Draft Profile: Jarrett Allen Has Tools To Be An NBA Starter

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Another name that has been linked to the Hawks in several mock drafts is Texas big man Jarrett Allen.  To learn more about him, we spoke with Cody Daniel (@CodyDanielSBN) with Burnt Orange Nation:

What are Jarrett’s strengths?

Jarrett Allen’s biggest strength may be his upside. At this point in his progression, there isn’t a single aspect of his game that’s dominant, but his excellent tools and flashes of potential in various areas make him an intriguing prospect for today’s NBA. 

Allen’s above average athleticism is apparent around the rim on both ends of the floor, and he’s already flashed his potential as a quality, back-to-basket offensive option. When he’s locked in, Allen’s length can allow him to become a high-level rim protector and an above average rebounder. When it’s all put together and polished, Allen certainly looks the part of a future NBA starter. 

How does his game translate to the NBA?

If developed properly, Allen has the tools to blossom into an ideal modern-day center. He’s still considerably rough around the edges, but Allen can excel in up-tempo situations as a rim runner, use finesse to score around the rim, and possesses the potential to stretch the floor a bit. Additionally, when he’s engaged, Allen can defend multiple positions and protect the rim at a high level.

That said, this is operating under the assumption that he’ll develop as expected, but there’s still plenty of holes in his game at this point.

What can he do to improve?

For starters, Allen’s motor runs hot and cold and when he’s not engaged, his weaknesses are magnified. Among Allen’s most glaring weaknesses is his strength and toughness, or lack thereof. Whether he’s playing forward or center at the next level, he’ll be pitted against a much more physical level of competition and until Allen bulks up and learns to remain in an aggressive, attack mode during games, he’s going to get bullied in the paint quite often. 

Furthermore, Allen’s overall feel for the game and basketball IQ need some considerable improvement and until then, even utilizing his strengths will be a far more difficult task than it was in the Big 12.

What style of play suits him best?

For the first year or two of his professional career, much of Allen’s productivity will likely come as a rim runner in transition or out of the pick-and-roll. He’s quicker than your average big man and runs the floor really well, which will aid in gaining a step on defenders if he can prove to be a halfway decent mid-range option, as he should be.

In a more long-term sense, Allen has tremendous potential as a back-to-basket offensive option, but he’ll need to bulk up and improve his basketball IQ considerably before he becomes a consistent factor in that regard.

To which current NBA player would you compare him?

It’s difficult to project the kind of talent Allen can become at the next level because his lone season at Texas was less than ideal. A modern-day center, Allen played out of position as a power forward in Austin in an offense without a competent point guard and sub-par shooting, so he likely fills a completely different role with a completely different impact a season or two from now.

That said, he seems to be a more athletic Cody Zeller with a higher two-way ceiling, but his game may look completely different once he’s in an offense that isn’t built for him to fail.