Player Analysis – Juan Hernangomez

Player Analysis – Juan Hernangomez

This article was first published by Amit Tailor on BasketballOutliers.Blogspot.com.

Decided to go with a Spanish flavor today. Juancho ‘Juan’ Hernangomez of Movistar Estudiantes has turned some heads in the past few seasons. If you feel like you’ve seen this name before, you definitely have. His brother Guillermo was drafted last year in the second round by the 76ers in a standard draft and stash move. Juan played in a great league, the ACB of Spain, which is the same league that Mario Hezonja came from last season. To quote Fran Fraschilla, he is a stretch forward that can shoot with a quick release. He’s also a sneaky athlete and plays hard, and these are all things we will see in the film.

As always, we will start with the basics. Juan is a 6’9″ 230 pound forward with a near 7 foot wingspan. For the season, he played in 33 games so far, with more to come. So far, Hernangomez has put up roughly 10 points and 6 rebounds per game in 24 minutes per game. Not bad for a 20 year old forward in a really competitive league.

Hernangomez will bring a few things to the table whenever he does play in the NBA. I have a feeling he will be stashed for a bit longer before making the journey to the NBA, but here’s what I see so far:

1) Shooting  – Hernangomez is a strong catch and shoot shooter. He’s got deep range to the NBA 3 and can be a reliable shooter. Even though his corner 3 numbers are low right now, I think this will improve in time. He shows a strong 1-2 step into his shots and has a reasonably quick release. He can operate out of pick and pop and shoot 3’s with a solid 4 step footwork sequence into his shot, as we will see on the film. A look at this shot chart will show us more efficient shooting from the top areas, and he shoots it way better on the left side than the right. Not sure if this will continue or evolve as he matures in the game.

2) Feel – In general, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, several foreign players have shown high IQ’s at a young age, and Hernangomez is no exception. Part of it could be that he has an older brother who is also a pro in Spain. Hernangomez has a great feel and high IQ for the game. He knows exactly where to move and when to do it when he plays off the ball. He cuts really well and fills up behind pick and rolls like a natural. Even though we don’t see a ton of roll and replace in the NBA, he would be great in middle pick and rolls whenever he gets a chance to play in the NBA. Not only does he know when to pop and roll, but he mixes them up well and keeps defenses off balance. Just when you think he’s about to shoot it, he can drive the closeout and get to them rim. His pullup game is still coming around, but in time I think we will see him figure this out. I doubt he will have to do a ton of this as an NBA player, but catching and shooting along with moving off the ball and spacing the floor as a stretch big will be his calling cards.

3) Face up/Post up game – Where Hernangomez differentiates himself among other international stretch bigs is his ability to face up and drive to the rim. Couple that with solid footwork in the post and he makes a nice inside-outside threat. Add in the athleticism and you’ve got a sound prospect for an NBA team.

4) Offensive Rebounding – Don’t let the modest numbers fool you. Hernangomez is a banger. Even though he doesn’t look that big or tough he fights hard for rebounds and snatches them in with one hand sometimes.

Strengths:
– Shooting
– Basketball IQ
– Inside-outside threat
– Offensive rebounding

Weaknesses:
– Is he ready for the NBA?
– Will probably need to get stronger to compete with NBA bigs

Weaknesses aside, I think we’ve got an intriguing prospect here for the NBA, whether now or down the line. Stay tuned!

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