Isaiah Joe – Scouting Report by Zach Smith

Isaiah Joe

2020 draft age: 21 years old

Measurements: 6’4 ½ ” Height / 170.5lb / 6’7 ½” Wingspan

Agent: Mike Conley Sr. of MMG Sports Management

Advanced Stats: 10 AST% / 2.2 STL% / 275 three-point attempts on 78.7% assisted

54.4 TS% on 24.2 USG%

Projected Initial Value: -4.1 (Average-Three-Year BPM)

Projected Annual Monetary Value: $2,508,999 (Positive Value at or after the 18th pick)

Background: Started playing basketball at 3 years old… Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year in 2017-18… 3.76 high school GPA… Ranked as 4 star #28 best shooting guard in 2018 class… Starts every workout with form shooting… Credits father as his shooting coach… Planned on returning to Arkansas for junior year, but cancellation of fall sports due to Covid-19 made him reverse course… Majored in finance and investment management…

Personality: Very introspective with his game… Understands there are reasons for missed shots, can break down issues with mechanics… Vocal leader on the court… Calls out switches and play calls…

Injury History: Missed 6 games to knee injury, underwent right knee arthroscopic debridement (KAD) surgery surgery… KAD surgery common for reducing symptoms of arthritis… removing excess cartilage or tissue… Was not 100% for ≈ 11 games…

Athleticism: Solid change of direction… Plus footwork when on the move… Vertical lift is not impressive… Moves well laterally, not extraordinary, but good… Did not participate in combine strength and agility drills… 9th lowest body fat percentage out of 22 guards… 8th highest wingspan out of 22 guards… Only 3 dunk attempts on the year… Has not added muscle at Arkansas (Reported to weigh 170 in high school)

Projected Fit: Floor spacing wing… operates through off-ball movement… tertiary playmaker…

Projected Draft Landing: Floor is pick #34 to Philadelphia… Likely drafted in the 20s… Playoff contenders will find immediate value in him…

Career Projections:

High: High Volume and High Efficiency Shooter, Spot Secondary Playmaker, Fulltime Starter

He is an elite floor spacer that does a great job of keeping the attention of defenders with his off-ball shooting off movement. He can run the pick and roll occasionally when attacking mismatches. He will be very successful in downhill actions like DHOs, as well as be a capable pick and roll defender. On defense, he will be a good team defender and on-ball defender. He may still get caught up on some screens, but for the most part he will be sufficient.

Medium: High Volume and Efficiency Shooter, Tertiary Playmaker, Backend Starter

His volume carries over to the NBA and his efficiency improves with his percentages from behind the arc. He does well running off screening actions. He does not offer a ton of value in terms of on-ball creation, but can make the correct pass when put in the position to. He will be a lead guard off the bench or a fifth starter. On defense, he may struggle at times due to his limited athleticism, but his basketball IQ does help him out.

Low: High Volume and Low Efficiency Shooter off Bench

His shooting percentages carry over to the NBA and do not improve. He translates to a high volume, low efficiency wing scorer. The passing does not translate to the NBA. He does not get downhill well because of his lack of legitimate floor spacing. On defense, he is still decent at staying with stationary wing shooters, but struggles to guard on-ball in point of attack situations. If he struggles to add weight, he will be a poor pick and roll defender because he will just get blown up by screening actions.

Offense:

Strengths:

Shooting: Shooting is Isaiah Joe’s main translatable skill. He has legitimate range on his shot, out to 25-30 feet. His release speed is on the quicker side. He can get his shot off with a defender in his space. There are some mechanical problems with his lower body. His feet are angled slightly to his left and not pointed at the rim. He also compensates with his legs for power on his jumpshot. He goes pigeon toed when he loads. This is not necessarily an issue because a very prominent shooter, Steph Curry, goes pigeon toed as well. His upper body mechanics are solid and rather consistent. The shots he misses tend to be either short or long rather than left or right pointing to his timing, release point, and lower body as the main causation. He did miss a lot of shots at Arkansas, over 341 misses from three during his 60 career college games. He only 34.2% from three this past season, but his volume was much more impactful than his efficiency at the collegiate level. He took 10.6 threes per game during his sophomore year. The ability to get that many shots off when defenses know that shooting is your go to skill is impressive. On top of that, it showed that his coaching staff trusted him with just about every shot he took, even when he was missing. The green light from the coaching staff is a strong tell for elite shooting.

Off-Ball Movement: Isaiah Joe does a great job of relocating without the ball. He manages to do this with a high basketball IQ and quick change of pace and direction. He uses V-cuts and L-cuts extremely well to get to the ball. He may not create a ton of space with those specific cuts, but he uses them to create triple threat opportunities. One issue that is prevalent with a lot of younger prospects is stagnation off the ball. Joe refuses to remain dormant when the ball is not in his hands. He is always cutting through the paint, running off sporadic flare and down screens, and continuing to use those V-cuts. He also understands the power of his shooting gravity and uses it to his advantage. If he is on the ballside and sees a pick and roll action coming to fruition on his side of the floor, he will run through to the backside and drag his defender with him.

Triple Threat: Isaiah Joe creates out of the triple threat with a few skills. He uses a combination of his off-ball movement, shooting gravity, and footwork to create space out of the triple threat, whether it be going toward the rim or behind the three-point line. Using his off-ball movement, he creates advantage opportunities before he even has the ball. Immediately once he catches the ball, defenders are on him due to his ability to shoot the deep ball. He gets overplayed frequently off the catch. A clear example of this is the hard closeouts that he faces. This opens up three clear moves. He either goes to a side step, step back, or gets downhill for the floater. He takes long steps rather than having the quicker first step. He can create out of the triple threat on a three dribble max due to those long steps.

Areas of Improvement:

Passing Isaiah Joe is an underrated passer. He is not and will not be a primary creator. That is not his role. He does have very real potential to be a tertiary playmaker and could possibly be a secondary playmaker in spot minutes against reserves. He does make solid reads, although he does not pass others open frequently. He is a reactive passer rather than a proactive passer. He had a 1.0:1.0 assist to turnover ratio. He does a good job of hitting the short roll out of the pick and roll. This works especially well in the NBA when defenses use drop coverage. He will have more space to make these reads. In transition, Joe does a good job of being decisive with the ball.

Ball Handling: Isaiah Joe needs to improve his ball handling. aw He does not do a great job of breaking down defenders in isolation. His handle needs to be both lower and quicker. He is most effective when he takes one to two dribbles off movement. He has rather basic dribble moves, sticking to his crossover and in and out for the most part. Longer strings of dribble combinations typically do not result in great north and south progress for him. His handle is passable enough to be sufficient in spot pick and roll minutes.

Attacking the Rim: Isaiah Joe does not do a very good job of getting downhill to the rim. He only took 22 shots at the rim during his sophomore year at Arkansas. That averages out to 0.85 shots at the rim per game. He did shoot 68.2%, but you cannot draw real conclusions from that due to the small sample size. This may be partially due to coaching philosophies and Joe’s fit within the Razorbacks offense. When attacking downhill, it was a rather common occurrence for Joe’s primary defender to recover enough to cut him off. He does not accelerate that well with the ball, and that forced him into a lot of pull up jump shots in the midrange. This will be a much more common occurrence in the NBA as he faces much quicker and more agile defenders. He did occasionally get to his floater, which is very solid. He flaunts nice touch with it. He does not offer much in terms of scoring above the rim as he only had three dunks this past year.

Defense:

Strengths:

Off-Ball Movement: As an off-ball defender, Isaiah Joe does a great job of chasing shooters off of screens. He reads screening angles well and does a good job of meeting cutters at their destination. He recovers well when off-ball cutters do not take the path that he expects. When cutters fade to the baseline off double screens he tends to give up baseline some, but that looks to be more of a scheme issue rather than player IQ issue. He does a good job of making rotations and negotiating off-ball switches. He vocalizes these switches really well to teammates, making it look rather structured.

Activity: Isaiah Joe is an active defender. He is rarely caught ball watching or being lackadaisical. He does a good job of tagging as a defender on the backside after a pick and roll action. He is not that strong, so his tags are not that impactful. He still impacts the cutting big’s pace and their focus on the rim. He also does a good job of multitasking when his man cuts off the ball. He digs in packline and uses his wingspan well to get his hand in the cookie jar. When he does not get steals off these digs, he recovers well back to his man. There are very few plays where he relaxes or makes low effort mistakes such as jumping on closeouts. He is very disciplined. That discipline paired with his activity should lead to potential on the defensive end of the floor.

Point of Attack: Isaiah Joe is a plus defender in point of attack situations. His ability to defend off the ball puts him in good situations when possessions transition from off-ball to on-ball situations. He is solid at closeouts and uses high hands while refraining from jumping at shooters. When perimeter players try to attack downhill, he does a good job of staying strong with his hips. He moves laterally in front of them rather than opening up his hips. When he does get beat downhill, he gives solid effort in recovering in front of the ball. Although he does not have the athleticism to always fully cut off his man, his effort still makes opponents uncomfortable at times.

Areas of Improvement:

Adding Muscle: Isaiah Joe needs to add strength if he wants to be a successful defender at the NBA level. He is currently sitting at 170.5 pounds after the NBA Combine. According to a press release from high school, he weighed 170 during his senior year of high school. It is not a good sign that he has reportedly added no weight during his two years at Arkansas. Lacking strength means that he cannot play down the lineup as much as you would like out of a longer two guard. He is stuck guarding ones and twos in the short term. Putting on weight would also help him in point of attack situations where he has to body up his man.

Pick and Roll: Isaiah Joe will struggle to guard the pick and roll due to his lack of strength. When he gets hit by a screen, he is basically out of the play. He is not the best at getting over screens. He tends to slow down a little when moving longer distances laterally and if he has to sprint over, he does not accelerate very well. He would be best with a big who can hedge the pick and roll or by avoiding the screen all together with ice.

Playmaking: Isaiah Joe is not a very good playmaker on the defensive end of the floor. As a guard, he does not make rim rotations often or well. He does not take charges or block shots with any regularity. Being a charge taker is the only realistic potential that Joe has for a playmaker at the rim. His 6’7 ½” wingspan is slightly above average for a two guard. His issue is that he is not much of a quick twitch athlete, so he does not get his hands on balls in passing lanes.

Overall Outlook: Isaiah Joe’s primary skill is off-ball shooting and floor spacing. He is an active mover off the ball. A prospective team can use him in off-ball screening actions. He can drag help defense away from pick and roll actions. He does a good job of cutting across the court and transitioning into V-cuts or L-cuts to get open. He has an extremely quick shot that he can get off whenever and wherever. He may struggle to do much on-ball, but that may not be required of him. On defense, his best skill is his effort. He is always engaged and willing to chase players off-ball. He is intelligent with his digs and tags.

Isaiah-Joe-2020-11-17

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