In this latest instalment of draft profiles, I will be looking at Darius Bazley.
College Team: HS (no college or pro experience)
Couldn’t find any real stats for Bazley, so I will just show his stats from the two Combine games he played. Some highlights of his games can be found in the links below.
Game 1: 19min, 7pts, 5reb, 1ast, 1blk – hitting 1of 2 from deep.
Game 2: 19 min, 11pts, 2reb, 2ast, 2blks and 1stl – and didn’t even attempt a shot from outside.
Projected Draft Spot: 2nd Rd
Bazley has a solid two-way game from which to develop. He is very fluid in his movements and athletic. He uses that athleticism to attack the lane and score over opponents, to pull in rebounds and block shots. When he does drive the lane, Bazley is able to finish with both hands. He has some good moves around the rim (as can be seen in the Combine footage). Bazley can collect steals by reading the passing lanes well and utilising his great reach.
Most of Bazley’s weaknesses come from a lack of development on the court, due to his decision to stay out of college and the G-League. Most of his areas need some polish and refinement before he is NBA ready. Bazley is still quite thin for his height and will need to bulk up with muscle and strength if he is to compete with the physical forwards in the NBA.
NBA Player Comparison: The best player comparison I can come up with is Tayshaun Prince, because he is thin and lanky, but with some explosive hops and fluid scoring near the rim. If Bazley does actually have a high ceiling then I expect it to be a combination of DeRozan’s fluid play, cuts and passing acumen – along with Rudy Gay’s ability to attack the lane and dunk on anyone and hit the occasional outside shot.
Fit with the Spurs:
The Spurs need a combo forward that can play both ends of the court. Bazley can do this, with energy and athleticism. He is able to run in transition, and even facilitate on the move, which is a skill the Spurs will be looking to capitalise on. The issue with Bazley may be his lack of real court time in the past year since he graduated high school. However, there is another way to look at his situation – he hasn’t been soiled by the tendencies of college coaches and their schemes, which are quite different from the pro’s – which then would provide the Spurs with a project who could be moulded into their system. He has quite a good skill set, and would be a great pick in the 2nd Rd, but with his good play and his solid shooting drill results, Bazley could be looked at by quite a few teams that sit at the top of the 2nd Rd. If he does indeed fall to the 49th spot, then the Spurs may give him a good look, otherwise if the Spurs really like him they may have to trade up in the 2nd Rd to get him - or they could take a real gamble and snag him earlier than predicted with the 29th pick.
Highlights: Because he skipped college and didn't play in the G-League there is very little footage of him, except for high school.
Next Profile: Marcos Louzada Silva