The San Antonio Spurs are in need of front-court depth and could get some help in this year’s draft. One intriguing name that has come up, especially after the NBA Combine, is Auburn’s JT Thor. Like his namesake, Thor wields a hammer (dunk) on offense and could be a strong defensive presence as well.
The 6-foot-9, 203-pound forward has a wingspan six inches more than his height (in shoes, which is what I have listed here), so the defensive potential is through the roof with him. Despite playing only one season at Auburn and not having a particularly spectacular one, Thor showed out at the Combine and his measurables are pretty exciting for all the draftniks out there. Here are his stats from his freshman season in 23 minutes a game.
- 9.4 PPG, 1.4 BPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 APG
- 44.0 FG%, 29.7 3P%, 74.1 FT%
- 18.2 PER, 108.6 ORtg, 101.6 DRtg
Thor’s overall upside and defense are going to be what catches teams’ eyes initially, but his potential on offense will be his swing factor. While he did not shoot the ball well from deep at Auburn, he was solid at the Combine and showed solid mechanics that can be easily improved.
Auburn's JT Thor went 15/25 in the NBA Combine's 3-point star shooting drill yesterday, best among frontcourt players so far. Thor measured 6'8 1/2 barefoot, 203 pounds with a 7'3 wingspan and 9'2 standing reach. pic.twitter.com/tljpcwaPAs
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 23, 2021
With his wingspan, defensive IQ, and quick feet, he can stay in front of guards on the perimeter. He can also protect the weak side of the rim with some thunderous blocks and quick closeouts on shooters around the perimeter. He has also exhibited superb recognition on pick-and-roll coverage in regards to dropping, switching, or hedging.
As mentioned earlier, Thor’s improvement on the offensive end as a shooter will be his swing factor. He is already a menace in transition as he handles the ball well enough to run a fastbreak and is just as capable of running to the rim or spotting up in the corner when someone else is handling the ball.
Despite all of the great things in Thor’s game and his Combine showing, he is still likely a second-round pick. There have been some who believe he can be a fringe first-rounder, but he would be an absolute steal at 41 for the Spurs.