21 - AJ Griffin

6-6, 220 Small Forward
Duke Freshman
Birthday
08/25/03 (19.1 yrs)
Hometown
White Plains, NY
High School
Archbishop Stepinac
Team Site Profile
Athleticism
8
Size
8
Defense
7
Strength
8
Quickness
7
Leadership
7
Jump Shot
9
NBA Ready
8
Ball Handling
7
Potential
9
Passing
7
Intangibles
8

NBA Comparison: Jamal Mashburn/Robert Covington

Strengths: Prototypical size for an NBA wing at 6-6, 220 pounds and a 7-foot wingspan … Great potential as a shooter … Prolific/Dangerous three point shooter, shot 45.4% from range showing a “pure shooting stroke” … Has excellent rotation on his shot … Stays down and in position to go up for a jumper off the catch … Has a very repeatable shot motion … Does an excellent job of staying on balance at all times … Can create space to get his own shot when needed … Good at driving out of a triple threat position … Shows the ability to attack defenses from multiple levels and strings moves together to keep attacks going – doesn’t just stop if a defender cuts off his first look … Has a really good spin move when driving into the paint … Can use some physicality to get to where he wants on the court and create space to get his shot off … Does a good job of keeping the ball away from defenders when going to the rim, making it hard to contest him inside if he has beaten his defender even a little … Has good athleticism, allowing him to finish strong at the rim. Uses his length well defensively …

Weaknesses: Despite his great length and athleticism, lacks great foot speed to blow by opponents allowing them to crowd him on the perimeter … Can be a bit slow to react on defense, opening himself up to back cuts … Gets stuck on screens defensively … Was primarily a shooter/scorer for Duke – didn’t produce a lot in other categories. Also benefited being a complementary scorer, not having the same responsibility to carry his team like other top prospects, leaving some questions of how well he can perform in that role … Had some lackluster performances, in particular in Duke’s loss to UNC in the Final Four … Role with Duke expanded as season went along, but seemed to struggle some with how aggressive to be as a shooter … Doesn’t get quite as much lift on his jumper as you might want for the next level … Would like to see him speed up his release just a little to compensate for his lack of lift on jumper … Sometimes picks up his dribble without knowing where he’s going with the ball … Can rock with the ball while dribbling to get a rhythm, which can make him more predictable for high level defenders … Sometimes goes into a triple threat on the catch, allowing the defense to catch up, when he should just get the ball and go with it … Also seems to go side to side instead of trying to blow by defenders in ISO … Stronger attacking when going with his right hand, can look to pull back or go into a hesitation move more when the ball is in his left – A “tell”, allowing defenders to better predict what he’s looking to do … There are concerns about what he’ll give you on nights where he isn’t scoring …

Outlook: Griffin is a player that can step in and play a role right now on an NBA team … For that reason, he has an extremely high floor for his NBA career … Some of his biggest weaknesses revolve around needing to refine his mechanics so it’s easier for him to get his shot off and making himself less predictable – things that can be learned. Even if he fails to address those issues, he can play the role of a spot up shooter with the hope of becoming a 3-and-D guy as he becomes more comfortable on the defensive end, which should come in time. However, if he is able to adjust his game so that he is better able to attack NBA level defenders and keep them off balance, he has legitimate All-Star potential. He’s essentially a shooter that has the athleticism to not only finish at the rim, but has the strength to finish through contact and the leaping ability to be able to dunk the ball on defenders which takes shot blockers out of the equation to some extent. Despite his fantastic skill level, he is a bit unrefined in areas, which makes me believe there is some room for growth in his game, and he could make a big jump during his second or third NBA season. It is certainly not out of the question that he becomes the type of player that goes out and scores 25 points …

Notes: Son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin Senior … “AJ” Adrian Junior is a native of Ossining, N.Y., and was born in Houston, TX  … Played at Archbishop Stepinac and was a top 10 recruit coming out of high school …

Eric Yearian 4/6/22

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