Welcome back to LWOS NBA Draft Coverage, the column that brings you player profiles for the next crop of professional basketball players that are likely to be selected in the upcoming draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow us on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical profiles and scouting reports. Check out our complete coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft. Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for all things 2017 NBA Draft!
This Ivan Rabb NBA Draft profile features one of the most intriguing big men in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft.
Ivan Rabb – 6’10”, Forward, University of California, 20 Years Old
Ivan Rabb is an American forward from the University of California. He will likely be a mid-late lottery pick in the upcoming draft. Rabb spent two years with the Golden Bears and averaged 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game in his sophomore season. He shot 48.4 percent from the field goal and 40 percent from three-point range last season. Rabb was the top recruit out of high school in 2015 and a high school All-American. In college, he was Second Team All-Conference in the Pac-12. Also, he participated and won a gold medal with a perfect USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team in 2013. Rabb has a pedigree going into the draft and teams have him play for a long time. NBA squads are eager to finally get a shot at landing him and won’t let him fall too far down in the draft.
Rabb wants to expand and he has a stronger foundation than other prospects. Rabb’s 6’10” height and 7’2” wingspan coupled with his mobility make him a dangerous two-way player. He is comfortable in the post, where he uses 38.4 percent of his possessions. He is also comfortable a primary offensive option, putting up a 20 percent usage rate in his freshman year, which increased to 24 percent last season. Cal played the second slowest pace in the Pac-12 last year. But in the modern NBA, Rabb will need to use his speed, agility, explosiveness, and physical length much more to his advantage. Rabb has soft hands and good awareness which he used to average 1.5 assists as a big man last year. He also attempted 7.4 free throws per 40 minutes. Rabb pulled down 12.8 rebounds per 40 minutes last season; he has the fundamentals to compete on the glass in the NBA.
Rabb’s 220-pound frame is small for the NBA, so he’ll need to add extra weight to compete and prevent injuries. His percentages went down after his usage increased. He had a 65 percent true shooting percentage in his freshman season, but that dropped to 55 percent last season. Rabb struggled to score against post defenders, too. Outside the paint, he connected on just 38 percent of his 58 jump shots. Also, he shot 8-of-20 from behind the three-point line. He only made 66.6 percent of his free throws over his college career. Most of Rabb’s weaknesses are a part of his performance rather than his abilities or fundamentals. His skills have not translated into consistent production in his second year at Cal, and teams have noticed.
Do not ignore the skills and physical gifts of Rabb. In the right setting, he has performed better than most draft prospects and competed for a longer time. His achievements prove that he has the potential and experience to be an NBA player. Teams will select him because he is a safe bet. Rabb is polished enough to contribute, but he’s also inconsistent enough to cause NBA teams to worry. The question is about the player’s mindset. Will Rabb be able to perform well against elite talent and will he work enough to expand his game? Meanwhile, he has to perform well in the areas he is accomplished in order to keep teams interested in him. Teams are interested in multi-dimensional players, but NBA teams still need specialist players to be successful.
NBA Player Comparison
Rabb recently compared himself to Chris Bosh. It is an accurate comparison, according to reports from scouts. Like Bosh, he has good basketball IQ, solid footwork, and multiple offensive skills, but he doesn’t rely on or possess explosive athleticism. Rabb also has drawn comparisons to Kevin Garnett and even P.J. Brown. He will have to rely on his length in the NBA and develop better offensive moves to stay relevant. Like Garnett and Bosh, he could flourish as a pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll threat. Also, like these two, he can put the ball on the floor and create offense. If he adds muscle to battle opposing teams’ stronger big men – like Bosh and Garnett did early in their careers – he will have an easier time finding his offense.