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Ethan Happ

Wisconsin
  • (David Stluka)
  • Born: 8/7/96 
  • Height: 6’9″
  • Weight: 235 lbs
  • Draft Eligibility: 2018
  • Nationality: American
  • High School: Rockridge High School (Illinois)

Strengths

  • Fluid ball-handler in face-up attack situations. Can execute quick right-to-left spins in traffic and shows advanced dribble move ability with crossovers and hesitations especially. Has the handling coordination to operate as the pick-and-roll handler in 4/5 settings in a pinch in the NBA.
  • Rare body control for a big attacking the rim on the move with plus touch with either hand. Uses the basket on reverses well to shield his attempts from being blocked.
  • Advanced footwork in the post with drop steps and counters built into his game already.
  • Really adept passer on the move and out of the post. Combines rare vision for a big with plus decision-making. Makes high velocity skip passes regularly and can read defenses from any position on the court.
  • Excels on fake dribble hand-offs and has the hips to excel here at the next level.
  • Outstanding hands catching in traffic and makes himself available either in the post or on short rolls.
  • High effort screener who can really read defensive pick-and-roll coverages (slip opportunities) and dives smartly and quickly to the basket making himself available.
  • Intelligent and instinctual player, especially on the offensive glass where he’s incredibly quick to ball.
  • Light on his feet defending the perimeter and has some twitch to his game quickly reacting to perimeter ball-handlers.
  • Active hands swiping at balls and stays aggressive playing passing angles on-ball.
  • Technically sound defender who stunts in pick-and-roll and flinches at attacking guards before recovering to his man to halt dribble-penetration.
  • Solid awareness boxing out and attacking the glass. Quick to the ball.

Weaknesses

  • A five in a four’s body in terms of height, length and girth. Below the rim athlete vertically with limited explosiveness.
  • Relies on dropping his shoulder and running through college big men a fair amount and wont have the same physical advantage at the next level.
  • Unproven jump shooter with rigid form relying solely on his upper body without any leg input. Loads up from the side of his body/head instead of bringing his elbow in. Limited volume as a floor spacing and is a poor free throw shooter.
  • Plays too high/upright defending in space at times, reducing his lateral explosiveness and allowing him to get dislodged easier.
  • Gets moved off his spots in the post and on the glass defensively by bigger players. Can he hold up on the interior for stints in the NBA?
  • Fundamental defender who contests vertically but athletic players can explode right over the top or through him on rim contests, knocking him backwards due to a lack of lower body strength and explosiveness.

Bottom Line

The ultra-productive Happ is one of the stranger prospects to come around in some time, possessing a rare package for a big in terms of handle, passing, awareness, coordination and capable space defense, but with one glaring weakness in his shooting. If Happ could space the floor he could play some four at the next level with his perimeter skill in being able to attack closeouts and pass on the move, but if his jump shot never develops he’s likely a backup five only given his lack of physical tools and size. Happ could be productive in a niche backup role as a short-roll dynamo surrounded by floor spacing in a more skilled, less vertically explosive iteration of Jordan Bell.

— Cole Zwicker, 11.1.17

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