2022 NBA Draft Player Profile: EJ Liddell

EJ Liddell has a strong frame, good length, and plays high motor. He combines his strength and power with surprising speed and explosiveness, especially on his second jump for offensive rebounds, backhands or shooting contests.

Statistics

Age: 21 years old

Height: 6’7″ (6’5.5″ without shoes)

Wingspan: 6’11.75

Weight: 243 pounds

Per game: 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 2.6 blocks

Per 40 minutes: 23.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 3.1 blocks

Shooting Divisions: 49.0% FG, 37.4% 3P, 76.5% FT

Advanced Stats: 59.8% TS, 0.236 WS/48, 11.8 BPM

Strengths

Who passed Good vision and court awareness, finds the man open when doubled. Excellent passer from the post, from the top of the key, and in the small roll.

Rim protection – Fantastic shot blocker and rim protector (2.6 blocks per set). His instincts and timing are excellent, and he knows when to challenge vertically rather than aiming for the block. Especially good as a weak side or chase shot blocker.

Defensive versatility – Switchable and fast on the perimeter, able to defend against most wingers (and relay guards). He cuts lanes of traffic, absorbs contact and recovers quickly to contest.

Rating – A solid position and face-up play. He’s a foul magnet and often comes up on the free-throw line (career 11.8 FTA per 100 possessions).

Shooting – Effective in pick-and-pop and as a point threat at the top of the fingerboard. Dramatic year-over-year improvement in efficiency and 3-point volume – same improvement from the free throw line.

Weaknesses

Plan creation – His grip is a little flimsy and he lacks the burst to consistently beat defenders from the dribble. Fight to turn the corner on readers

Cut – Slightly undersized for a 4 at only 6’5.5″ without shoes. The exertion and hustle and bustle made up for that in college, but against NBA sizing this downside will be more pronounced.

Athletics – Liddell doesn’t have an elite burst, quickness, or vertical burst, which limits his advantage at both ends of the court. Its maximum vertical at the 2022 combine was 38 inches – however, that measurement is bolstered. During the 2021 NBA combine, his standing reach was 8’10” compared to 8’7.5″ in 2022. His actual maximum vertical (35-36″) is about average for his stance.

Upside down – Liddell doesn’t have elite physical tools, which limits his cap. He projects himself more as a high floor/low ceiling player.

Adapt

Absolutely. Liddell has attributes that cannot be taught or coached, and he has made huge progress in his game each of the last 3 seasons. High floor as a rotation player. He is projected into his teens through his mid-twenties.

Notes from

Jae Crowder, Eric Paschall, Paul Millsap, Grant Williams

Sources: Adam Spinella, The Ringer, NBA.com, NBAdraft.net

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