Categories

Archetypes

 

Lead Guards

Two-Way Scheme-Changers

Two-Way Scheme-Changers have lead guard vision, handle and are generational pull-up shooters who make defenses chase over the top of picks, can score at all 3 levels and provide positive lead guard defense. Prototype: Stephen Curry

 

Athletic Outliers

Athletic Outliers have lead guard vision, handle and are elite athletes in terms of speed, quickness, vertical explosiveness and first step to get to their spots at will on the floor and who have the frame/strength to convert speed to power finishing at the rim through contact at high volume. Prototype: Russell Westbrook

 

Offensive Scheme-Changers

Offensive Scheme-Changers have lead guard vision, handle and are high volume efficient pull-up shooters who make defenses chase over the top of picks and can either score at 2 or 3 levels, but take defense off the table to some degree. Prototype: James Harden.

 

Two-Way Initiators

Two-Way Initiators have lead guard vision, handle and are capable pull-up shooters who make defenses chase over the top of picks, and provide rare positive lead guard defense. Prototype: Kyle Lowry.

 

Offensive Scheme-Breakers

Offensive Scheme-Breakers have lead guard vision, handle and are ideally high volume drivers/efficient finishers who provide plus defensive value but lack the pull-up range shooting to make defenses chase over the top of picks, breaking high-value offensive schemes. Prototype: Ricky Rubio

 

Volume-Drivers

Volume Drivers have lead guard vision, handle and the speed/burst to get to the rim/get into the teeth of the defense at high volume (and who are ideally respectable finishers) and serve as capable enough shooters to make defenders pay for going under picks, but they lack the speed to power dynamic athleticism of Athletic Outliers. Prototype: Dennis Schroder

 

3&D Initiators (Hill)

3&D Initiators are capable lead guard ball-handlers and passers who can initiate offenses selectively but are better served as floor-spacers offensively and bring plus defensive value as either two-position or point of attack defenders. Prototype: George Hill.

 

Wings

3&D Gravity Shooters

3&D Gravity Shooters are wings with limited ball skills (but some self creation in the post) who possess shot diversity but are mainly dynamic off movement shooters who command the gravity of defenses moving off the ball and who also bring defensive value either as versatile or point of attack defenders. Prototype: Klay Thompson.

 

3&D Point of Attack Defenders

3&D Point of Attack Defenders are wings with limited ball-skills who are efficient spot up 3pt shooters and bring defensive value mostly via point of attack defense but also with versatility. Prototype: Danny Green.

 

Two-Way Secondary Handlers

Two-Way Secondary Handlers are wings with a modicum of ball-skills via dribbling ability who don’t initiate offenses but can attack a bent defense, space the floor and provide defensive value as point of attack defenders. Prototype: Avery Bradley.

 

Scoring Secondary Handlers

Scoring Secondary Handlers are wings who provide value via self-creation scoring (enough handle to play in isolation/pick-and-roll) and can either space the floor off the catch or off the dribble, but lack the ability to initiate an offense/playmake for others and take a lot off the table on defense. Prototype: CJ McCollum.

 

Gravity Shooters

Gravity Shooters are wings with elite efficiency shooting off screens/movement to command the gravity of defenses but have limited dribbling ability and take a lot off the table on defense (especially as individual defenders, ideally they’re respectable team defenders). Prototype: JJ Redick.

 

Combo Forwards

Two-Way Primary Initiators

Two-way Primary Initiators have combo-forward size, initiate offenses regularly with advanced handling ability, create for both themselves and for others at high usage, and also provide versatile defensive value. Prototype: LeBron James.

 

Two-Way Primary Scorers

Two-Way Primary Scorers have combo-forward size and are efficient high volume shooters/scorers who can both self-create and create for others selectively, but lack the handling and passing to initiate offenses, while also providing versatile defensive value. Prototype: Kevin Durant

 

Two-Way Swiss Army-Knives

Two-Way Swiss Army-Knives have bigger wing/combo forward size and versatile but not an elite offensive skill (shooting, passing, dribbling), and are best suited as secondary offensive options who get offense within a team construct while also providing versatile defensive value. Prototype: Khris Middleton

 

3&D Versatile Defenders

3&D Versatile Defenders have combo-forward size and strength, are proficient floor-spacers in spot up situations from 3 (ideally can slash attacking closeouts), and provide versatile defensive value usually guarding the opposing team’s best offensive wing player. Prototype: Robert Covington.

 

Versatile Defenders

Versatile Defenders have bigger wing/combo-forward size and derive most of their value via sub-elite to elite versatile defense (and usually defending guarding the opposing team’s best offensive wing player) to compensate for a lack of floor-spacing acumen and self-creation handle on offense. Prototype: Andre Roberson.

 

On-Ball Versatile Floor Spacers

On-Ball Floor Spacers have combo-forward size and the skill to self-create on-ball via mid-post scoring and can space the floor off ball, but aren’t proficient on defense outside of positional size. Prototype: Danilo Gallinari

 

Off-Ball Versatile Floor Spacers

Off-Ball Floor Spacers have combo-forward size and operate best moving off the ball, leveraging floor spacing off the catch and ideally off movement to score without using possessions, and are capable defenders in space but mostly derive defensive value with positional size. Prototype: Otto Porter Jr.

 

Fours

Two-Way Power

Two-Way Power Playmakers combine big man size, strength and girth with high skill-level as self-creators with a power element to beat mismatches in the post (as well as shooting/finishing), adept ball-handling, and passing, while adding plus defensive value as aware space/team defenders and rebounders but can’t anchor a defense protecting the rim. Prototype: Blake Griffin.

 

Two-Way Big Space Playmakers

Two-Way Big Space Playmakers combine big man size with reasonable skill level as floor-spacers and passers on the move, but lack the handle to navigate confined spaces in the half-court and the power to beat switches inside, while countering with plus space defense and weak side rim protection despite being unable to anchor a defense on the glass especially as a 5. Prototype: Aaron Gordon

 

Offensive Power Playmakers

Offensive Power Playmakers combine combo-forward/big man size and strength with high self-creation skill-level (floor-spacing, ball-handling, drawing fouls) and have the power to beat mismatches in the post, but take a lot off the table defensively either in space, as a rim protector or awareness wise. Prototype: Kevin Love

 

Two-Way Skilled Floor-Spacers

Two-Way Skilled Floor-Spacers have big man size and are proficient floor spacers who can selectively put the ball on the floor and post, and have the feet to defend on the perimeter (especially on hard hedges), but lack the power element of  power playmakers in the post offensively and can’t anchor a defense as a rim protector or on the glass. Prototype: Nikola Mirotic

 

Offensive Skilled Floor-Spacers

Offensive Skilled Floor-Spacers have big man size and serve as floor-spacers with a modicum of creation via select post ups on mismatches and some dribbling and passing ability on the move, but take a lot off the table as space defenders and rim protectors. Prototype: Ryan Anderson.

 

Face-Up Handlers

Face-Up Handlers have combo-forward/big man size and primarily excel with perimeter skill handling ability at the big position, but aren’t proficient shooters or high-level decision-makers as a passer, and while capable space defenders, they aren’t versatile enough to switch onto smalls consistently or protect the rim. Prototype: Julius Randle.

Fives

 

Playmaking Defensive Anchors

Playmaking Defensive Anchors are generational five prospects who offer self-creation offensively in being able to serve as go-to scoring options (post scoring, foul drawing, face up ability) while also being able to anchor a high level defense on the interior protecting the rim and rebounding with elite awareness. Prototype: Joel Embiid.

 

Defensive Anchors

Defensive Anchors can fortify a high level defense on the interior protecting the rim and rebounding with elite awareness, but lack the self-creation skill and gravity (post scoring, face up ability) to have offense run through them as scorers. Prototype: Rudy Gobert.

 

Two-Way Playmakers

Two-Way Playmakers bring value on both ends of the court, offensively through high skill level (some self-creation, floor-spacing, passing) and defensively with mobility and awareness, but lack the positional size/physical tools of defensive anchors and thus take something off the table as a rim protector or rebounder. Prototype: Al Horford

 

Offensive Playmakers

Offensive Playmakers are outliers skill-wise offensively, armed with an elite playmaking trait or traits (self-creation face up fluidity, post scoring, passing) and can serve as go-to pillars of an offense to the degree that it offsets defensive shortcomings.  Prototype: Karl Towns

 

Physical Outliers

Physical Outliers are fives with elite physical traits (a combination of positional size, length, vertical and horizontal athleticism) who excel as rim-runners and lob catchers, but lack the skill of playmaking fives and the defensive awareness of defensive anchors. Prototype: Andre Drummond

 

Stretch Rim Protectors

Stretch Rim Protectors are “unicorns” who can space the floor out to NBA 3 and protect the rim defensively, possessing some self-creation in post but lacking the face-up fluidity and passing of other playmaking fives. Prototype: Kristaps Porzingis.

 

Energy Lob Catchers

Energy Lob Catchers are high motor activity bigs who generate offense by rim-running and catching lobs (ideally they’ll develop passing acumen), are relentless on the boards and can defend in space, but lack the positional size/tools of physical outliers. Prototype: Tristan Thompson.

 

Bucket-Getters

Bucket-Getters are “traditional” post scoring bigs who are ideally placed in high usage shorter minute bench roles on second units to generate offense and attack the offensive glass, and take both space defense and interior rim protection off the table defensively. Prototype: Enes Kanter.