19 year old 6’7, 188 pound guard/forward out of Kentucky.
Averaged 11.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists on 35.5% fg, 30.0% 3, 78.5% ft.
Brandon Boston Jr. was one of the most hyped prospects coming out of highschool, even being ranked number seven on ESPN’s 2020 recruiting, but after a disaster of a season for him and Kentucky as a whole his draft stock is a big question mark now. While his efficiency was quite putrid in his one college season the ability he has as a creator is interesting. Though at many points during the year the shot struggled, he did show off an impressive handle for someone at his size. His hang dribble was one of the most impressive things in his repertoire as he used it to freeze his defenders and then get into his pull ups effectively. Those one or two dribble pull ups were a speciality of his. He also has a very impressive stepback that he creates tons of space on and this is an important move for tough shot makers like himself. Speaking more on that ability to make tough baskets while his shot selection can be quite questionable, he does have a knack for hitting contested shots. His frame is a big help for him rising over opponents as contesting someone who is 6’7 and has a 6’11 wingspan is very challenging. I think his offensive role going forward will mainly be someone who attacks closeouts and creates for himself in late shot clock moments. Though his 30% from outside is not an impressive mark by any means I do believe he projects as a better shooter than that number would indicate. He was able to generate himself good looks as he had an advanced feel for how to relocate and get open off the ball. In the last 12 games of the season he even shot 39% on catch and shoot threes, a very promising sign. Though numbers were not kind to him in most areas, in transition he was able to score an impressive 1.15 PPP (points per possession). With a defense that was not set he showed a level of fluidity and comfort that gave flashbacks to his highschool days. Defensively by far his biggest strength was his ability to play in the passing lanes. He frequently showed off excellent anticipation and his elite length to be a defensive playmaker. The last thing I will touch on strengths wise was BJ’s willingness to analyse his game and improve on his weaknesses. Throughout the season he started to process the game much better and started to have some compelling moments as a passer. We have also been able to see him address his weight problem by putting on strength leading up to the 2021 draft.
BJ’s biggest problem, like many other players in this draft, is inconsistency. Even within a game Boston may be one of the most up and down players I have ever watched. There are a variety of reasons for his lack of ability to be consistent but the main one was his struggles at the rim. While it has been a good sign to see him put on weight in the offseason, during his one year at Duke strength was a massive problem. He would get bodied around the hoop often by players who were even smaller than him height wise. With the strength programs being much more advanced at the next level he will need to be capable of playing through contact so he can reach his ceiling as a scorer. His lack of explosion was another underwhelming area that held him back as an attacker. All these issues lead to him only shooting 40% at the basket, a scarily low number. This lack of strength was also shown in his overall ability to create space. We see players like Luka Doncic and James Harden be able to create an incredible amount of space with their physicality while on the contrary to BJ we see him getting bumped off of his spot by opposing players regularly. Brandon needs to cut down on his possessions of overdribbling and be more decisive with his handle. These times where he was overdribbling mainly came from the fact that he often committed to shooting before the play even started, a very bad trait. While he can hit tough shots at times he is not nearly good enough to be taking the rate of challenging shots as he does. Defensively was another area where he had good moments sometimes and very concerning moments other times. Effort was an issue as sometimes his feet looked like they were in quicksand, leading to inexcusable blow bys. His strength continued to be a problem as against more physical guards he would get bullied, a good example of this is Kentucky versus Tennessee where he had to match up against two of the most physical guards in the nation with Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer. His lack of physique was a very large problem in navigating around screens and big bodies like Joel Embiid will give him nightmares. These problems all connect with each other to create his biggest issue, inconsistency. With him not being able to attack the basket that forces him into tougher shots that lead to worse results. Him struggling to create separation at times yet again forces him into more contested shots that lead to varied results. The poor strength that he has led to mixed results as well. Just so many problems that lead to him having incredibly fluid outcomes.
What I Rate Him As A Prospect
Where He Fits Best
New York Knicks: With the Knicks having both the 19th and 21st pick in the draft they can afford to take a swing in the second round which BJ would be the perfect one.
Orlando Magic: The Magic are in a long term rebuild so taking a project who could grow with a young team would be an excellent pick.
OKC Thunder: Oklahoma City is in a position where they can just take talent and wait for them to develop, having 6 picks in this draft like they do gives them the flexibility to take another developmental project.
- Bigger Jordan Clarkson
- Brandon Ingram-lite
- Jeremy Lamb
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