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Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft Profile

Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft

(Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press)

Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft
(Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press)

Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft Profile

  • Height/Weight/Age: 6’9”/215 lbs/19 years old 
  • Primary Position: Power Forward 
  • Freshmen Season Stats: 15.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 47.8% FG, 39.4% 3PT, 78.2% FT, 0.9 SPG, 1.7 BPG, 1.4 TOPG

Strengths:  Shooting, Shot Blocking, Athleticism

Taylor Hendricks’ most noticeable skill entering the 2023 NBA Draft is his shooting. At UCF, he displayed great catch-and-shoot ability.

Overall, from behind the arc, he finished the season shooting 39.4% from three on 4.6 attempts per game. More importantly, his shooting form is consistent and should translate to the next level. That is not to say he has the best form, however. That shooting skill makes Hendricks an intriguing floor-spacing power forward and pick-and-pop threat in the NBA.

Hendricks could elevate his game if he improves his movement shooting and shot creation.

Hendricks’ defensive profile makes him one of the top 3-and-D prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft. I do think there is more to his game than that, but his three-point shooting and defense should both translate to the NBA.

The one aspect of his defense that stands out is his shot-blocking. More specifically, his ability to block shots as a help defender. Hendricks can come off his man and block shots on the inside. Additionally, his 6’9″ length and seven-foot wingspan make him a tough man for forward, wings and guards to finish over.

Once again, there is a ton to love about Hendricks’ defense. This includes his versatility and ability to clog passing lanes. The upside as a shot-blocking forward is extremely appealing, however.

I hate to use athleticism as a strength for a player that is not a 99th-percent athlete, but Hendricks uses his athleticism to round out his game. Defensively, Hendricks’ lateral quickness allows him to switch onto wings and potentially guards.

In those situations, he can defend on the perimeter. In a worst-case scenario, his length allows him to make up ground if he gets beat with quickness. 

On the offensive side, Hendricks uses his vertical to finish above the rim. That pairs well with his underrated cutting to help him become a threat off the ball. Naturally, that provides upside in pick and poll scenarios as well. 

Lastly, as for any athletic player, Hendricks is a threat in transition. His athleticism and effort allow him to protect the rim defensively while presenting a high-upside finisher offensively. 

Weaknesses: Shot Creation, Handle, Strength 

The biggest weakness in Hendricks’ game is his ability to create his own shot. At UCF, his role largely consisted of three-point shots and interior shots that were created off rebounds, cuts or pick-and-rolls.

If you were to task Hendricks with creating his own shot from the perimeter, it would probably lead to a contested jumper. In the times that Hendricks created his own shot, it mostly came from moments where defenders aggressively attacked closeouts which gave him the opportunity to drive.

The main reason that Hendricks struggles to create his own shot is that he does not have a great handle. It is not incredibly bad, but it certainly holds his game back. Despite not turning over the ball at a high clip, it is possible to strip him.

A tighter and more effective handle would help Hendricks create his own shot while improving his offensive efficiency. All in all, this would help raise his ceiling as an offensive threat in the NBA.

The last weakness in Hendricks’ game is his strength. This obviously hinders his ability to match up with centers. On the offensive side, his strength prevents his ability to create shot opportunities in the post and finish over large defenders. Defensively, he struggles against big bodies that are able to back him down. This also affects his ability to rebound on each side of the court.

Best Fits: Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks 

In the NBA, Taylor Hendricks projects as a player that can provide floor-spacing at the forward spot. This is a player archetype that is crucial to modern roster construction. I believe the best fit for Hendricks is on a roster that has shot creators. Additionally, an established center that can match up against opposing big men would be beneficial.

In the 2023 NBA Draft, a handful of teams would love Hendricks’ service. The Detroit Pistons are atop that list. The Pistons have players in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey that could create open looks for Hendricks. Jalen Duren would provide an interior presence to defend big men as well.

A similar sentiment can be made for the Indiana Pacers who have an elite playmaker Tyrese Haliburton and established center Myles Turner. Lastly, the Dallas Mavericks would love to add another three-point shooting forward to their Luka Doncic-led offense. His defensive presence could be used in Dallas too.

NBA Comparison: Jerami Grant 

There are a handful of potential comparisons for Hendricks. The names that really stand out are Jerami Grant, Jaden McDaniels, and Jonathan Isaac. This is largely because he has small aspects of his game that remind me of each player. I think the way he blocks shots and plays help defense is reminiscent of Isaac; the way he finishes at the rim is similar to McDaniels.

But I like the Grant comparison the most, however. The main reason for this is because of his size and athletic profile. The only drawback to these comparisons is that the aforementioned players are more well-rounded offensively and are more capable of playing the three.

In contrast, Hendricks projects more as a potential small-ball center rather than a long small forward. If a team opts to lean into that and add weight to Hendricks’ frame, he may end up being a smaller, and likely lesser, version of Jaren Jackson Jr.

Projection: Top-10 Pick

Taylor Hendricks projects inside the top 10 of the 2023 NBA Draft. Hendricks is a prospect that seems destined to, at a minimum, be a quality starter on a good team. If he can round out his offensive skills he can produce at an even higher level. In lesser drafts, Hendricks would hear his name called sooner, but he may have to wait in a stacked 2023 class.

The board for Hendricks should begin at pick No. 5 with the Pistons. Ultimately, he may fall if teams prefer fellow forwards Jarace Walker or Cam Whitmore. Once those names are off the board, he will undoubtedly be the best non-guard left. The floor for Hendricks is pretty solidly at No. 10. Barring a trade, it would be a shock to see the Mavericks pass on him. If they do, someone in the late lottery would be thrilled.

Overall, Taylor Hendricks has a very real chance of being picked by any team selecting between picks No. 5 and 10.


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