Shooting Guard, 6’4, 220lbs, 20 years old
40.5 FG%, 30.7 3P%, 70 FT%
31.5 MIN 16.1 PTS 4.3 REB 2.3 AST 1.5 STL 2.9 TOV
Luguentz Dort only played one season at Arizona State University, but the freshman shooting guard made an impact as a 33-game starter. He was the Sun Devils’ leading scorer at 16.1 points per game. At the end of the season, Dort racked up the accolades. He was named Pac-12 Rookie of the Year, Pac-12 All-Freshman team, Pac-12 All-Defense team and second team All-Pac-12.
Dort is ranked 27th on ESPN, 28th on CBS Sports, 24th on Sports Illustrated and 15th on Bleacher Report in the prospect rankings. He should be available when the Utah Jazz pick at 23 overall.
The first thing that jumps out about Dort is his defense. For a one-year player to be named to a power 5 conference’s all-defense team, that tells you about his ceiling on that end of the floor.
Dort is also great at drawing and finishing through contact, which speaks to his athleticism. He had a free throw rate of .481 during his season at ASU, getting to the charity stripe just over six times per game. However, at the next level his free throw percentage of 70% isn’t going to cut it.
My biggest concern about Dort as a prospect is the fact that his weakness is the one thing the Jazz need the most: Shooting. Dort shot over five 3-pointers per game, but shot only 30.7% from beyond the arc.
For that reason, I don’t see him being a great fit for what Utah needs right now. I wouldn’t rule it out, though, because young athletic players with a high defensive ceiling has been somewhat of a calling card for Dennis Lindsey players.
Q&A with Andrew Bell of House of Sparky
Now, let’s get some insight from someone who watched much more of Dort’s game than I did at ASU last season. Andrew Bell of House of Sparky answered a few questions about the freshman for me.
What strength of Luguentz Dort’s game will translate well to the NBA?
I think the biggest strength that Dort can bring to an NBA team is his athleticism and defense. He has a great frame that I imagine NBA scouts will like, and Dort has great vertical ability. He is also very athletic and strong with the way he is able to finish at the rim while taking contact. However, I believe his greatest intangible is his defense. I often notice a lot of college players have great scoring capabilities, but the defense is still a work in progress when they go to the NBA. Dort already is way ahead of that curve.”
What weakness of Dort’s game will need to be improved in the NBA?
Overall, I think there is still room for improvement with his shooting from beyond the arc. Dort was a 30.7 percent three-point shooter during his one year at ASU. I think there is still room to grow. Additionally, I think his free-throw shooting could improve, especially with his style of play. Dort was at 70 percent, but with his ability to drive to the basket and create contact, I think he’d like to see that number improve to at least 75 percent or higher as a guard in the NBA. It’s the case with any new player coming to the league, but I think the speed and mental aspect of the game will be a part of the natural maturation process. I think that’s one thing that gets taken for granted with new and developing young players - is the mental side of the NBA. Defensive schemes, playcalling, and just the ability to adjust as a game goes along is so pivotal.
What role do you see Dort playing at the NBA level and what could be his ceiling?
The ceiling is through the roof for Dort. He’s very gifted athletically, and he’s still so young. I think Utah could be a great fit for him because he wouldn’t have to carry the load as a first-round player. I think he could take observations and learn from many of the talented players that are already on that roster. His defense and rebounding will be immediate, and I think the offense will come with time.
Would you consider Utah a good landing spot for him?
As a person, Dort was definitely respected and will be missed by a lot of people at ASU. Some fans thought he should have stayed another year, but If Dort does go to Utah, Jazz fans can expect a humble, soft-spoken person who has a complete team mindset and who can also speak French (Dort is from Montreal). Along with Bobby Hurley, he has been a big part of changing the culture and the national perception of basketball at ASU. It should be interesting to see what he does at the next level. It has been a pleasure covering him over the last year.