Welcome to an NBA Draft-centered article series where I’ll share my thoughts on the 2022 class as the year goes on. Each month I’ll give reports on around 10-15 prospects which will detail what I’ve noticed from watching their film. The reports will have strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, and outlooks on them as prospects. This edition will mainly start out with the bigger name prospects since I decided to scout them first. As the months go along I’ll go further down my personal watchlist and some editions will have a big focus on the Team Ignite, Overtime Elite, and international prospects.
Also, each edition will provide updates on certain players I’ve already covered depending on how they develop. The players are in no particular order since I haven’t watched enough players to form a big board ranking. Finally, these thoughts are subject to change as the year goes on because all of these players are capable of getting better or worse at certain skills.
Peyton Watson: UCLA Freshman Forward
Watson is a prospect that requires a lot of patience as he hasn’t been able to consistently crack the Bruins rotation. It’s not exactly his fault since he’s a freshman on a team where all the main contributors return from a run to the Final Four. There’s a lot still to be determined as he finds his role for head coach Mick Cronin.
- Impressive physical and athletic gifts, stands 6’8″ with a long 7’0″ wingspan, can jump out of the gym, uses these gifts well
- Great play finisher: smart cutter, finishing at the rim, dunks in transition offense, length as a finisher is always a plus
- Active off ball mover, not too many possessions where he isn’t trying to get himself open, makes flashes to the elbow for open looks
- Nice passing flashes, good at passing to rollers, cutters, or the corner off drive and kicks, secondary playmaker upside
- Flashes the ability to hit mid-range jumpers coming off screening actions, has a reliable one or two dribble pull-up mid-range shot
- Willing to pick up guards at the point of attack on defense, can bother multiple positions, aware off the ball, small flashes of secondary rim protection
- Struggles to create his own shot, gets his drives cut off a lot and doesn’t have many moves to create space off the dribble
- Dribbling looks awkward and he seems uncomfortable when handling the ball for longer stretches, especially when a defender is playing him close and well
- Certainly a thin and wiry player which could create problems for his outlook as a scorer and defender long term
- Three-point shooting isn’t there yet, inconsistent follow through and elbows can flare out a bit, needs a lot more in-game reps here
- Overzealous when closing out to shooters on the wing, bites on fakes and isn’t declined yet in this area
- Tendency to foul a lot when he gets beat on defense, hasn’t been able to make rotations as a help defender in the paint