NBA Comparison: Ryan Hollins
Strengths: Spalding will enter the NBA with his size, length and physical talent as his main selling points … A high level "wiry" athlete with good ability to run the floor … He was a steals and block machine his junior season in 2017-2018, averaging 1.5 spg and 1.7 bpg… Standing at 6-10 with a formidable wingspan, he can be a presence and potentially become a defensive specialist in the pros … He made strides this past season with his jump shot and scoring proficiency, shooting at a 54.3 field goal percentage clip … Spalding matured well stepping into the starting role this past year after serving as a reserve his first two seasons … With those three seasons of experience as a starter and reserve, Spalding will enter the draft with experience of playing high competition basketball against some of the top programs in the country (Duke, UNC, Virginia etc.) … At 21 and without having had great skill development, still may have some untapped potential …
Weaknesses: Didn’t develop into much as an offensive player, but some of that could be due to Louisville’s system … His post game remains limited … Lack of consistency and desire are two of scouts big criticisms regarding Spalding … He only logged one season as a starter and his Cardinals didn’t make it to the NCAA Tournament so he is lacking serious, top level postseason experience … His offensive numbers never came around this season to star levels, only hitting on 26 percent of threes and 64 percent of free throws … He was a bit too undisciplined at times on defense, with 13 games last season of four or more fouls … Needs to add more strength and bulk to his frame to contend with NBA bigs …
Overall: Spalding’s athleticism and freakish length on the offensive and defensive end have many thinking he could be the steal of the draft… He has already established himself as a solid rebounder, shot blocker and length defender, but his offensive skillset needs to be polished up and his face up scoring is not ready for the next level.
Notes: Measured: 6′ 9” barefoot, 6′ 10.25” in shoes, 215.4 lbs, 7′ 4.75” wingspan, 9′ 1” standing reach, 5.55% body fat, 9.25 inch hand length at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine … Spalding is a Louisville native so he didn’t need to travel far to play college basketball … He was the team’s second leading scorer (12.3 points per game) and leading rebounder (8.7 rebounds per game) in his junior year … Chose Louisville after offers from Indiana, Tennessee, Clemson and Xavier … He was a three-time All-ACC Honorable mention and three-time All-ACC Academic team choice … His 7-4.75 wingspan was sixth-best among all participants at the NBA Combine.
Matthew Harvey 6/15/18
June 10, 2014
January 7, 2014