In the long, tedious hours that I spend going over college tape for this series, or just for personal enjoyment, there are instances where I get a certain mental “spark”. These occurrences usually pop up either if I fall in love with how that certain prospect performs, or if they would make for a perfect fit with a particular NBA team. However, in the case for the Utah Jazz and Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky, both categories would actually fit.
Unlike the majority of potential lottery prospects, Frank Kaminsky never faced any sort of high expectations throughout his basketball career. Among DraftExpress’s projected lottery prospects, Kaminsky and Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant stand as the only two players who weren’t McDonald’s All-Americans. It didn’t take until a 43 point performance against North Dakota during the middle of his junior year before he transitioned from an unknown into one of the most feared college players in the nation.
On the path towards capturing that label, Kaminsky has developed an offensive game that has probably made an opponent lose sleep, as they try to think of ways to stop him. But that goal has turned into an impossible dream for most college teams. As of March 16th, only one team (Georgetown) has prevented Kaminsky from scoring in double-digits. That level of consistency has helped lead him to averaging 18.2 points per game with an outstanding .629 True Shooting Percentage. In terms of potential draft prospects, that number would put Kaminsky just behind Duke’s Jahlil Okafor.
Unlike Okafor, a lot of Kaminsky’s NBA appeal comes from his work as a perimeter shooter. On 2.5 attempts per game, Kaminsky is shooting 40%, which puts him as one of the best 3-point marksmen in the entire country.
Kaminsky is able to be such an effective weapon because he oozes confidence whenever he’s spotted up at the perimeter. For a players at his position who are rarely in that spot, it’s so mesmerizing to watch him and know that he’s going to make that long-range bomb. While his stroke tends to be on the slow side, he’s able to counter that with a high release point and a smooth follow-through. The combination of all of those traits has lead to Kaminsky averaging 1.139 PPP (points per possession) on jump shots, according to Synergy Sports Technology.
Aside from his smooth shooting stroke, Kaminsky also excels as a post-up threat, where he maintains that level of confidence. Averaging 1.048 points per possession in post-ups, Kaminsky has displayed a knack of scoring from both the left and right block.
While in the post-up, Kaminsky displays a bevy of different moves. The 7-footer has an extremely smooth hook shot, where it seems like he pivots in a way where his entire body is directly facing the basket when he launches up a shot. Alongside that, Kaminsky has pretty solid footwork, that includes a smooth spin move that he uses to move his way towards the paint for an easy basket.
One of the issues facing Kaminsky’s NBA future concerns his potential on the defensive end. Although he’s technically sound in most facets of the game, Kaminsky isn’t exactly the quickest or most athletic big man, which has brought up concerns about how he’ll be able to guard some of the NBA’s best. However, that perspective is definitely lost on me, as he stands as a fundamentally sound defender that can contain himself against some of the nation’s best.
Regarding Kaminsky being an absolutely perfect fit with the Jazz, he could immediately become that stretch 4 that the team lost when they dealt Enes Kanter. Inside Snyder’s motion-heavy offensive system, Kaminsky could get a lot of open looks, as the opposing defense would be too focused on Derrick Favors or Gordon Hayward.