Drew Timme: 2023 NBA Draft Scouting Report
College basketball's most recognizable star of the last few years has incredibly polished scoring in his bag. Is his game scalable to the next level?
As a guy who has received his fair share of backhanded compliments in my day, I tend to hesitate in using them to evaluate players. There’s one colloquial, long-standing trope in the draft space that gets thrown around which is the ultimate back-handed compliment.
“Prospect X is a great college player.”
The term college is a signal that their greatness will run out by the time they turn pro — that there isn’t a pathway forward to becoming a fantastic NBA player. That’s due to the stylistic differences between levels, where the pro game is built more on athleticism, size and skill combinations, shooting prowess, and having a game that isn’t built on out-of-style traits such as post-up aptitude.
Gonzaga big man Drew Timme has been facing this backhanded compliment for years. He’s been one of the faces of college basketball and the game’s best players for the last three seasons, yet he hasn’t been in a position to be heralded as a great pro. His game is built around the post-up, he hasn’t added shooting prowess to his arsenal, he’s not seen as a great athlete, and his skill level away from the basket isn’t as fluid as you’d think for an NBA player.
Done, right? That’s it… we’ve got Timme figured out.
As the great Lee Corso would say, “not so fast, my friend.”
Great players who have real size, fantastic touch, and are genuinely impactful basketball players deserve more attention and recognition as pre-draft prospects than that. Timme falls into that category, and his impact can be defined by his willingness to adapt his style of play to the league. As an evaluator, I’m not just looking at what Timme has done up to this point, but what traits he shows that allow him to evolve to fit in the NBA.
While his best trait is in the post, there are glimpses of other skills on offense that could make him a legitimate big man scorer and team player in the NBA. I’m actually not as worried about that part of his game translating. The real hold up for Timme could be on the defensive end.