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Brandin Podziemski 2023 NBA Draft Profile

Brandin Podziemski 2023 NBA Draft

(James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

Brandin Podziemski 2023 NBA Draft
(James Snook-USA TODAY Sports)

Brandin Podziemski 2023 NBA Draft Profile

Brandin Podziemski 2023 NBA Draft Profile

Height/Weight/Age: 6’5”/204 lbs/20 years old 

Primary Position: Shooting Guard

Sophomore Season Stats: 19.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, 48.4% FG, 43.8% 3PT, 77.1% FT, 1.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.3 TOPG

Strengths: 3-Point Shooting, Pick-and-Roll, Hustle

Santa Clara shooting guard Brandin Podziemski is one of the best three-point shooters in the 2023 NBA Draft. Podziemski shot a terrific 43.8 percent from three on 5.8 attempts per game. 

The majority of Podziemski’s 3-point looks came on catch-and-shoot opportunities and in pull-up scenarios. The former will be more important in the NBA as he looks to become a role player that can become an off-ball scoring threat. At the same time, he can hit pull-up shots if a defender gives him space. 

Podziemski should not have any trouble adjusting to the NBA three-point line. At Santa Clara, he showed serious range, showing the ability to hit deep threes on the wing and at the top of the key. That helps to project Podziemski as a serious three-point shooting threat in the NBA. 

At Santa Clara, Podziemski was given opportunities to run the pick-and-roll. In those opportunities, he looked good. In control of the offense, he showed the ability to find the roller at an impressive rate. Not only can he thread the needle and fit the ball into tight windows, but can throw alley-oop passes to bigs that finish above the rim. I am interested to see how much leeway he will get to run a pick-and-poll at the NBA level. Regardless, it was positive in his game in college and provides additional offensive upside to pair with his shooting.

The last strength that I love in Podziemski’s game is his hustle — he plays hard. That is most seen in his rebounding. In college, he averaged 8.8 rebounds per game. As a guard, that is an absurd number. In part, he was able to rack up boards because of his hustle and willingness to crash the glass. He is also not afraid to be scrappy — if he was near a loose ball, he was not afraid to lay out to secure possession.

Defensively, while he is not perfect, he plays with effort. Yes, he has flaws, but those flaws are not because of a lack of effort. 

Weaknesses: Athleticism, Shot Creation, On-Ball Defense 

As Podziemski enters the NBA, his biggest weakness will be his athleticism. In comparison to other prospects, he is on the lower end of the athleticism scale. Podziemski has limited bounce and lateral quickness. Those issues will prevent him from becoming an elite player on both sides of the ball.

On the offensive side of the ball, the biggest worry for Podziemski will be his self-creation. One of the main reasons for this is that he does not create space when he drives largely because of his lack of burst and quickness.

It is way too common for defenders to stop his drive, capping his ability to create his own shot in the half-court despite having the ability to finish, hit floaters and make mid-range jumpers. I also do not want to make it seem like Podziemski is completely incapable of creating his own shot because he has a good handle and does not need a ton of space to hit a shot. The point is that he will never be a high-level self-creator in the league.

Lastly, Podziemski’s lack of athleticism is really exposed on the defensive end of the court. This is most obvious in on-ball scenarios. Podziemski really struggles to defend quick ball handlers on the perimeter. This will be a massive problem in the NBA. That is not to say everything else is perfect. Podziemski has shown off-ball issues like screen navigation and losing track of his man in movement. Still, the on-ball defense is the most concerning.

Best Fits: Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzles, Detroit Pistons

In the 2023 NBA Draft, Podziemski will be appealing to teams that are looking to add a role player that can shoot the ball. That is certainly a player archetype that is appealing to several franchises. 

The Indiana Pacers currently sit with picks No. 7, 26, 29, 32 and 55. That trio of selections in the middle of the draft makes the Pacers a fit for several players that project to be taken late in the first round. With one of those selections, it would make sense for the Pacers to add a shooter that can play off the bench. Podziemski can fit that role. 

The Memphis Grizzlies sit on one of the cleanest cap sheets in the NBA. Selecting Podziemski could help that trend continue. In terms of comparison, which will be discussed in detail later, Podziemski has similarities to Luke Kennard. With pick No. 25, the Grizzles could add a solid shooter that could fill Kennard’s role in a couple of years. This would allow Memphis to let Kennard walk when his current contract expires. That may not be ideal, but it would help the Grizzlies keep their future cap number low. That could be crucial with Tyus Jones and Desmond Bane on expiring deals.

If Podziemski falls out of the first round, the Detroit Pistons will be forced to take a long look at the Santa Clara product with pick No. 31. The Pistons are in desperate need of shooting. That is one thing that Podziemski does at an elite level. Podziemski could be a solid bench option for the Pistons in the long term.

NBA Comparison: Luke Kennard 

As previously alluded to, the NBA comparison for Brandin Podziemski is Luke Kennard. The thought process here is that both players are terrific three-point shooters that can be played off the court because of their athletic and defensive limitations. The pair have similar frames and are left-handed which helps the comparison too. I will admit, it may be tough for Podziemski to live up to this comparison as Kennard has been sensational from behind the three-point line in his career. 

Projection: Late First Round/Early Second Round 

As previously mentioned, Brandin Podziemski can be a role player that is capable of being an impact shooter. The only problem is that there are several players with this archetype in the 2023 NBA Draft. Still, Podziemski finds himself in a position to be taken in the late first round. If he manages to slide on draft night, a team will certainly stop his slide very shortly into the second round. 

As far as his career goes, Podziemski should be viewed as a bench player that can shoot the three at a high level. The lack of athleticism greatly lowers his ceiling, however. Still, he can greatly help a team’s bench unit. 


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