Prospect Watch: Johnathan Motley

Johnathan Motley, a forward, drives against a defender at the game Friday against Stephen F. Austin State University.

With the San Antonio Spurs on pace for another 50-plus win season they will likely be picking pretty late in the NBA Draft. There are plenty of great options even in the 25-30 range for the Spurs and that doesn’t even include the overseas prospects that are expected to make a name for themselves as well. But the college guys are why you’re here at this point and this week’s prospect in Baylor’s Johnathan Motley.

He’s a potential Big 12 Player of the Year and a bit of a stretch-4 candidate at the next level. Here are his measurables to get started:

  • 6’9”, 230 pounds
  • 71.1 FT%, 52.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%
  • 17.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.4 APG
  • 7’3.5” wingspan, at least 9’3” standing reach (was measured in 2015)

Motley will have to put on some weight to play with the big boys in the league, but that is easily remedied in the weight room. His length and mobility will be huge on defense and he could be a slightly smaller ‘Dewayne Dedmon’ with better offense. While his three-point percentage is rather ghastly, it’s much improved from last season when he didn’t attempt any shots from downtown.

He has great moves around the rim and can turn over either shoulder with an array of moves including some baby hooks, fadeaway jumpers and he is patient in the block. He knows when to get the ball out and he has gotten better at finding teammates out of post-up double teams. However, his turnovers are up this year because he has tried to expand his dribbling game and he doesn’t quite have those skills yet.

His midrange game is strong like LaMarcus Aldridge’s and he has a nice little step-back jumper in there he likes to use as well. His high release point makes it a difficult shot to block and that will certainly help at the next level with more athletic defenders.

The Baylor Bear is a good defender who can switch on screens and guard out to the perimeter so he wouldn’t be too big a reliability on pick and rolls. He has shown that he is a great glue guy and is willing to work hard, which the Spurs staff will surely appreciate. He has worked to improve his post-game and his shooting during his short time at Baylor, so there’s no reason to believe that the same thing won’t happen in the NBA. He will be able to guard bigger power forwards and even centers if he can put on enough weight, but he is really able to cover the 1 through the 3 at the NBA level as of now.



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