Last focus before tonight’s Draft, and we’re finally focusing on the pivots. A position clearly dominated this year by a physical phenomenon with grandiose defensive potential. The other pivots of the vintage have a lower ceiling, but on the whole all present reassuring defensive fundamentals.
THE BEST DRAFT PLAYERS
1 – Chet Holmgren (20 years old, 2m13, 88kg)
Stats 2021/22: 14.1 points (60.7%, 39% three-pointers), 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 3.7 blocks
Promised for one of the first two places in the 2022 Draft, Chet Holmgren is by far the best pivot of this vintage, because his potential is the highest of all the players in this position, or even of the entire Draft.
Although physically frail, he will be able to weigh in the NBA from his beginnings thanks to his immense defensive potential: the native of Minnesota blocked almost 4 shots per game during the “freshman” season with Gonzaga, and is led to become a circle protector of all top notch among the pros.
His offensive game is also enticing: despite a certain lack of physical power, he compensates with an impressive ease with the ball in hand for a player of his size, and has demonstrated that he can make his outside shot a viable weapon in the NBA. (39% success on 3.3 attempts per game last season in NCAA).
His full profile: Draft 2022 | Profile of Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
2 – Mark Williams (20 years old, 2m13, 110kg)
Stats 2021/22: 11.2 points (72.1% on shots), 7.4 rebounds, 2.8 blocks
Mark Williams fits perfectly with the typical profile of the center of the NBA today: he is tall, long and mobile, he excels in protecting the circle and can exist in attack on “pick-and-roll”.
Expected in the Top 20, he can become an effective starter in position 5 from his first game in the NBA. Because he has the physical profile to make an impact from his debut, and his game, on both sides of the field, is ready and fully transposable to the next level.
His full profile: Draft 2022 | The profile of Mark Williams (Duke)
3 – Jalen Duren (18 years old, 2m10, 113kg)
Stats 2021/22: 12 points (59.7% on shots), 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.1 blocks
Still raw in attack at only 18 years old, Jalen Duren, on the other hand, has a particularly intriguing defensive potential. A true physical phenomenon, the young pivot works a lot on instinct for the time being, but he undeniably has the potential of a future defensive pillar in the NBA.
In the NCAA, his offensive game came down mainly to his physical domination near the circle, but we could also see the beginnings of a possible shot from mid-range.
Overall, his fundamentals remain fragile, especially from a technical point of view, but his room for improvement is immense, when he will not be 19 until next November.
His full profile: Draft 2022 | The profile of Jalen Duren (Memphis)
4 – Walker Kessler (20 years old, 2m16, 111kg)
Stats 2021/22: 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 blocks
With almost 5 blocks per game last season in the NCAA with Auburn, Walker Kessler has established himself as a practically impassable wall in front of the circle.
His role will not change in the NBA, where he will certainly be used as a second-curtain circle protector, off the bench. It is difficult to imagine him one day as a potential holder, because his lack of explosiveness could be detrimental to him, and his usefulness in attack could quickly be limited.
But his level is solid enough to make him a useful role player for several years in the NBA.
5 – Christian Koloko (22 years old, 2m16, 104kg)
Stats 2021/22: 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks
Already 22 years old after three seasons in the NCAA, Christian Koloko is a player who is close to having reached his ceiling. In the NBA, he will be a substitute pivot, a possible luxury “role player”, capable of being useful in attack on “pick-and-roll” and especially in defense with his natural profile as a circle protector.
Like many “old” pivots, his room for improvement is minimal, but his projection in the NBA remains very clear, in a well-defined role.