NBA Comparison: Darrell Arthur/Keon Clark
Strengths: An extremely long, rangy big man with a versatile offensive game, Johnathan Motley has made the most of the opportunity as Baylor’s top dog after Taurean Prince has made the transition to the NBA. Measuring 6’9’’ in shoes, Motley sports a massive 7’3.5’’ wingspan and a 9’3’’ standing reach, which are both elite measurements for a power forward. He’s filled out nicely over the yeas as well, and weighs in at a strong 232 pounds (up about 30 lbs since his high school days). Motley also possesses great end to end speed, and the ability to really get out on the break. Athletically, he’s a quick leaper as well, who can get off the ground nicely. Johnathan has also been able to transition into a number one option at the collegiate level (16.3 ppg). He’s done so by using a solid mid range game (42.5% on jump shots according to Hoop-Math.com) as well as the ability to post up on the block and use a nice hook over either shoulder. Motley’s has a high release on his jumper, and good touch, even on fade aways and turn arounds. He’s also a terrific offensive rebounder and has already tallied 19 put-backs as a part of hauling in 2.9 offensive rebounds per game (through 12-31-2016). He’s also shown a new part of his game this season, and that is passing out of the post. Motley is averaging a career high 2.2 assists per game, and has shown the smarts to make good passes out of double teams, now that he’s a larger focus of Baylor’s offense. Defensively, he’s solid and has shown the ability to move laterally and disrupt the passing lanes in Baylor’s zone defense. While zone is not a common set in the NBA, he has the athletic tools, and awareness to transition into at least a solid defender who can mop up defensive rebounds at a high rate.
Weaknesses: Johnathan has a really good mid range game, but in the spacing heavy NBA landscape of today, you’d like your stretch 4 to have 3 point range. His percentage this season is a very good .385%, but it’s on limited attempts (5-13) so it’s difficult to know if that’s an accurate representation of his range. Motley is surprisingly not a high level shot blocker, despite his great length. He blocks just 1 shot per game at Baylor, and while Jo Lual-Acuil acts as the Bears’ primary rim protector, you’d still like to see more swats from a guy sporting a 9’3’’ standing reach. Motley has shown the ability to block 3 or 4 shots in a game, though, so this could be improved upon as the year progresses. He’s also improved his FT shooting this season to a respectable 68%, but you’d like to see him get that over 70%, but I think that is not out of the question when looking at his continued growth. Motley is a red shirt, so he’ll turn 22 at the and of his junior season.
Overall: There’s a lot to like about Johnathan Motley when looking towards the next level. He’s extremely long, agile, and has really asserted himself in a variety of different areas of the game as a red shirt junior. His speed will allow him to thrive in transition, and his versatile offensive game will allow him to be effective in the half court. While not a great rim protector, Motley is a high level rebounder both offensively and defensively, and has the physical tools to project success on the glass in the NBA. Motley does a lot of things well, and looks to be able to translate a lot of what he does at the next level. While not a high ceiling player, Johnathan could prove to be a really solid rotation player, and even a starter if he continues to hone and work on his game.
Notes: All Big-12 3rd Team 2016, Measured 6’9’’ in shoes, with a 7’ 3.5’’ wingspan and an 9’3’’ standing reach at Baylor. As of 12-31-16 he ranks 4th in the Big 12 in scoring and 2nd in rebounding.
David Ray 1/9/17