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Bennedict Mathurin

(Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

Bennedict Mathurin 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report

Bennedict Mathurin
(Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

Bennedict Mathurin 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report

  • Height/Weight/Age: 6’7″/195 lbs/20 years old
  • Primary Position: Shooting Guard
  • Sophomore Season Stats: 17.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 45.0% FG, 36.9% 3PT, 76.4% FT, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.8 TOPG

Strengths: Shooting, Athleticism, Off-Ball Movement

There’s a reason Bennedict Mathurin converted such a high percentage of his threes last season. He has a projectable shooting form – it’s quick and compact with a high release. Mathurin showed off his deep shooting range on more than one occasion. He’s comfortable shooting off the dribble or off the catch.

Mathurin displays his deep range off the dribble while tapping into his clutch gene.

Of course, that last clip was a wide-open three. Mathurin is also perfectly capable of shooting in traffic and over multiple defenders. His ability to hit tough shots gives him so much isolation potential.

Mathurin gets to his spot and converts, even with multiple guys pressuring him.

Mathurin’s ability to hit off movement and from awkward angles truly makes me confident that his shooting will translate. His form remains consistent and he gets excellent separation between his upper and lower half, which allows him to shoot from upright positions even when his momentum is carrying him sideways.

Mathurin is also a high-level athlete. He has an ideal frame for a shooting guard and is an explosive finisher at the rim.

Bounce.

One area where I believe the Arizona product is truly elite is his off-ball movement. When combined with his gift for making tough shots, it makes him such a pest on the offensive end. He’s adept at sprinting off screens and getting his looks. There’s real benefit to having someone who can create without the ball in their hands.

As previously mentioned, Mathurin does an excellent job of getting set in midair after running full speed. Here’s an example of that:

Given his impressive athleticism and offensive skillset, it’s hard not to envision Mathurin becoming a viable scoring option for whatever team drafts him.

Weaknesses: Handle, Defensive Effort, On-Ball Creation

The primary weakness with Mathurin’s offensive game is his lack of a handle. He relies on his raw athleticism to blow by opposing defenders, but he isn’t particularly shifty or crafty with the ball in his hands. Considering that handle is one of the hardest things to develop, this has many limiting his ceiling to just a catch-and-shoot player. That’s perhaps a bit drastic, but there isn’t a great precedent for guys without a handle developing into elite primary scorers.

His length and athleticism should make him a capable defender. The problem is that he isn’t always engaged on that end of the floor. Mathurin tends to come out of his defensive stance a little too often while on-ball. He will also take unnecessary risks to generate steals. The tools are there, but a little more discipline would go a long way.

Finally, Bennedict Mathurin doesn’t have great self-creation ability, which is mostly connected to his lack of a handle. He is athletic enough to mitigate this problem, but he is more effective as an off-ball option. Getting him on a team with an elite facilitator will be key to getting the most out of him from day one.

Best NBA Fit: Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers

There’s a few teams in range for Bennedict Mathurin that could really benefit from an off-ball scorer. The fact these squads all have very good lead guards is encouraging for Mathurin’s potential fit. The Indiana Pacers have Tyrese Haliburton, the Detroit Pistons have Cade Cunningham, and the Portland Trail Blazers have Damian Lillard. I can see Mathurin being excellent alongside any of these options as he benefits from their playmaking.

NBA Comparison: Paul George

Keep in mind that this is not a prediction for the trajectory of Bennedict Mathurin’s career. It’s more a comparison based on style and similarities in their respective games than anything else. Like Mathurin, Paul George entered the NBA after his sophomore season lacking a handle but doing most other things on offense exceptionally well. He was a knockdown shooter with an ideal frame and high-level athleticism, but was also an underwhelming defender and self-creator. I see plenty of parallels between George and Mathurin from their body type right down to their strengths and weaknesses.

Draft Projection: Top-10 Pick

Taking everything in sum, I doubt Bennedict Mathurin falls outside the top 10 picks of the 2022 NBA Draft. I’ve seen a few mocks slide him out of this range, but some team should buy his length, athleticism, and scoring relatively early on draft night.

There’s definitely upside for Mathurin to become more than just an off-ball player. My guess is that the Pacers or Trail Blazers take a swing on that. One of my hot takes is that Bennedict Mathurin could wind up being one of the three best players from this class when all is said and done.

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