NBA Draft 2021 Profile: Josh Christopher’s athleticism could be a difference-maker for Nuggets

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The NBA Draft is just over two weeks away and teams are ramping up their evaluation process of potential prospects.

After taking a look at Josh Primo last week, Nuggets.com moves on to another Josh in Josh Christopher. The Arizona State guard has seen his stock rise during the draft workout process, which points to the fact that he’s making an impression in those sessions.

Here is an in-depth look at Christopher:

Background info

Age: 19

School: Arizona State University

Grade: Freshman

Position: Guard

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 215 pounds

2020-21 Stats:

14.3 PPG

4.7 RPG

43.2 FG%

30.5 3P%

29.8 MPG

Profile

Christopher can straight up fly and his natural athleticism is going to be enticing to several teams in the NBA. The key question for the Arizona State standout will be what is his fit in the NBA?

Christopher entered last year’s NCAA season as one of the top 12 high school prospects in the nation, but he had an inconsistent start in his sole season in college. The 2020 All-American is a decent ball-handler and can make plays for others, but he struggled with his shot at times – especially from downtown. He shot 18.8 percent from three in his first eight games for Arizona State but picked up significant momentum in his last five games as he hit 40.9 percent from long-range. He is also effective at slashing to the rim and had solid 3.7 attempts per game, connecting at 80.1 percent.

If Christopher can continue to develop his long-range shot, he could be an intriguing option for the Nuggets at No. 26. He has the tools, size, and speed to be a solid defender in the NBA, he just needs more fine-tuning in that area to become a contributor.

“I think I can bring that instant impact defensively,” Christopher told Nuggets.com. “Offensively, I have confidence and I think that goes a long way.”

What they’re saying

“A top-shelf athlete who showcases the power and explosiveness to immediately translate to the next level … Versatile guard who can handle the ball effectively enough to run the offense at the 1 but also move to 2 or 3 with the size and strength to play off the ball.”

- NBA Draft.net

“Displaying an impressive shiftiness with the ball changing speeds out of ball screens and in one-on-one situations, Christopher showed the ability to break down opposing defenses and create separation in the half court as well. Scoring 05 points per shot around the rim in the half court [37th percentile], Christopher had some positive moments as a finisher, but defenders played him as a driver as he scored 0.65 points per pull-up jump shot in the half court [29th percentile]. Attempting some tough shots at the rim and settling for some contested ones in the midrange, Christopher is still maturing as a decision-maker. He has intriguing tools as a shot creator and creativity around the rim, but significant room to improve as his jump shot and ability to make plays for others evolves.”

- NBA.com

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