The NBA Draft Blog Scouting Report takes a look at one of the more surprising players in the NCAA year, SEC Player of the Year and Florida senior forward Chandler Parsons. While he doesn’t have any numbers that seem impressive, he has such an effect on the game, that numbers don’t do him justice. The question is will the lack of any one true area where he excels hinder his draft stock, or will his versatility help. Let’s take a look at the report for Chandler Parsons:
Guard – 6’9, 218
11.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 48.0% FG, 55.7% FT, 36.8% 3FG
Perimeter Shooting– While not a great perimeter shooter, Parsons has most of the mechanics down to still make improvement. He has good size, a high release point and gets good lift and rotation on his shot. He could the speed of his release, and while he has good range, he needs to become more consistent from 18 feet out. He is very active without the ball and is very good at finding holes in the defense where he can get a clean shot. He improved this season how he comes off of screens, and has become very good at getting his hands and body in position to shoot after he comes off it. He needs to work on becoming better at using his dribble to create space for his jumper, as he has a very tough time getting room when covered on the perimeter. He uses ball-fakes well, though he has gotten into a habit of using them even when they aren’t needed.
Ballhandling/Hands/Penetration-Parsons is a very good ballhandler for his size, using both hands well, and with a good understanding of how to protect the ball. While he doesn’t handle on-ball pressure especially well, particularly against smaller defenders, he is smart with the ball and usually gets rid of it before he is in trouble. He has good hands, handles passes well, and can use his size to create a target over the top of many defenders. While he doesn’t have a great first step, he does a good job getting past his man and into the middle of the defense. Once he gets into the defense, he has the ability to hit an open teammate, or finish around the rim. While he doesn’t have the strength to absorb contact and finish well, he has excellent body control, and can finish around the basket with either hand. He needs to improve his ability to get into the lane and stop and hit a floater or short jumper to draw the defenders to him.
Rebounding/Passing– Parsons is a very good offensive rebounder, especially when you consider he spends most of his time on offense away from the basket area. He is one of the best I have seen in his ability to rush in from the perimeter off a miss and putting the ball back. He really doesn’t have the strength to battle regularly on the boards, but he uses his leaping ability well. His passing ability is one of the most impressive parts to his game. Not only can he get into the lane and find the open man, but he is a very good passer from the perimeter, especially from the top of the offense. He sees the floor very well and his height allows him see and make passes a lot of people can’t. He does a good job with post-entry passes and is very good at hitting cutters in a spot where they can take a good shot.
Free Throw Shooting – This has been an issue for Parsons – he doesn’t get to the line near enough, and when he does get there, he doesn’t hit the shots. One problem I noticed when he shoots free throws is that his foot placement and mechanics seem to vary a bit from game to game. If he can get comfortable enough at the line with a set routine, there is no reason he can’t be a good free throw shooter.
Perimeter Defense– While not a great defender, Parsons does a serviceable job as an on-ball defender. He positions himself well, has very good balance, and uses his long arms to disrupt the action. He doesn’t have great foot speed and his lateral movement needs work. At this stage, I doubt think he would have an easy time defending NBA level small forwards. Off-the-ball, he plays passing lanes well, but his lack of quickness leads him to usually position himself too far off his man to stop a good shooter. His effort is solid and he does his best to stay active, looking to make plays, but unless he can find a way to improve his footwork, he could become a defensive liability at the next level. To go with this, he needs to be quicker closing out on shooters and to make sure to use his long arms to make shots difficult.
Rebounding– Fundamentally, Parsons does a good job as a rebounder. He looks to put a body on someone, uses his lower body to try and clear space and goes strong after the miss. His lack of strength though is apparent, and even when he does all of these things well, it’s not that tough to move him out of good position. He does anticipate misses well and if he is away from the basket area, he does a good job getting to balls quickly.
Parsons is a decent player in transition – he handles the ball well enough to start the break after a rebound, and he is athletic enough to fill the lanes and get to the rim. However, his inability to consistently stop and hit the jumper off the break lets the defender know how to defend him if he out there. He does a good job playing transition defense and makes a great effort to stop the ball and position himself well enough to make passes difficult. While not a very good shot blocker, he has enough skill to make shots difficult.
Summary & Intangibles
Athleticism – Above Average
BB IQ – High
Parsons is good at a lot of things, the major issue is that he is not great at any one particular thing. His versatility would let him fit into most offensive sets, especially one where he can operate between the perimeter and the high post. His passing ability and high basketball IQ allow him to play solid minutes without letting his real lack of scoring ability affect the offense. However, he really needs to develop a more consistent jumper and he really needs to become a much better defender to earn major minutes. I don’t think many people saw him developing into the SEC Player of the Year, so I wouldn’t put it past him to improve these areas fairly quickly. Right now, I see him being a late first round to early second round pick, most likely in the 25-40 range.