In a time when size and shooting are prioritized in the NBA, forward Taylor Hendricks appears to check those boxes and more. A one-and-done prospect, Hendricks has several intriguing aspects that make selecting him a safe bet for any NBA team.
Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft Profile
Hendricks is a 6-foot-9, 210-pound combo forward from the University of Central Florida, playing alongside his twin brother, guard Tyler Hendricks. A four-star prospect from The Sunshine State, the first-year has turned many heads in the NBA Draft world. He put up 15.1 points, seven rebounds, and nearly two blocks per game this season while shooting 48% from the field, 39% from three, and 78% from the free-throw line. He led the Knights to a 19-15 record, and his strong play earned him spots on the 2022-23 All-AAC and AAC All-Freshman teams.
Hendricks’s athleticism sticks out immediately on both ends. His highlights include a mix of emphatic swats and steals that lead to electrifying fast breaks. While Hendricks is solid as an on-ball defender, his blocks and steals also come from the help side. He goes up for second-chance points with ease and always looks to finish with force. He has also shown flashes of a decent mid-range and post-up game, further adding to his offensive versatility. Hendricks’s motor will be key in the NBA, where offenses love to pick up the pace.
Aside from his jump-out-of-the-gym ability, Hendricks is just as impactful from the outside. He drilled 61 of 155 three-point attempts throughout the season, primarily off the catch. Some notable performances include a 4-of-5 showing from three en route to 21 points against Samford, as well as going a perfect 3-of-3 from distance against Tarleton State (finishing with 16 points).
Hendricks can also disrupt on the perimeter, altering opposing three-point attempts with his length or staying quick on his feet to block a shot near the rim. It’s a welcome sign for a forward who excels at protecting the paint, and it aids in his case as a defensive stopper within the half-court.
It’s clear that Hendricks can score from anywhere. His impressive shooting and defense make him a very good fit in today’s league. His frame is just enough to meet the requirements of a typical NBA four, but his status as a combo forward helps his case in terms of versatility in lineups, with the possibility of playing center in small-ball groups.
Despite Hendricks’s athleticism and shooting, there are concerns about his nimble 210-pound frame. Hendricks needs to spend time in the weight room to avoid being pushed around inside, considering that he cannot rely on his vertical alone in a league filled with defensive demons in their own right.
Additionally, the majority of Hendricks’s opportunities came off the catch, so an improvement in creating his own shot will be vital to his success. And despite his athleticism, Hendricks still struggles with his finishes, oftentimes getting blocked or missing gimmes at the bucket. The catch-and-shoot game and leaping abilities can only take him so far, so Hendricks will need to add to his bag in order to find true success among other rookies.
NBA Player Comparison
Jerami Grant. Both 6-foot-9 wings, Hendricks and Grant are dynamic scorers from the perimeter who can hold their own defensively. Hendricks also possesses similar finishing abilities to Grant, either rising up for dunks or getting around shot blockers just enough with his vertical.