledge. Chriss can be often seen biting for almost any type of fake, and then being forced to overcompensate with his length and speed, which leads to his high foul average per game. The problem I have with Chriss, was not seeing any attempt to try and curb this at any point in the season, and with the NBA being even more foul prone, he could be a disaster on defense. Chriss also likes to try and make the highlight reel steal or block, which can allow his man in open path to the basket if he misses. Chriss does possess the coveted ability of a natural shot blocker. His incredible combination of leaping ability and length allows for him to be a potential dominant shot blocker. The biggest knock you will hear about Chriss on the defensive end is the disappointment in his rebounding ability. Chriss relies almost entirely on his athletic ability, and not the fundamentals of boxing out, tracking the ball, and securing it. At the next level this could turn into another spot where he could develop foul trouble, or just become a black hole for rebounding for his team.
As an overall, Chriss is very raw. He will turn 19 in July, so he is very young for this year’s class. He does have maturity issues, which got him pulled out of a few games in college, so future coaches will need to keep him under control. At such a young age, Chriss has a very intriguing offensive game, while his defensive potential makes it obvious why he is considered a top ten pick for this year’s draft. As I mentioned above, he still needs a lot of development, and that is why he is the biggest boom or bust prospect in the draft, so fans should be weary of him. His draft range looks to be in the top ten, and could go as high as top five depending on whether or not one of those teams want to invest in a less polished, higher potential player. I think the most logical place for Chriss will be in Toronto, as he will be able to develop, and will have an excellent head coach to develop his full ability.
Pro Comparison: Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka is the best case scenario for Marquese Chriss to develop into. Ibaka was more polished coming into the league on the defensive end, while Chriss has the better offensive feel. Ibaka needed a few seasons to find his full potential, which is the exact situation for Chriss.
On offense, both players are the prototypical stretch four every team loves to have. Neither player has a great arsenal of post moves, and does struggle to finish there, but love to shoot jumpers. Ibaka really turned into a spot-up three point shooter this league, something I could see Chriss doing once he finds his role. Ibaka and Chriss are not prolific passers, but due to their role player status, they are counted on to hit their limited amounts of shots.
On defense, Ibaka was better at using his extreme leaping ability and length to alter anything that came near him. Watching film of a player like this could drastically alter the trajectory of Chriss, and his potential in the league. If Chriss can learn to control his inability to read fakes, and control his body, he could be one of the best rim protectors in the league. Ibaka was a dominant rebounder coming into the league, but has since leveled out in the league. Chriss is a mediocre rebounder, but I still think he can get to the 6-7 rebounds per game, just like Ibaka.
Serge Ibaka may not have turned into the dominant star some people believed he would be, but he is a tremendous role player for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ibaka was raw coming over from Europe, but with the proper development he turned into a boom versus the bust many people believed he would turn into. As long as Chriss goes to a steady franchise, watch for a similar path, and for Chriss to be a dominant role player in 3-5 years.
By: Mac Crowe, @Mac_Truck17