NBA Position: SF
Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
High School: Sheboygan Area Luthern
NBA Comparison: Gordon Hayward
- Athletic, Tough
- High Motor
- Elite Shooter
- NBA 3PT Range
- Good Passer
- Rebounds Position
- Tweener; SF or PF
One of the more unheralded freshmen in the country last year was Wisconsin combo-forward Sam Dekker. As the season grew long he was able to continue getting better and assimilating to the college game. Dekker is not the typical freshman that dominates with athleticism and raw talent, but rather with poise, shooting, and the size to play both forward positions.
Athletically Dekker is a quality prospect at 6-8 215 lbs. with quality length for his position. He does not have the athleticism to take over a game athletically, but has average athletic ability for his position.
With today’s current NBA model Dekker has the size to play either the stretch-four position or the three at the next level. Similar talents like Chandler Parsons and Gordon Hayward have made impacts at the next level recently and Mike Dunleavy Jr. is another example of the type of impact that Dekker can have at the next level. When cutting to the basket on the baseline Dekker is able to finish above the rim with explosion. That is not a major element of his game, but an indicator that he has the athletic ability to make the transition to the next level.
On the offensive end Dekker is best without the ball floating around the perimeter and baseline with good off-ball movement. He plays with a good feel for the game navigating himself into a good position for him to score.
Most scorers stand and wait for the ball stalling the offense, but Dekker does a good job of staying active on the perimeter making himself a threat for catch-and-shoot opportunities.
Last season Dekker shot the ball well (37.4%) in spot-up situations scoring over a third of his points there. As a spot-up shooter Dekker has a good, consistent form and release with range out to the NBA three-point line and beyond. He is a fearless shooter that is proficient open on a catch-and-shoot or with a defender in the vicinity.
In limited minutes he shot 39.1% from three and was an overall efficient scorer from the perimeter.
Dekker is most effective in transition filling a lane and playing along the baseline. In transition he was as efficient as any player in the country last year with his combination of size, athleticism, and finishing ability. As a ball-handler in transition he still has room to grow, but off the ball he is as good a finisher at his position in transition as they come.
Playing along the baseline allows Dekker to take advantage of his activity and shooting ability with close proximity to the rim and the shortest distance from three on a court. Last season in spot-up and cutting situations Dekker posted a 1.12 PPP and shot the ball 44.7% from the field.
Off ball movement and a high motor on the offensive end allow Dekker to be a consistent and effective scorer, but he is not a proficient ball-handler.
At his position he does not need to be an elite ball-handler, but at the three or stretch-four he will need to put the ball on the floor against elite athletes and at this stage in his development he is not a quality ball-handler. In isolation and pick-and-roll situations where the ball is in Dekker’s hands he was only able to score 15 total points last season shooting 19% from the field.
Adding a more consistent handle even a one-to-two dribble step in move after a ball fake will open up more opportunities for Dekker on the offensive end to become a more complete player.
Defensively Dekker, in limited minutes, allowed 35.2% shooting from his man in all situations overall. He is not an elite defender, but is a quality team defender that can guard smaller fours and less athletic threes proficiently. He has a ways to go on the defensive end in terms of adding strength and working on his footwork to be able to defend smaller, quicker forwards, but Dekker has the size and potential to improve on that this season.
Overall Dekker is a prospect that does not leap off the page statistically or in highlight packages. He is an elite spot-up shooter that can play as a stretch-four in smaller line-ups getting out in transition and playing on the perimeter. In a more traditional line-up he is a three that can play the baseline cutting to the rim and stretching the defense with his shooting. He fits the mold of a Parsons, Hayward, or Dunleavy, but is not the play-maker that those players are today.