19 year old 6’4, 215 pound guard out of Arizona State.
Averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.4 assists on 43.2% fg, 30.5% 3, 80.0% ft.
Josh Cristopher is one of the most compelling prospects outside of the top guys. As far as athleticism is concerned he has some of the best in the class. While watching him an electric moment can happen at any time due to how much bounce he has. This top tier athleticism shined in transition where he scored an elite 1.37 PPP (points per possession) on an impressive 68.2 field goal percentage. The second his teammate grabs a rebound he is off to the races where he continued to show highlight reel level hops. I am also a big fan of his potential to grab a rebound and take it from one side of the court to the other. As a whole his ability to finish was fantastic. Though his dunks with his head at the rim will obviously be the thing that jumps off the sheet, the way he is able to finish through contact was a standout ability of his just as much as that eye popping vertical. He is a very well built player whose 215 pound frame is made up of strictly muscle. I think with his ability to fight through contact could lead to him being elite at getting to the free throw line. The upside he has as a shot creator is very intriguing as he has a quick first step and a smooth handle that allows him to create space with ease. As someone whose outside shot is a big question mark the ability he has to create within 23 feet is crucial. There were a lot of flashes of him hitting some very tough mid-range shots that excited me a lot. He continued to impress with his high level strength as often he would bounce off of players to rise up for mid-range shots or floaters. Off of the ball he was able to get easy buckets for himself by cutting at the perfect time and rising up for electric dunks. That outside shot of his is a huge question mark for him but it is something that at least showed flashes. Form wise there is nothing that is necessarily wrong with his shot as he has a quick trigger and good footwork that gives me confidence in his shot coming along. With how confident he is it is hard for me to not see him being a big time shotmaker in the future. There were streaks of games where he shot the ball very well but the swing factor for him is just that three-point shot becoming consistent. Defensively he has great upside to be a defensive playmaker, shown in his 1.5 steals per game. His hands and smarts in the passing lanes led to him being able to force turnovers well, leading to easy points on the break for him. He continued to make plays with his elite timing to block shots. While he has some obvious problems on defense when he is locked in and showing off his physicality he can be a high impact player.
By far Josh’s biggest problem is his overall consistency. Many of his problems as a shooter came from the fact that his shot selection is very questionable. While he is a tough shotmaker, when those looks are not falling it can be ugly. There are many times where he commits to shooting no matter what the circumstances are which lead to many possessions of overdribbling and getting poor looks. I always talk about the importance of looking for a great shot instead of a good shot, but there are many times where he does not even look for a good shot. He needs to slow down and let the game come to him instead of forcing the issue. Many of his inconsistencies from outside were also due to his poor decision making. There is nothing form wise that worries me but he needs to find the balance of being aggressive but smart. On defense there were also plenty of moments where his smarts held him back. Off-ball he gets caught ball watching which leads to shooters and cutters getting easy looks. There were also times where he clearly had a lack of understanding of where to be for help defense, this is something that I think can be ironed out by high level coaching. What is more concerning is these moments where he is just there on defense and is not making any noticeable impact when he is not directly involved in the play. In transition he continued to make mistakes that I do believe can be ironed out but are absolutely a cause for concern, this issue being that instead of stopping the ball he looks for his man. Even though his on ball defense had some exciting moments he continued to show inconsistent effort. He had sloppy footwork and took unnecessary risks, which caused him to get beat far too often. Navigating around screens was another problem mainly due to effort where he looked flat out lazy at times. It is always concerning to see a player who lacks a motor which he clearly does at times.
What I Rate Him As A Prospect
Where He Fits Best
New York Knicks: This teams needs someone who can be a high level shot creator. While shooting is a concern, with them having two mid first round picks and an early second round pick they should be able to address that problem there.
- Malik Monk
- Nick Young
- Tyreke Evans
- Norman Powell
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