Collin Gillespie: 2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report
A five-year contributor at Villanova, Gillespie is tough, savvy and can drill shots. Will that translate to an NBA future?
Rule #64: Never bet against a Villanova player.
Jay Wright and the fundamental factory over in Philly have churned out guard after guard who are undersized, lack elite athleticism or don’t look like your typical draftable prospect and overcome those odds. Kyle Lowry was once that guy, exceeding all expectations after being the 24th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft to becoming a six-time All-Star. Jalen Brunson is doing the same now, going from 2nd round pick to one of the most indispensable scorers on a Western Conference Semifinalist.
The list extends beyond those two. Ryan Arcidiacono, once undrafted, has played in over 200 games in a five-year career. Josh Hart, picked at the end of the first round, has played over 20 minutes per game every season of his NBA career and has evolved into one of the league’s better defenders. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Saddiq Bey, and Mikal Bridges are all outperforming their draft position.
So why make the same mistake again with Collin Gillespie?
Too often, draft coverage focuses on what players are not. We’re very guilty of that ourselves. For a fifth-year senior, it’s important to understand what or who the player and person is, as the impact they make on day one is far closer to the optimal outcome they’ll give in their careers.
Gillespie is a winner, a leader and one tough S.O.B. He has persevered through injuries to lead the Wildcats to the Final Four, had one of the most prolific shooting seasons in recent NCAA memory and is now looking to write his next chapter in the NBA.
Let’s compare two draft profiles via blind resume. Players A and B are listed below. Their final college season and career college statistics will be listed. One of the players is Gillespie. Let’s see if you can guess which one, and who the other is:
Final Season Numbers:
Player A is indeed Collin Gillespie. Player B is Payton Pritchard’s Oregon statistical output, which helped earn him a first-round draft position. Pritchard has been a steady performer with the Boston Celtics, putting out the exact impact he was advertised for.
Since moving to the NBA, Pritchard has moved into much more of an off-ball role. His ball handling and crafty finishing, along with his quickness, make for a handy tool when he needs to create his own or handle the occasional ball screen. But his role as a shooter, movement threat and floor spacer next to wing creators has kept him in the rotation on a title contender early in his career.
The same archetype is what we foresee as a pathway for Gillespie. He’s just as good of a shooter, perhaps with more diversity of how he nails shots off movement.
Two questions come from there:
Can Gillespie do many of the same things Pritchard does and have that type of impact in the NBA?
If you accept that he can, how high do you draft a player who fills those needs?
While Gillespie is an absurdly skilled shooter, the lack of athleticism is pretty clear. He finished his college career with over 4500 minutes played and only 6 blocked shots. He did not register a blocked shot or dunk this season. His vertical pop is very limited, and guys who test poorly in these categories rarely provide strong NBA careers.
But rare does not mean they never do.