23 - Peyton Watson

6-8, 205 Shooting Guard/Small Forward
UCLA Freshman
09/11/02 (21.2 yrs)
Long Beach, CA
High School
Long Beach Poly
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Trevor Ariza/Earl Clark

Strengths: Highly rated recruit with a lot of upside but still extremely raw … Showed some flashes as a player that could create and knock down shots in the mid range … A high level athlete that was a top 10-15 recruit coming out of high school … Has NBA athleticism and great size at 6-8 with a 7-foot wingspan and 9 foot standing reach … Despite a lack of playing time, began to show signs of offensive development as the season wound down … A high level athlete who bought into Mick Cronin’s defensive oriented system, and to his credit did not pout of quit despite a season in which he struggled to see the floor … Has the potential to develop into a two way player as his length, athleticism and desire give him a solid foundation as a defender … His size gives him solid versatility to play either forward position at the NBA level, granted he needs strength to defend in the post … Ball handling ability is one of his best attributes and shows nice potential … His ability to create in ISO situations with a soft touch on his shot gives him intrigue … Despite lack of efficiency, his shooting touch and form show solid promise … Shows the ability to be disruptive defensively with his length as a shot blocker … Excellent rebounder .averaging 9.1 per 40 minutes ..

Weaknesses: Lack of readiness makes him a project for the NBA level … A team that selects him or signs Watson will need to be patient and be committed to developing him into a contributing player a few years down the line … A player with a high situational dependence … At 203 lbs, still needs to add a lot of strength to compete with NBA forwards … Offensive efficiency numbers were not very good on top of a lack of playing time, with shooting spilts of 32.2 fg% 22.6 3p% 68.8 ft% … Would have benefited from another year of seasoning at UCLA, especially from an offensive perspective … His offensive efficiency was extremely porous from a statistical standpoint … Struggled to hit shots in spot up situations. Seems to lack great rhythm if he shots the ball without pulling up off the dribble … Also did not produce well in transition like you expect a player with his run/jump athleticism … Due to his lack of playing time at UCLA, he lacked the opportunity to showcase his abilities and get into a rhythm. The sample size is small, and it will likely cost him on draft night … Seems to be in a rush at times, and must learn to become more composed and patient out on the floor … Additional strength should allow to to fight through contact and attack the rim more aggressively … Averaged just 3.2 FTA per 40 minutes showing a need to play more physical …

Outlook: Lack of playing time and production made his decision to announce early in the draft process that he would be staying in the draft a head scratcher … Benefit from the ability to develop in the G League and the fact that teams can draft him and look to develop him over the next few seasons … Despite leaving after just one season, drew praise from Coach Cronin for his attitude and work ethic while at UCLA … He had a loaded front court playing ahead of him with Jaime Jaquez, who elected to return … Would have been a projected first rounder with another season at UCLA, and enters the NBA projected as a second rounder at best … Could end up being a steal, especially if he lands in the right situation, as he’s a talented player, but his career could be negatively impacted by falling into a situation where his game doesn’t develop …

Notes: Measured: 6’6.75” barefoot, 6’8.0” in shoes, 8’11.5” standing reach, 203.4 lbs, 7’0.5” wingspan at the 2022 NBA Draft Combine …  A native of Long Beach, California … Attended Long Beach Poly …Rated 12th overall by ESPN and 247Sports and 13th by Rivals coming out of high school …

Aran Smith 6/9/22