Coming off of an NCAA championship season with the Wildcats, the 20-year-old big man has decided to test the waters for the 2018 NBA draft, and Spellman’s draft stock has been tough to read so far. Despite being ranked No. 50 on Jonathan Givony of ESPN’s top-100 prospects, several mock drafts, including the latest from The Ringer and ESPN, have Spellman going undrafted.
However, that hasn’t hurt Spellman’s confidence. After his workout with the Lakers on Wednesday, Spellman compared his game to an NBA All-Star and reigning league Defensive Player of the Year.
“I think my comparison and the guy I try to model my game after is Draymond Green,” Spellman said. “How hard he competes, the way he can put it on the floor, the way he can make decisions, the way he defends, the way he rebounds and the way he’s there for his teammates. That’s who I try to model my game after.”
Listed at 6-foot-9, Spellman has a few inches on Green but he’s still a tad undersized for the power forward position. However, like Green, Spellman makes up for it with his impressive 7-foot-2 wingspan that helped him averaged 1.5 blocks per game his freshman year at Villanova.
But part of what makes Green special is his ability to switch onto guards, something Spellman said he got to practice more doing during his time at Villanova.
“I feel very comfortable [defending guards] having to guard Jalen Brunson, Donte Divincenzo, Mikal Bridges, Phil Booth in practice all the time, it’s something I got the chance to practice a lot and it’s something I got a lot better at. I’m trying to make it a strength to my game and it will keep improving as time goes on,” Spellman said.
It’s far too early to call Spellman the next Draymond Green, but his physical tools and overall game makes his claim not sound too outrageous. There’s a good chance Spellman returns to Villanova for a second season, but if the Lakers’ scouting department sees enough to justify taking him with the No. 47 pick, we could have another Green-esque underdog story on our hands.
For an updated list of players the Lakers have worked out so far, check out our pre-draft workout tracker here.