24 - Malik Fitts

6-8, 230 Small Forward
St. Mary's Junior
Birthday
07/04/97 (23.4 yrs)
Hometown
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
High School
Brewster Academy Prep
Athleticism
7
Size
8
Defense
7
Strength
8
Quickness
7
Leadership
8
Jump Shot
8
NBA Ready
8
Ball Handling
7
Potential
6
Passing
7
Intangibles
8
89 Overall:

NBA Comparison: Admiral Schofield

Strengths: Fitts is a true brute force on the court at 6’8, 220 pounds of pure muscle. He spent his last two seasons in the West Coast Conference contributing as the second-leading scorer for the Saint Mary’s Gaels … Fitts averaged 16.5 points and 7 rebounds for the Gaels as he blossomed into a star after a frustrating freshman season at USF … Fitts is one of the more athletic players in the draft this year and paired with his power, he is truly difficult to handle in the post … While the post is the strength of his offensive game, he can also spread the floor and shoot the three. He shot over 40% from distance on nearly five attempts per game … Fitts is also fast and enough and quick enough to drive by players with similar size to him and finish with power at the rim … His length allows him to strip the ball on drives and it resulted in 1.4 steals per game putting him top five in the conference in that category … Another strength of Fitts’ game is his leaping ability, which allowed him to grab seven rebounds per game in each of his two seasons for the Gaels … He also shoots very well from the line for someone of his size at 80% … Simply put, Fitts is, and plays like, a truck. He runs around the court at full speed and makes plays consistently … He and Jordan Ford combined for the first 34 points in a conference championship game against Gonzaga showing that he is capable of taking over and leading a team if he is needed … Fitts is a freak athlete with an ability to shoot on the perimeter and control the post because of his strength … He can develop into a regular starter in a few years because of this and if he can refine other parts of his game as well, he may just be one of the steals of this draft.

Weaknesses: The major weaknesses in Fitts’ game are his defense against smaller players and his decision making. He turned the ball over twice per game and if you include poor shot selection, that number will skyrocket. He put a lot of pressure on himself to carry the team and it led to poor shot selection and reckless drives putting him in foul trouble. He needs to play more under control and stay patient on the offensive end if he is going to take advantage of fewer play time … Fitts is quick, but he struggled on the perimeter against smaller, faster guards. He is not the worst mismatch in pick-and-roll switches, but there is no doubt he has trouble in these situations … He is powerful and quick on the dribble drive, but he often forces this style of play and it leads to foul trouble and tough shots … He only averaged an assist per game last year and given the reliance on him and his ability to drive, this number should have been higher … If he can improve his court vision and make smart passes, he will develop into a great role player and eventually a good starting stretch-four.

Overall: Brute strength, athleticism, quickness, and a three-point jumper often put players in the first round of the NBA Draft. There are glaring weaknesses to Fitts’ game, but he could be overlooked and make a name for himself with a major chip on his shoulder. He is currently a projected undrafted prospect, but on athleticism and size alone, Fitts will get an opportunity somewhere regardless of if he is drafted or not.

Derek Bast 11/18/20

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