Dejuan Blair - Draft Capsule

Pittsburgh Panthers v Villanova WildcatsDejuan Blair
Sophomore,  Pittsburgh
NBA Position: PF/C
H: 6'7, W: 265 lbs, Age: 20
Draft Express Profile

Of all the prospects in the draft, Blair has the most obvious strengths and weaknesses.  How he addresses the weaknesses will determine his upside at the next level.    Starting with the good, Blair is an absolute beast when it comes to physical strength.

He lives underneath the rim with his greatest strength perhaps being able to establish position and put the ball up within a couple feet of the rim every time.   He has nice touch when close to the basket and can finish through a lot of contact while mobbed by defenders trying to keep him out of the paint.    

When he establishes deep position he gets his shot up quickly and displays nice touch using reverses when necessary.   Unfortunately when it comes to more advanced post moves Blair limits show themselves.     He doesn't have a wide variety of advanced moves, nor does he have much range in the post.  

When not on top of the basket, Blair doesn't score, but given his excellent scoring rate, you can argue that Blair simply never settles for shots since he can establish position so easily at the basket.     Blair sets an amazing pick, so whether Blair can develop a 17 footer or not will determine how effective he is as a pick and roll player in the NBA.   He also needs a couple counter moves to his low post game to allow him to continue to use it at the next level.

Another great strength of Blair's is his ability on the boards.   He uses more than strength and size to dominate the glass as he has outstanding timing, technique, and fundamentals.   He's one of the elite rebounders in college basketball history when looking at rebound rate and not per game totals.    

Rebounding transfers to the NBA more directly than any other ability, and Blair's ability to box out and technique to tip balls should help him come down with a ton of boards at the next level.    His incredible intensity on the offensive glass will bring a lot of positive momentum for teams off the bench.

Blair also possesses quick hands generating a very high steal rate which seems unimportant, but steal rate marks NBA coordination level better than many other stats and has a stronger correlation to NBA success than more obvious stats.   Blair also blocked shots at a fair rate for a guy who plays below/at the rim.

Blair's limitations are obvious as well.   He's short for a PF/C at 6'7 and doesn't have the athleticism to play above the rim.   Make a quick list of effective at/below the rim PF/Cs in the NBA.   This places a pretty obvious ceiling on how much upside he has.  

As with many guys who dominate through strength/weight in college his strengths won't transfer as well as his weaknesses.   His lack of conditioning, lateral quickness, and any hope of defending guards on the pick and roll will make him a constant liability on the defensive end.    He struggles to even pick up PFs on the perimeter, and will be someone who you have to hide on defense initially.

Finally, sources have affirmed Blair's intangibles, coachability, character, and work ethic.   Everything on that front seems to be excellent.   I've heard he's already lost a good deal of weight in his training for workouts which could be the cause of his ascent on DraftExpress's mock draft where he presently resides at #10.

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  • The big concern with Blair is his weight. Why did he wait until after he stopped playing to actually get in shape.

    After losing nearly 40 pounds he looks great and still weighs 275. His atleticism has to improve significantly at 275 vs 315. If he can harness his weight issues he is probably a real contributor, if not he is Tractor Trailer, or Oliver Miller.

    I would love to go after Phoenix at 14 or Detroit at 15 to try to get both Blair and Mullens. IN addition to Noah, Thomas and Deng they could give us everything that we might need on our front line. Including trade flexibility.

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