San Antonio Spurs Prospect Watch: Corey Kispert

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Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) reacts after he dunked the ball and forced a timeout by Alabama State during the second half of a college basketball game on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, in Spokane, Wash. Gonzaga won the game 95-64. Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

With the NBA’s return seemingly around the corner and happening in Disney, many questions about the NBA Draft are undoubtedly going to surface. In the meantime, we will continue to look at draft prospects that could go in either round or even find themselves on the team via an undrafted signing.

While college basketball is unlikely to come back, which means players will not be able to do much for their draft stock, NBA teams may be returning allowing teams to jockey for draft position. For sports betting odds, especially if the league returns soon, go grab a bet365 Bonus Code.

This week’s prospect to watch is Gonzaga junior Corey Kispert. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward made good strides each year in Spokane and was much better in his second year as a starter. He’s a sharp shooting wing who is excellent in spot-up situations and can shoot on the move a bit as well. Here are some of his stats from the past season.

  • 13.9 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG
  • 47.4 FG%, 43.8 3P%, 81 FT%
  • 126.1 ORtg, 98.1 DRtg

Kispert plays a smart game and has a high basketball IQ thanks to playing for coach Mark Few at Gonzaga. He’s a dead-eye shooter out on the perimeter and has a decent two-dribble pull up in the midrange to boot. The young man also runs the baseline well and is good in off-ball motion to get himself open. He could be a floor spacer at the NBA level, especially thanks to a quick and compact release that allows him to shoot over or before closeouts get to him.

Speed and athleticism aren’t exactly Kispert’s calling cards, but he’s a decent enough athlete to get by on offense and defense. He is smart enough to play good help and team defense. However, he is currently too slow to stay in front of many small forwards. The worst part is that he’s not quite strong enough to switch onto a bigger player and he’s definitely not quick enough to switch onto a smaller player so you can “hide” him somewhere on defense.

There have been plenty of players who came into the league not quite fast enough, but have made strides in that regard — J.J. Redick being most notable. With work, Kispert could become passable to stay in front of the less elite forwards in the league. Like I have said many times in this column, shooting can make up for a multitude of sins and that could come to fruition with Kispert if given the chance.

One of his biggest knocks against him might be that he doesn’t get to the rim — and therefore the free throw line — enough and he’s not a great finisher there either. He finished less than 57 percent of his small shot selection at the rim and that could be a major reason why he’s likely to be a second round pick or an undrafted free agent.

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