The Brooklyn Nets selected University of Texas center Jarrett Allen with the 22nd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. How will the raw 19-year-old adapt to his new role in Brooklyn?
After sending the 27th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft — along with franchise center Brook Lopez — to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for former No. 2 overall selection D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov, the Brooklyn Nets have selected University of Texas big man Jarrett Allen with the 22nd pick.
Allen, who just finished his freshman season in Austin and just turned 19 years old back in April, averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for the Longhorns, showing his freakishly athletic ability around the rim.
With a near 7’6″ wingspan, 35.5” maximum vertical, and 9’1 1/2” reach, Allen certainly has the physical profile to be a rim-runner and diver in pick-and-rolls with point guards Jeremy Lin and newly acquired D’Angelo Russell.
"“A large part of the appeal with Allen surrounds his physical profile. Despite standing just 6’9 without shoes, a hair short for a center, he has a tremendous 7’5 ¼ wingspan, a 9’1 ½ standing reach, gigantic hands, and a 234 pound frame that will fill out nicely in time.”"
While he is a bit lanky right now, Allen certainly has an NBA frame and can fit nicely in an up-tempo offense head coach Kenny Atkinson will run.
Allen was most remembered for a dunk against West Virginia in Big 12 play that was recognized as one of the dunks of the year in the 2016-17 college basketball season.
So, how will Allen fit in Brooklyn’s current offense? For starters, the Nets immediately needed a young, up and coming raw big man they can develop in the modern NBA, after losing Brook Lopez this past Tuesday in a trade with the Lakers.
While Allen hasn’t developed much of a face-up game, both Givony and Schmitz see the raw skills necessary to be crafty in the post.
"“Operating with his back to the basket, Allen can palm the ball like a grapefruit, and has good footwork to go along with soft touch. He is capable of finishing with nifty hook shots and up and unders using either hand, sometimes after connecting a series of post moves together with impressive spin moves and body control.“Facing the basket, Allen is largely unpolished, but shows flashes of potential that hint at things to come down the road. He can straight line drive from the high post using his long strides, and showed glimpses of being able to knock down a mid-range jumper with solid shooting mechanics, rotation and touch.”"
When New York Post Nets beat-writer Brian Lewis asked head coach Kenny Atkinson on Wednesday what he was looking for in the NBA Draft, Atkinson answered with “defense and rim protection.”
With Allen’s wingspan and ability to close out defensive switches in the post, the Nets coaching staff will take full advantage of Allen’s physical tools as they polish his overall game.
Givony and Schmitz continue by saying:
"“With all that in mind, it’s unlikely that Allen develops into a prolific scorer early on his career, as he’ll undoubtedly need time to polish his skill-set, fill out his frame, and find consistency in his ability to put the ball in the basket from both the perimeter and interior. That will make his work on the defensive end especially important.“Allen’s tremendous combination of length, reach, agility and ability to get off the floor quickly give him a great framework to build off. He has quick feet as well, being capable of sliding on the perimeter in small doses, covering ground and staying in front of opponents.”"
While I thought a prospect like Indiana University’s OG Anunoby could’ve provided the defensively capabilities on the wing and perimeter athleticism, Brooklyn certainly addressed an immediate need — protecting the paint.
Allen needs to build upon his frame, but his ceiling should continue to skyrocket under a development-focused Nets coaching staff. Allen will have plenty of playing time with a Nets team looking to build off its young core of newly-acquired D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert, combined with the veteran leadership of Jeremy Lin.