French youngster Damien Inglis could be a target for the New Orleans Pelicans if they acquire a pick and are willing to wait for him to come overseas. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
With news that the Pelicans are looking to trade into the NBA Draft to grab a small forward or center plenty of questions have been raised about the plan of the front office. Out of all of them though the most important seems to be which player, or players, have caught the eye of the front office enough to cause them to try to work themselves back into a pick. Instead of trying to guess exactly the player, Pelican Debrief has decided to just break down 18 small forwards and centers leading up to draft day (two reports will be posted daily) so that Pelicans fans will be ready no matter where or when the team trades into the draft and selects a player.
One of the more intriguing prospects in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft almost didn’t make it to this point in the process. The player is a young wing from France named Damien Inglis and his agent originally tweeted that Inglis would not be keeping his name in the draft shortly before the deadline for international players to stay in the pool. But just a few minutes later the news came that Inglis had changed his mind and some NBA team is likely to take the player drawing comparisons to fellow French product Nicolas Batum.
Weight: 240 lbs
Wingspan: 7′ 3”
Standing Reach: 8′ 11.5”
Max Vertical: N/A
2014 Stats (In Pro A France League): 27 games, 15.3 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 49.5 FG%, 38.7 3PT%, 72.4 FT%, 3.6 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.1 bpg
2014 NBA Draft Projections: Second Round
Physically Inglis is ready to step into the NBA and play immediately. His 6’8” frame fits right into the typical NBA small forward stature and his enormous 7’3” wingspan is going to help him make an impact defensively right away, even if it is only on the ball. What makes Inglis stand out from most 19 year olds though is the 240 pounds that he already has on his body. Most prospects that enter the draft this young don’t have anywhere near that type of build because a high school and college lifting program won’t allow for the growth. Since Ignlis has been playing professionally in France though he has been able to put on the needed weight to not get bullied in the post by the large men that roam the wings in the NBA.
Skill wise Inglis biggest strength is his defense where he combines his NBA ready frame with good instincts and fundamentals, making it easy to see him as a stopper. Inglis also shows some versatility on the defensive end of the floor thanks to his physical gifts, making it easy to see him spending some time on shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards in the NBA if need be, something very important in today’s game that often utilizes small ball. Also helpful on the defensive end is Inglis rebounding abilities. He rated very well on a per-40 minute basis this season in his pro league and he has always had good rebounding numbers throughout his growth. With rebounding being one of the primary traits that translates from league to league and level to level a team should feel comfortable knowing they will get a few rebounds a game from Inglis.
Offensively Inglis works best in the open court but he has shown the ability to find teammates for easy buckets when he handles the ball. At the start of his NBA career he won’t be asked to do much so his offensive rawness isn’t a huge problem, though he will find ways to score in transition and he seems to be someone who can be relied upon to make the right extra pass in the half court so he shouldn’t hurt an offense when he is on the floor.
The biggest weaknesses Inglis has are all on the offensive end of the floor. Most importantly his jumper is slow at the moment, which could become an issue against hard closeouts in the NBA. Inglis shot the three well this season for his French team at 38.7 percent but in the Nike Hoop Summit events he struggled to shoot, which could be a product of nerves, just a bad week or a product of seeing better athletes close out at him. For Inglis to be most effective, especially early he needs to knock down threes because he isn’t quick enough to go around defenders.
The other issue with Inglis is turnovers, though much of that may go away with more experience. Like many young wings, Inglis needs to tighten up his ball handling a bit and not make the tough pass when it isn’t there. He posted one of the highest turnover rates of any prospect in the draft this year so no NBA team should plan to rely on him for much creation at the start of his career.
Projected Role: It would be a surprise if Inglis comes over in the next year or two but once he does he should have a role as at least a 3-and-D type player if he improves his jumper. The comparison that seems to be floating around is Batum but that seems like his ceiling more than what is likely.
Information for this report was found at DraftExpress. To read more about Inglis and see his DX scouting report video head here.
Tags: New Orleans Pelicans