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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Corey Kispert

Corey Kispert is one of the draft’s best 3-point marksmen, and he could be a good role player at the next level.

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Fairleigh Dickinson v Gonzaga Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Corey Kispert, Wing, Gonzaga University

  • 2019-2020 Season: 33 Games Played, 13.9 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 47.4 FG%, 43.8 3PT%, 62.1 TS%
  • Career: 105 GP, 9.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, 45.9 FG%, 39.3 3PFG%
  • CAREER ACCOLADES: 2019-20 All-WCC (1st Team)
  • Advanced Statistical Strengths: EFG% (59.3%), TS% (62.1%), Projected NBA 3PT% (37.9%)
  • Advanced Statistical Weaknesses: DBPM (1.2), FTA Rate (.255), Rebounds (4.0)
  • Big Board Placements: Tankathon (54), The Ringer (48) CBS Sports (66), ESPN (43), The Athletic (59)
NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at San Diego Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

I was doing some research for our draft profiles by looking at The Ringer NBA Draft Guide. On this day, Kevin O’Connor expanded his big board from 30 to 60. As I was scrolling, I come to a halt and found a prospect who had shades of....Dillon Brooks.

As an executive member of Dillon Brooks Island, it had my curiosity. Once I saw the shooting splits, Corey Kispert caught my attention. Kispert is a big wing out of Gonzaga that blossomed into a lethal outside shooter this season. Though he could potentially return to school for his senior year, NBA teams surely are intrigued with his outside shooting and scoring ability.

Whenever Kispert opts to go to the league, he can have a successful career.


STRENGTHS

Obviously, Corey Kispert’s calling card at the next level will be his outside shooting. This season, he shot a blistering 43.8% from 3-point range on 5.4 attempts per game. There’s legitimate upside for him as an outside threat in the league. More than half of his shot attempts came beyond the 3-point arc, which would be asked of him at the next level. He also has a quick release and gets great elevation on his jumper, and that bodes well for him at the next level, since NBA defenders are a lot quicker on closeouts.

Where Kispert could elevate past the stereotype of “3-point specialist” is with his game on the move. He’s an aggressive offensive player that can create plays off the dribble — whether it’s for a quick pull-up or for a shot at the basket. He’s good attacking the basket when driving downhill, making up for his lack of elite athleticism with aggression.

These two skills bode well for him today’s free-flowing NBA. At the next level, you typically need 4, probably all 5, guys spacing the floor and firing from 3. Possessing a big wing that can shoot 3s, both in the catch-and-shoot and off the dribble, at a high level is luxury for any NBA team.


WEAKNESSES

Corey Kispert will have to improve as a defender at the next level. He has the size to guard both wing positions. However, his low stock (steals + blocks) numbers don’t translate well to the next level. His role as a defender at the next level will probably be as a hide-out defender, as he’ll need to be in lineups that cover up his defensive deficiencies.

Though he’s good at going downhill towards the basket, you’d like to see him get to the line more in those attempts, as he only shot 2.5 free throws per game this season. In addition, it could open up his playmaking a bit more, a promising area of improvement for him. He averaged 2.1 assists this season, but you’d like to see him widen the gap between his assist and turnover numbers (70-46).

If he could improve in these two areas at the next level, Kispert has a shot at becoming a fringe starter, or an important rotation player for a good team.


NCAA Basketball: Pacific at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

WHERE HE FITS

Corey Kispert could land a rotation spot in his rookie season, if drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies. Minutes will likely shore up with possible departures of De’Anthony Melton or Josh Jackson. So, if any of those players are gone next season, there would be open minutes.

He has advantages over Grayson Allen and John Konchar. While Allen is the more explosive athlete and better playmaker, Kispert is a better outside shooter and can cover either wing position. Konchar is a better defender and facilitator, but if Coach Jenkins wants more of a scoring/shooting threat out there, Kispert has the edge.

For most players at the 40th pick, I see them spending more time in Southaven with the Hustle than with the Grizzlies. In the G-League, Kispert could use his rookie season as a redshirt year where he could develop as a playmaker, defender, and on-ball scoring threat.

Prediction: If he stays in the draft, Kispert falls past the Grizzlies at 40.

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