NBA Position: C
Hometown: Yankton, SD
High School: Yankton High School
DRAFTED NO. 43 OVERALL BY THE BOSTON CELTICS
Ceiling: Nazr Mohammed
NBA Comparison: Zaza Pachulia
- Legit 7-Footer
- Quality Rebounder
- Efficient Scorer
- Lateral Movement
- Perimeter Shooting
- Older For Class
Although his journey to this point did not start with the Colorado State Rams, that is where he was able to put everything together as a basketball player with the potential to be drafted into the NBA. Originally Iverson was with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, but after three years where he was not a fixture on the team he transferred to the smaller Colorado State team.
As a part of his transfer Iverson sat out a year where he was a part of practice with the team and learn the system. It also allowed him to workout and build much needed strength as well as mobility as a big man.
Iverson is a throw-back center with his 7-0 (in shoes) 262 lbs. frame. That size allows him to clog the paint and take up space defensively.
With that Iverson has the skill-set of a typical big man with that size as a great rebounder for his position and quality defender. This season in 35 starts Iverson had 10+ rebounds and in 25 games he finished with 8+ rebounds. Consistency on the glass is important for a big man with that being the primary reason they are on the court.
Playing for a mid-major, no matter the quality, creates a stigma for NBA teams on whether a prospect can play with NBA level athleticism.
In 12 games against NBA comparable talent Iverson led his team to a 5-7 record behind his 14.25 PPG (48.4% FG) 11.6 RPG 0.9 BPG individually. Those numbers were put up against interior prospects like Anthony Bennett, Alex Oriakhi, Gorgui Dieng, Aziz N’Diaye, Alex Kirk, and Andre Roberson. Playing against quality competition as a mid-major prospect is important to show, even in a smaller sample size, that Iverson can play against comparable competition.
On top of that Iverson led the MWC in free-throw attempts, offensive rebounds, total rebounds, and filed goal percentage. That in the same conference as Top 5 prospect Anthony Bennett among other very talented and skilled players.
Today’s basketball does not require burly big men because they are becoming more and more obsolete with this wave of “positionless basketball.”
Because of that teams do not employ as many legitimate 7-footers that are defensive specialists. Looking across the league there are teams that have built around talented centers as the centerpiece in Memphis (Marc Gasol), Indiana (Roy Hibbert), and Atlanta (Al Horford). It is a rarity to build around a big man, but it is also important to have one on the roster to create match-up problems and defend the few elite centers remaining in the NBA.
Iverson does not have the skill-set to be a centerpiece, but has the ability to provide a lot to an NBA roster.
He is known primarily as a rebounder and defender, but the offensive intangibles that Iverson possesses are equally as impressive. This season he led the Mountain West Conference in free-throw attempts playing through traffic in the paint. He does not need the ball in his hands to be effective as an offensive weapon. Iverson cleans up the offensive glass (3.3 per game) scoring off of put-backs and off-ball movement.
Getting to the free-throw line, snaring offensive rebounds, and knowing how to play off the ball is important for the transition to the next level. Iverson will have few plays called for him in the NBA to start his career and he will be productive despite that.
Playing strong through contact on the offensive end allows Iverson to get to the free-throw line consistently. He has shown the ability to finish with either hand in the paint as well.
Defensively, Iverson uses his size and newfound mobility to defend the paint. He is not able to stretch out and defend perimeter oriented forwards, but he has improved his lateral movement to be able to play more on the perimeter.
Iverson is not a shooter, but has improved from the 12-15 foot range. He has to be able to hit that consistently to get minutes on an NBA court with the required spacing on offense.
His mechanics are not broken like some shooters so he can work on that over the course of his first few years to gain that as a skill. As an NBA prospect Iverson has to improve as a shooter and add fluidity to his lateral movement to show teams there is value in a 7-footer.
With the Omer Asik, Nikola Vucevic, Enes Kanter, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, and other young true centers in the league today there is value in a prospect like Iverson to counter them.