2017 Portland Trail Blazers NBA Draft Scouting Report – Ivan Rabb

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Previous Scouting Reports:

Dillon Brooks

With my first NBA Draft Scouting Report I focused my attention on the University of Oregon’s Dillon Brooks. As a Ducks fan, I really like Brooks and what he brought to the college basketball game, but he is likely a late second round pick and fairly repetitive with what the Blazers already have on the roster.

Today, staying in the PAC-12, I turn my attention to Ivan Rabb from the University of California. Rabb might just be the most mocked player to the Portland Trail Blazers in the past few weeks. He is generally slotted in the 12-20 range and could very well be a target of the Blazers.

Three reasons why I think he is on the Blazers’ radar:

  1. Positional Fit. The Blazers need solid big guys that can contribute soon. Towards the end of the season, the injury bug had decimated the Portland frontcourt and doomed any chance of competing in the postseason.
  2. Neil Olshey is very aware of the type of guy that he brings into the locker room and Rabb is a quiet, well-spoken kid that has been the leader of the Cal team the past two years.
  3. His Agent. There is no overanalyzing who a prospects’ agent is in free agency and the NBA Draft. Rabb agent is Aaron Goodwin, the same agent as Damian Lillard. That is something to keep an eye on that could likely play a role in the upcoming draft.

Rabb would have likely been a lottery pick last year, had he entered the draft. He chose to go back to school for a year in hopes of raising his draft stock. Unfortunately for Rabb, it took a bit of a hit when his field goal percentage slipped from 62% to 48%. He is now facing the prospect of sliding a bit in the draft. The question is, how far will he slide?

Scouting Report: Ivan Rabb

Hometown: Oakland, California

Height: 6’10”

Weight: 220 lbs.

Noted Measurables: 7’1.5” wingspan, 9’1” standing reach, 32.5” max vertical

School: University of California

Experience: 2 year starter, 65 games

Age: 20

College Statistics: 65 games, 30.6 mpg, 13.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 bpg, 54% fg

College Highlights: First-team All-PAC-12 (2017), Second-team All-PAC-12 (2016), McDonald’s All-American (High School)

Scouting Report:

Pros:

  • Rabb is an energetic and skilled rebounder. Over the course of his two year college career Rabb averaged 12.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. On the Blazer roster, the only player to rebound at a rate like that is Jusuf Nurkic who pulled down 12.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. Another facet of Rabb’s rebounding is on the offensive glass where he has averaged 2.9 offensive rebounds per game. The put back potential is sky high for Rabb in the NBA.
  • Post Up Offense. This is something that the Blazers severely lacked before the addition of Nurkic. Rabb is talented on the offensive end and has shown some strides as a shooter, but where he makes his mark is when his back is to the basket and he can back down the defender. Rabb will only add more muscle which will help him against bigger defenders.
  • Defensive Athleticism. In no way is Rabb a defensive specialist, or even a big man known for his defense, but Rabb makes up for some of his deficiencies with effort and athleticism. Rabb closes out on perimeter shooters well, and attacks the defensive glass.

Cons:

  • Sophomore Shooting Slump. This is the biggest question on the minds of every General Manager around the league heading into the June 22nd During his freshman year Rabb shot 61.5% from the field. That number dropped to 48.4% during his sophomore season. That drop of 13% is troubling, and likely to cost Rabb money. It isn’t the end of the world, but brings up some major questions about what Rabb can realistically become in the NBA.
  • Rabb comes in at 220 pounds. That is only 5 pounds heavier than when he was a high school senior and played at the Nike Hoop Summit. For comparison’s sake, Al-Farouq Aminu has played the majority of his career as a small forward and is an inch shorter than Rabb, yet last year the Blazers listed his weight as 220 pounds. That is a problem for Rabb. He needs to put some weight on if he wants to compete with bigger and stronger post players.
  • Rabb struggle in the pick and roll, which has become the cornerstone to most offensive playbooks around the league. He struggles against smaller and quicker ball handlers when he switches onto them. The athleticism is there, it is mainly a footwork thing at this point. As Portland has seen with another athletic, yet defensively inept big guy Meyers Leonard, that footwork doesn’t always come with experience.

NBA Comparison:  The comparisons last summer leading up to the draft were Chris Bosh. That’s the thing with comparisons, we tend to look for the best-case-scenario comparisons. Bosh would be the absolutely ceiling for Rabb. To reach that ceiling he would have to really polish his shooting form, gain a little foot speed, and be willing to fit into an offense that isn’t designed around him. Rabb will most likely be a back-end starter or a role player in the NBA, not a potential hall of famer like Bosh.

Where he would fit in Portland: Noah Vonleh came out of Indiana with a ton of promise. Last year, in his 3rd season in the NBA, he started to live up to a bit of that promise, especially with Jusuf Nurkic on the court. With the small sample size of potential, are the Blazers willing to bank on Vonleh as their starting power forward moving forward? No matter the answer to that question, frontcourt depth is one of the top priorities of any roster move this summer. Rabb could very easily slip into the backup power forward position and add a post offense presence coming off the bench.

Highlights:

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About Author

Garrett Thornton

Garrett has been a Senior Writer for Oregon Sports News for 4 years. In that time Garrett has primarily covered the Portland Trail Blazers. He has also started his series "Breaking Vegas with Garrett Thornton", picking NFL games against the spread. Along with his coverage of the Blazers and NFL, Garrett covers Oregon Ducks football. 

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