Isaiah Hartenstein (C/PF, Zalgiris)

Measurables: 7’1”, 7’2” wingspan, 250 lbs, 19.0 years old

Strengths

  • One of the youngest prospects in this draft – easily stashable
  • Already has solid NBA frame at center – good size, bangs around
  • Plays with toughness – not stereotypical “soft European”
  • Solid rim protection ability – not afraid to step up and use size
  • Finishes above rim in space
  • Very nice off dribble game – attacks closeouts, able to make nice dump passes
  • Advanced perimeter game in terms of playmaking
  • Flashes of 3 point shot – slow release at this point though
  • Solid shot blocker – uses length, has good instincts
  • Can become big time weapon if his shooting ends up working out
  • Very good rebounder at just 19 – 14 rebounds per 40 mins
  • 5 STL/2.4 BLK per 40 – good sign for defensive activity going forward

Weaknesses

  • Reputation as a shooter isn’t backed up by stats – sub 30% 3 point shooter with Zalgiris, sub 70% FT shooter
  • Struggles at rim – 54% finisher
  • Not very explosive around rim, contributes to finishing problems
  • Fairly slow player in the open court, not much of a transition threat
  • Doesn’t have great foot speed on perimeter – hurts him in switch situations
  • Offensive game depends a lot on 3 point improvement because of interior struggles
  • Lacks touch in paint, bad when combined with lack of explosiveness
  • Sometimes gets too cute when trying to create for others – 5+ turnovers for 40
  • Not much of a post player inside arc – very small sample

Overall

  • Hartenstein’s a unique player because he’s a rugged, interior-oriented big on the defensive end but a flashy, perimeter oriented big on the offensive end. He’s got very rare playmaking ability for a center prospect, and his elite ballhandling allows him to attack closeouts and make plays for others. His reputation as a shooter is much better than what he actually is at this point, but he’s shown flashes of stretch-5 ability. Hartenstein’s below average athleticism and lack of touch harm him on the interior on offense, and he’ll need to become a consistent 3 point threat to become a good offensive threat. Still, his tools and upside make him worth a first-rounder, whether a team wants to develop him in-house or stash him for a couple years.

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