Jon Teske Scouting Report
By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics
2020 Draft Age: 23.13 Years
Measurements: 7’1, 265 pounds, wingspan N/A (likely 7’2-7’3)
Background: Jon Teske is a 4 Year player at Michigan who hails from Medina, Ohio. He was considered a 4 star recruit as a class of 2016 6’10 center who eventually grew to 7’1. He was among the top 105 players to receive a standing invitation to the NBA Combine should it occur. Jon had a hot start to the 19-20 season, showcasing strong finishing and shooting upside, but often struggled against the very tough Big Ten conference.
Agent: Aaron Turner – Verus Management Team
Injury Report: No major injury information available.
Personality: While I have yet to speak with Teske personally, I have seen and heard that he is coachable, buys in, is professional, and has good self-confidence. He seems a bit laid back, but he definitely shows up to put in work on the court.
Athleticism: For a 7’1, 265 pound center, Teske is not a plus athlete by any means. He lacks notable speed & lateral agility (naturally), and has basically no second jump to pair with little above-the-rim value. This is quite a negative that impacts Teske a ton, especially when he is expected to rebound, protect the rim, and score on put-backs. His vertical spacing is quite poor, and he is not expected to be a lob target or (positive) catch and finish big. His athletic bright spot lies within his ability to quickly navigate P&R/P on the offensive end, as he relocates quickly enough to be passable at the next level he pursues.
Projected Fit: Pick and Roll + Pop (?) 5 | Paint Protector
Projected Landing: Undrafted | Eventual Mid Tier International League (though better to head over now because America’s pandemic future is still up in the air more so than other countries). He could get a chance to make an NBA team through the G-League if his shot suddenly blossoms, but if it doesn’t I would expect him to get mid level overseas interest.
Statistical Profile: Career 26.1 Net Rating
- High: Mid-Tier INTL League Backup 5 | Pick and Roll/Pop Specialist | Rim Protector
- Although he may start out on a G-League deal for his potential as a third stretch center (which I would advise against due to worrying limitations), the best way for Teske to maximize his value would be heading overseas, where he could stick as a bench 5 that can protect the paint and hopefully stretch the floor. Teske’s skillset, physicality, and athletic limitations would fit in much nicer here. As a pick and roll/pop specialist he could provide consistent value offensively if his shot develops to a passable level. Defensively, having Teske matched up against post scorers and roaming the paint will maximize his value. He could stick in the VTB, Greek A1, or even the ABA at best in my opinion.
- Medium: Mid Tier INTL Backup 5 – Short Term | Pick and Roll/Pop Big | Rim Protector
- Depending on Teske’s shot development, he could land in a mid tier international club that will bring him off the bench as a focused P&R big that has some shooting value. They could also use Teske as a physical rim protector (that can stop bruisers), roll man, and screener if his shot does not come around as much as hoped. His lack of quickness and bankable offensive skills keep him from having a long career.
- Low: Mid Tier INTL Backup 5 – Short Term | Pick and Roll Big | Rim Protector
- His shot remains <30% from deep, negatively impacting his versatility on the offensive end. He adds value as a screener, bruising rim protector, and roll man, but the lacking quickness and offensive skillset keep him from being a long term pro.
- Pick and Roll: Teske finished well in the P&R when his role was simplified. There were a lot of possessions where Jon showed his value when he could get downhill as a roll man and finish smoothly around the rim (below is an example). However, when he would stop off the roll and try to operate on the interior he did not look natural. Theres value to like in his offensive game when his role is simplified to a catch and finish roll/pop man.
- Willingness to Shoot: Teske is not shy about letting it fly from deep or mid range, often not hesitating to fire early in the clock off the catch. While his execution and consistency have been relatively poor, his confidence from deep is encouraging regarding his potential development moving forward. He only started shooting 3’s last year, and there is something there to build on.
- Pick and Pop Feel: Teske has a really strong feel for running the pick and pop. He actively finds his opening and relocates really well (despite athletic limitations) around the perimeter and mid-range areas. Although he didn’t finish his shots well here, there is definitely something here to work with. Being able to execute here will be the major swing factor in his offensive development moving forward. The fact that the feel is there is really encouraging because he will be able to get to that shot if it DOES develop.
- Free Throws | Execution and Volume: Teske had quite a low free throw rate for someone with his body and role. With just a career 37.8% FTr (recently 2.9 attempts per game, 1.9 career) and career 63.1% from the line, Teske is not exactly a threat to add value from the line. Along with his relatively inefficient post game (.81 PPP), this is worrying regarding Teske’s ability to utilize his physical gifts to create a bit of offense for himself with the ball in his hands.
- Inefficiency & Versatility: Apart from being an efficient roll man, Teske really did not stand out in any other category regarding efficiency. He did not finish plays at a high level, shoot at a high level, or playmake. I think it is reasonable to be worried about his floor if he can’t get his jumper consistent, as lacking a bankable skill with a fallback is not ideal.
- Shooting Execution: For every beautiful 3 that Teske drains in rhythm off the pop, there are always 3 more that aren’t even close and make you question if he’s a reliable shooter. His touch is quite poor, his base inconsistent when hurried, and he does not always pick his spots effectively. However, his shooting motion does not look that bad for a guy who hadn’t been asked to shoot much early on. Teske will never be an efficient volume guy from deep, but he needs to show that he can consistently bury open spot up 3’s at a near average rate to really have notable offensive value. Teske can hit a few spot up threes here and there, but it does not look natural 75% of the time. Needs mechanical overhaul in many areas, but not impossible to fix.
- Finishing: Teske is just a decent finisher for a big, and finished 67.9% at the rim along with just 47% around the restricted area. In conference play, his numbers really did not shine, only finishing 43% of his shots after his very hot start. He only finished 19 dunks the entire year, which is also quite worrisome. Comparatively, top play finisher Udoka Azubuike finished 103 dunks, while fellow play finisher Nick Richards finished 64 dunks and shot 83% at the rim. Teske’s tunnel vision around the rim causes him to suffer when he is not in a catch and finish role.
- Post Game: Teske has a very raw post game, and is pretty much limited to using his size to back down opponents to go for a little hook shot. He is not a player I would want getting as many post touches as he did at Michigan. He seemed to struggle to create against all the archetypes he is expected to see at the next level. Length, strength, small ball 5’s, Matt Haarms types, and everything in between found ways to bother Teske in their respective ways. At the next level, I would be hesitant to use Teske as a post creator unless major strides are made.
- Playmaking: Teske does not really provide notable value as a passing big, especially once he gets the ball around the rim. He doesn’t play well off doubles, nor does he combat his tunnel vision for scoring. He is not a super quick decision maker either, so I doubt he will be asked to create in the short roll much. I would not expect Teske to have the ball in his hands except when he is rebounding or finishing out of the P&R/P.
- Below the Rim Protection | Post Defense: Teske is the type of big that would be far more valuable overseas compared to the NBA. His physical rim protection (anchored by size, hands, and physicality) can make life hard for opposing interior operators. He finished this season with a 6.1% block rate despite lacking vertical pop or notable above the rim protection. He has shown strong anticipation and coordinated hands, which help make up for his lacking vertical.
- Fouling: Teske can often get physical without fouling, using his size and strength to keep himself vertical while absorbing contact. This will bother any post operator, as creating space down low versus Teske is a grueling and often fruitless task.
- Hands: Teske’s interior defense is augmented by active hands. He keeps them in the right position to make a play or deter interior shooters, which is a good way to help compensate for lacking vertical pop.
- Anticipation: Strong instincts for blocking shots are an absolute necessity for bigs that play mostly below the rim, and Teske has solid instincts. He can get a few blocks just as finishers begin to rise up, but once they are fully airborne he struggles.
- Analytical Impact: Teske finished with a +3.43 DPIPM and career +5.1 DBPM. Admirable numbers for a below the rim defensive center playing in one of the toughest conferences in America. He was key to Michigan’s success, although the pace of the Big Ten game is rather slow compared to most conferences (which should be taken into account).
- Defense vs. Non-Bruisers: Teske is unique in the fact that he has been great against similar archetype bigs (esp post), but his impact plummeted when not facing similar bruising bigs. For example, his best game (analytically) was against the great Luka Garza of Iowa, one of the best players (and interior operators/bruisers) in college basketball. While Michigan lost the game, Teske finished with a +20.1 BPM (9.5 DBPM). On the other end, one of his worst games (-2.2 BPM w/8pts and 3 rebounds) was against Jalen Smith, a very different type of big who finished with 18/11 and 4 blocks.
- Defending in Space | Perimeter Defense: I do not see Teske defending in space at a level that could help him stick in the NBA. He struggles on closeouts and cannot play tight due to very slow recoveries. He will be confined to the paint, which will really hurt him in the modern game.
- Challenging Shooters: Due to his athletic limitations, Teske cannot close on spot up shooters effectively or play off-dribble shooting threats tight enough to add notable deterrence. Smart wings & guards will be looking to get him on an island off of perimeter switches.
— Alex Brown (@AhbAnalytics) July 30, 2020
If Teske cannot contribute high value as a play finisher or post threat, he will really need to finish plays from outside at a high level to contribute notable offensive value. If you like Teske, you are probably buying his feel for the pick and pop eventually turning into shooting improvements and using him as a roll man and paint protector. The best landing spot for Teske is overseas, where I would highly recommend focusing on his shot development as much as possible while sticking him in the paint defensively and running him in lots of P&R/P actions. I think he could be a solid rotation center on a mid tier INTL club that could have starter potential if his shot makes genuine strides. Until then, his lack of versatility or a standout offensive skill is enough to keep me away from buying him as an NBA or Euroleague level talent right now.
Swing Factors: (3 level) Shooting Development, Role Simplification.
Here is an alternate view from Henry Yeh, a friend of ours at APB and a basketball professional who has done work with many organizations including teams in the NBA and WNBA. He was kind enough to share his work with us below:
Jon Teske #15 C
College(s): Michigan (2016-20)
Ht: 7’1 (216) Wt: 265 lb (120) Age: 23 Birth: May 4, 1997
Shoots: Right Hometown: Medina, OH High School: Medina
Physical: Big bodied center with decent mobility. Doesn’t exactly move like a wing, but shows the modern skillset. Solid bounce, but not overly athletic. Has the body to take multiple hits & bangs, but doesn’t have the base to hold onto position, & it shows in strenuous matchups
Intangibles: Excellent positional size. Small 5 upside. Pick & pop potential to force less mobile bigs to play him. Not terribly turnover-prone—height allows him to see any double-teams forming. Impactful when recovering in the paint, as well as guarding between ball-handlers & roll-men
Live Shooting: 2-part release. Issues with flat & inconsistent arc—wrist actions & elbow locks can be polished. Shoots a little bit like a sling shot
FT Shooting: 2-part release. Uses tip-toe, hip, & legs to generate power, but can be more refined. Follow-thru & wrist aren’t consistently on-point. His
FT shooting can be benefited from some toe-tapping to create better rhythm & momentum
Key Questions: Face-up game? Can he sustain efficiency in faster games? Improve put-back efficiency? Refine shooting? Already shows defensive coverage issues in college 3s—how will he fare in NBA spacing? Stronger base? Be comfortable with passing in traffic? Rebound with force? Projection: G-League part-time starter as a stretch 5. Long-term—overseas
OFFENSE: A big body with 265 lbs of mass that takes up space on the hardwood & underneath the rim, Teske’s positional size strictly makes him a 5, but a valuable 5 on modern offense. Not a shot-happy big—with just under 30% of his offense coming from range, he possesses projectable NBA range coming out of pick & rolls to force less mobile opposing bigs to step out. Not very polished from 3s because of his stiff upper body, but has room to be further refined—his shooting touch is best at elbow & FT mid-range. The rest of his offense occurs in the paint—has the size & strength to move opponents as he throws his body & go at them. Also showcased the ambidextrous hook touches to allow him to be effective on either block. More on strength & touch than athleticism & explosiveness as coach Juwan Howard loves to see him work—has the post footwork, patience, & composure that are better than most college bigs, but his technique is not overly advanced. Toolsy & lengthier bigs, such as Purdue’s Matt Haarm, don’t faze him as he muscles his way for space without backing out. Tough to be guarded, able to use his post moves to get to the rim instead of being contained & stuck. More comfortable with the ball when operating back to the basket than face-up—does not really have a face-up mid & high post game, which restricts his offensive versatility in those levels. Does not explode in space, but a solid dunker with both feet when open. Has the good hip mobility to roll or slip, but not a lob target & isn’t that strong in the air like he should, which diminishes his value a bit in tighter coverages—he can be benefited when playing with more experienced & faster passers. Great at getting offensive boards (2.9 per 40), but not a tip-dunk threat—either gets tip-ins or comes down before going back up, & the latter makes him vulnerable because of his average 2nd leap. Not the most comfortable passer, especially when passing to the interior. Does many things, but none of them at an elite level. His 3FG% has been stagnant the last 2 seasons (JR: 29.9%, SR: 24.6%) after attempting just 2 3s (all misses) as an underclassman—still has the upside to further hone his shooting, though.
DEFENSE: Teske’s imposing presence adds value & brings positional defense to the paint as his height makes it hard to shoot over & has the size to recover for blocks from all angles despite sporting relatively average length for 7’1. Uses body to engage the post & contains all the way against less athletic & slower bigs. Defensively, he’s physical, but not overly physical. Comparatively—has better strength on offense than defense; better strength on upper than lower body; & better strength on the ground than in the air. Bruising bigs can move Teske to spots & minimize his effects. Shows good timing for verticality & can block either as primary or as help defender. Close-outs are his biggest weakness due to his limited nimbleness & choppability as he repeatedly gets beat-up with hip flying open too soon & allows too many average moves (basic drives, rip thrust, 1-on-1s) to go by him at an alarming rate—most opponents know they have far better chance to get inside than converting over him. Better when guarding sets in space & has the size & great cubical coverage to defend between ball-handlers & the roll-men, as well as drop coverages. While he shows the ability to hedge, he isn’t that positionally planted as he concerns more about getting back. Also exhibits inauspicious discomfort on pick & pops—has better perimeter mobility than most 7 footers, but not great at covering pop sets at NCAA 3s as he’s just passable enough to stay around without being considered a liability, & such downside will likely be amplified against NBA spacing. Has average motor on the glass & rebounding rate has been stale all 4 years at around 14.5 TRB% (Mason Plumlee’s rate) with 10.0 TRB per 40—toughness is there in crowd, but isn’t assertive enough to firmly snatch initial rebounds as a portion of his rebounds comes from bobbled-up or loose balls that eventually get batted into his area. Will need to improve on rebounding technique instead of over-relying on size.
PERSONAL OPINION: While Teske has the NBA-ready size & good direction on playing the modern 5 position, he’s not exactly polished like he should. Big men take longer to develop, & I still see the outlook in him—his ability to be effective at pick & pop situations will be his calling card. Not really a primary project player, but worth taking a look to see how he’ll respond & perform in the faster & more intense G-League competitions.