What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Long arms. Stride covers ground. Has the frame to add more muscle. Plays stronger than he looks at first glance. Solid offensive rebounder. Effective slasher going to the rim (Florida ‘19). Most effective in the corners, where he can back cut to the basket or be the recipient of a drive and kick for jumpers. Defensively, he’s long enough that he doesn’t have to jump on a ball fake to contest a shot (Louisville ‘20). Uses his length to disrupt passing angles. Can also front the big in the post.
Weaknesses: What more can he add to his offensive arsenal? Vassell wasn’t a high volume scorer at FSU, nor was he asked to be, but as a projected high pick, he might be asked to cover more of the offensive burden in the NBA. He averaged just four points in his freshman season and 12.7 in his sophomore campaign. Release on his jumper is slow and a bit elongated. Could improve his free throw shooting.
Other Notes: Attended Peachtree Ridge High School (Ga.) • Father, Andrew, played college basketball at Stony Brook • 2018-2019 (33 games, 0 sts): 4.5 PPG, 44% FG, 42% 3-PT, 68 % FT, 1.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.5 STL, 0.3 BPG • 2019-2020 (30 games, 30 sts, 2nd Team All-ACC): 12.7 PPG, 49% FG, 42% 3-PT, 73% FT, 5.1 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.4 STL, 1.0 BPG • Career stats: 8.4 PPG, 48% FG, 42% 3-PT, 72% FT, 3.2 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.0 STL, 0.6 BPG
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Vassell’s frame and unorthodox jump shot is reminiscent of former Wizards first round draft pick, Otto Porter. Like Porter, Vassell’s best fit will be in offense that pre-defines his role. Spurs head coach and team president Gregg Popovich has had success taking players with length who can operate in the corners of an offensive set. Vassell would fit the mold and provides some positional versatility for a team with aging wings such as Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli.