Devin Vassell Scouting Report
By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics
With InStat Basketball insight
Position: Wing – 2 / 3
DOB: August 23rd, 2000. (Typical Draft Age – 19.82 years).
Measurements: 6’7, 195 lbs, 6’10 wingspan.
Background: Hailing from Suwanee, Georgia, Devin Vassell was considered a 3 star recruit by 247sports. At FSU, Vassell went from a 10 mpg bench wing to a full time 28 mpg starter in his sophomore campaign. His production naturally jumped, but stayed quite efficient for his volume. His impact metrics remained very strong on both ends as well, as it was quite evident that the team was far better with him on the floor.
Injury Report: No major injuries reported.
Personality: From all indicators, sources, and reports I have come across, Devin Vassell is a very likable teammate that is genuinely coachable, hard working, and willing to play his role. He does not have an inflated ego, and seems to be motivated by winning alone. He is the type of guy I would like on my team, and is sure to make fans in interviews.
Athleticism: Devin Vassell is a plus athlete for a wing that runs the floor incredibly well with long, coordinated, fluid strides. He moves his feet well, gets up quickly, and has the fluidity needed to develop as a finisher (especially) should his contact aversion remain. Lacks ideal strength as of now.
Projected Fit: Starting Two-Way Wing With Some Self-Creation
Projected Draft Landing: Mid-Late Lottery
- High: Core Two Way Wing – Superior Team Defender & Mid Option Scorer With Solid Self-Creation
- The high outcome for Vassell would occur should he increase his volume from deep, add notable strength that allows him to diversify as a finisher, and continuing to play stellar defense. He could end up being the type of wing that you wish you could play 48 minutes due to the defensive impact, IQ, and lower usage scoring value he provides. Vassell could become a core two-way wing that is a major part of the gameplan on both ends.
- Medium: Starting Two-Way Wing – Great Team Defender & Mid Option Shooter with Decent Self Creation
- Rather average volume from deep and lacking (plus) strength limits his scoring volume, but he continues to play excellent defense and solidify himself as a top notch 3&D (starting) role player that you do not want to take off the floor. He stays efficient offensively and can occasionally create offense by getting to his pull-ups.
- Low: High Rotation 3&D Wing
- It is hard to see Vassell being anything less than a high rotation 3&D wing. His scoring & shooting could be average, but his defense would still contribute enough value to continue to put him on the floor for high minutes. Pretty great floor for a 20 year old wing.
Vassell’s Shot Chart (19-20) Via InStat
Playtype Data via InStat
- Range Shooting Versatility: A career 41.7% 3pt shooter on 5.5 attempts per 40 minutes, Vassell is most certainly a threat to score efficiently from deep (highlighted by his 7/7 effort vs Virginia Tech). He is a player you can do a lot with on the wing despite him not being a high volume guy as of now. He has the right off-ball shooting skillset where you can spot him up in the corner effectively, have him relocate, run him off screens, and even create off occasional pull-ups. The versatility he provides is intriguing for a guy you would want as an initial third scoring option due to his off-the-catch equity to pair with his dawning mid-range self creation. Vassell was assisted on 86.4% of his made 3pters, and was only assisted on 22.4% of his non-rim 2’s.
- Relocations: One area that stood out to me when evaluating Vassell’s shooting profile was his relocation skills. He often flashed intelligent, proactive relocations regardless of whether or not he was directly involved. These relocations can be as subtle as creating a better angle for a post exit spot up, or notable enough to speak for itself (see 2 below Florida clips). Finding off-ball wings that can make proactive relocations at a young age is super valuable. Vassell is going to help your team that much more by not being a stagnant & disengaged wing on both ends.
- Finishing Execution: Behind Balsa Koprivica (7’1 C), Vassell was the best finisher analytically on FSU. Shooting 69.9% at the rim (per Bartorvik) and finishing a team best 26 dunks, Vassell had no issues scoring at or above the rim when he gets there. Occasionally, Vassell flashed a euro-step and other advanced finishes in space. Furthermore, his finishing is amplified by his excellent relocation instincts when acting as a cutter here. He is also a very solid lob threat for a wing.
- Transition Play: Amplified by his defensive event generation, Vassell is an excellent transition player who finishes at a high rate. His 1.54 PPP in transition is no fluke, as Vassell takes any opportunity he can find to make a play in transition. He runs the floor very well and can handle in the open court.
- Ball Security: In the 63 games Vassell played in across his two seasons at FSU, he only turned the ball over 35 times. This led to him recording a very admirable career 0.6 turnovers per game on a 7.1% turnover rate. He is decisive and intelligent with the ball in his hands, and will seldom create disadvantages for his team.
- Developing Mid Range Self Creation: While Vassell is not a guy I would be using often to create shots right now, he can get to a rather solid mid range pull-up in a pinch. He does not create much space, but his high release and balance help him get off the shot in a myriad of scenarios. There is a solid base to work with here if you want him to create at a secondary (at max) or tertiary level, but it is just an added bonus to his skillset. Not something I’d expect him to hang his hat on, but it will have its uses when attacking.
- Finishing Through Contact – Physicality: One area that has been deterring for projecting Vassell as a creator is his contact aversion and lack of finishing strength. When he has space, he is awesome. Generating that space is a bit of an issue though. Adding strength could change his interior game completely if possible, and help create more advantages for him and his team.
- Free Throw Generation: Naturally, contact aversion and lacking strength around the rim tend to lead to a rather low free throw rate. Vassell is not an exception here, and will need to put on muscle if a team were to expect him to be a legitimate isolation or drive creator (not out of P&R). Career .225 Ftr – Only average at the line at 72%. One less consistent scoring method to hang his hat on.
- Volume: Not currently a weakness, but a ceiling hindrance. I would really like to see if Vassell can efficiently increase his shooting volume (and I think he should & will). If it stays at the level that he had at FSU, his ceiling is rather limited. I’d be comfortable having him shoot 5/6+ 3’s per game, as I think he has the talent for it. Low volume is fine for supporting pieces, but since Vassell has the potential to be more than that (core two-way), why not attempt to work towards that?
Opposing Player Shot Chart when Vassell is involved – great stuff, especially around the rim.
- Team Defense: Perhaps the best team defender in the class, Vassell is nothing short of excellent off the ball. He always seems to be in the right spot, always mentally present, and an excellent communicator. He is everything you want in a (20 year old) off-ball wing. An incredibly intelligent team defender on the wing is always a rare find, and he could thrive under a coach that really builds on this – as Vassell could be truly elite off the ball.
- POA Defense: While I do not project Vassell as a pure lockdown on ball defender, he does an excellent job at forcing difficult shots away from and at the rim. He projects as a plus on ball defender against wings and some guards. The fact that he adds on ball rim deterrance due to his length and propensity to alter shots is a plus and helps mitigate his shortcomings.
- Event Generation: An ever-present threat off the ball, Vassell excels at generating defensive plays without hurting his team. Intelligent gambles paired with incredibly active hands and timing are what Vassell hangs his hat on defensively, and there is no better demonstration of this than when he creates events. These events manifest in every possible way, including a myriad of deflections, blocks, and on/off ball steals.
- Rim Protection for a Wing: Vassell is an excellent rotating weak side rim protector. He gets up quickly and has the tools, IQ, and instincts necessary to deter and block shots at the rim. He does his best to make it difficult for opposing slashers, which is always admirable. Again, Vassell is the type of wing that will consistently make the right reads that will help your team, and that doesn’t change around the rim.
- Bulk – For POA: One area where Vassell can get advantages created on him is when he gets into physical contests in POA. This can occur when attacked by smaller, stocky guards (or larger bigs). He can get bumped off his spots and crumple to contact on occasions where his length is not enough. I would love to see him add some strength to help in POA. While team defense is the more valuable type in my opinion, if Vassell doesn’t bulk he will still be above average in POA as he develops.
I am firmly confident that Devin Vassell will be a wing that drives wining on both ends due to his IQ, incredible off ball defense, and offensive potential. He won’t be a high option scorer (likely), which will cause him to fall a bit further than I believe he should in the draft. There just are not many 20-year-old wings with his tools, offensive upside, and elite instincts, IQ, and off ball value on defense. I am typically not a fan of player comparisons, but I see him contributing value and creating advantages in a similar fashion as Mikal Bridges, another similar archetype wing I was very high on. Considering his recent play, I would consider this an incredible compliment. If you can’t get a high option initiator that drives winning, pick up a wing like Vassell that can be an incredibly useful and situation proof wing. Draft Devin Vassell and your team will be better.
Mikal Bridges was one of the bright spots on the Phoenix roster, and he is asked to do many of the same things I would be asking Vassell to do if I were an NBA team. While the competition gap is, of course, notable for this comparison (regression inevitable initially), it is hard to see Vassell not succeeding in a similar role. Fitting the same archetype as Bridges is admirable in itself, and if you can’t get a legit high option guy that can drive winning in the draft, a perfect team player with a larger ceiling to work with than most prospects is just an awesome pickup.