We will all know the name of Yannick Nzosa by the time the 2022 NBA draft process is complete. Here is why.
Nzosa is a 6”10 center currently playing for the basketball club Unicaja Malaga of Spain. Nzosa was born in Kinshasa, in the Dominican Republic of the Congo. He has been playing basketball for four years.
Yannick Nzosa is a special prospect. He possesses skills and abilities seen in very few prospects in recent memory. A simple overview of his skills would highlight his ability to run the floor despite his height and his high-quality paint vision. However, the most important part of his game is his ability to score as the roller in a pick and roll.
Nzosa has shown that he is a high IQ roller and knows how to dive to the basket. Nzosa excels in creating the perfect pass opportunities for a point guard to make. He knows when to set a hard screen for his teammate and when to cut right to the basket for an easy lob. This ability to create space off the pick and roll is something that very few NBA big men possess and is very good to have in a well-spaced offense. He is a dream come true for any NBA point guard who likes to make lob passes, even if they are not allied oops. Nzosa is a guy you can just throw it up to and he will be able to finish with it.
Despite these skills, it is crucial for him to develop a higher playmaking IQ out of those situations. In the NBA, defenses will be able to read those pick and rolls and help off of them much better, and if he can swing the ball out to the perimeter without turning the ball over then he will become a problem for even the best of NBA defenses.
Nzosa also has learned the ability of a nice left-handed touch from the post-game. He has attempted hook shots and floaters which makes him less predictable in the paint. However, he has been unable to show any evidence that he can replicate that same finishing touch with his right hand which could make him easier to defend. If he leans on using one hand to finish, he will not be able to flourish in the NBA once defenders adjust to his game.
When it comes to transition offense, Yannick Nzosa is a threat from wherever he is. Whether he gets the rebound at the rim or is off to the races already, Nzosa uses his quickness and hustle to be a lob threat on any fast break. It is clear that Nzosa is a player who is full of heart and energy and would be loved on any NBA team.
Nzosa also is a very good defender, as he has amazing paint vision. He can see drives from a ways away and always hustles which puts him in the right spot to get blocks. While he is doing this on players who are much worse than NBA talent, he is still making an impact and on the NBA level being able to contest those shots is incredibly valuable.
When looking at Yannick Nzosa from a bigger picture view, it seems as though he will be a very good two-dimensional rim runner in the NBA. However, he has lots of potential and a few very distinct ways he can improve. If he can go out and get better in those categories he will become a player that teams will regret they didn’t draft.