Bennedict Mathurin: 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report
A really good off-ball scorer, Mathurin possesses the athleticism and pull-up scoring that could propel him into a primary role if he develops in the NBA
Big, athletic wings that shoot it at a high level always have value. Bennedict Mathurin out of Arizona is no exception. At 6’6” with a 6’9” wingspan and vastly underrated hops, he’s the premier 3-point shooting wing in this class. He shot 37% from 3 this year and 38.3% over his two-year career with the Wildcats. He’s got pristine form, legit elevation on his jumper and movement shooting upside that makes him the ideal off-ball scorer. With the exception of Jabari Smith, Mathurin is the best, most consistent shooter among all lottery prospects.
The label “3-and-D” often gets attached to off-ball scorers who have long arms and aren’t a disaster on defense. While Mathurin is an average-at-worst defender, he doesn’t stand out as a lockdown guy. He’s active and a surprisingly spry rim protector, but does not strike us as a guy you want guarding the other team’s best scorer.
More insulting about the 3-and-D label is how it belittles the offensive ceiling for a guy like Mathurin. Per Synergy, Mathurin scored 55 points on PNR pull-ups this year with an eFG% of 47.4% on his dribble jumpers in the action. That’s a better mark than other high-usage guards like Jonathan Davis, Caleb Love, Blake Wesley or Terquavion Smith.
Mathurin combines the low-risk impact of an off-ball scoring threat with the very realistic upside of a secondary scorer in the half-court. The combination of those traits makes him not just a lottery prospect but someone we prioritize over other prospects in the 6-14 range due to the fit he provides with any team in the league.
Mathurin surely began the season as a spot-up threat only. His athleticism popped in transition, but poor handling and subpar passing on the move were undeveloped. As the season progressed, he showed a great deal of growth off the bounce. His pull-up game improved, he got to the rim at a solid rate and made some intriguing passes on the move. Over his final 16 games, Bennedict averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists with only 1.7 turnovers, shot 50% from two-point range and got to the free throw line nearly six times a game. Those are fantastic numbers indicative of far more than a spot-up role at the next level.
So how does Mathurin unlock those traits within an NBA offense? First and foremost, a dribble handoff-based offense would really lend itself to positive impact. Mathurin is really good off handoffs, where his catch-and-shoot ability and alignment to the rim quickly allow him to be a threat on the move. When he’s trailed by a defender to be run off the line, his pull-up and secondary playmaking traits become useful.