J.P. Tokoto Updated NBA Draft Scouting Report

J.P. Tokoto Updated NBA Draft Scouting Report
Jun 17, 2015, 09:25 am
Josh Riddell

One of the most athletic players in college basketball, J.P. Tokoto decided to declare for the NBA Draft after his junior season. He'll hope to show he has a refined skill set to match his athleticism and be a productive shooting guard at the NBA level.

Measured at 6'6.25” with an impressive 6'10” wingspan and a developing 196-pound frame at the NBA Draft Combine, Tokoto rounds out his athletic tool kit with great explosiveness, agility and quickness. He'll be able to match the size, length and athleticism of most NBA guards which provides him an interesting foundation as a prospect heading into the season.

Tokoto gets a significant portion of his production in the open court, with 24.8% of his offensive possessions coming in transition according to Synergy Sports Technology. He can run the wings with ease and is also able to handle the ball in the open floor and make smart decisions on the break. He's an above the rim player and a capable finisher around the basket when given the opportunity, especially in transition.

Tokoto is somewhat limited offensively and scored the fewest points per 40 minutes pace adjusted of all prospects in our top 100 at just 10.6 points
. Most of his struggles stems from his struggles from the perimeter, as he converted just 20 3-pointers in his college career, which spanned over 100 games and more than 2300 minutes, but he was also a below average scorer inside the arc as well, hitting 43% of his 2-pointers and 61% of his free throws.

Tokoto doesn't have the quickest release on his jumper, which will make it difficult for him to him to find openings to shoot against NBA defenses. He also has inconsistent mechanics which hurts his consistency, as he shot 31.7% on all jump shots according to Synergy Sports Technology. He's an equally bad free throw shooter, converting 61.5% of his free throws, demonstrating again how far he has to go to become a better shooter. To stay on the floor in today's NBA, he will need to improve his jump shot quickly to help stretch defenses. To his credit, he has been working hard on this part of his game over the course of the pre-draft process, and showed significant improvement at the NBA Combine, which is an admittedly small sample size. Being able to carry over this improvement to real game settings will be a huge key for his ability to carve out a niche at the NBA level.

While Tokoto is extremely athletic, his ball-handling skills are still catching up to his physical tools, which limits his effectiveness as a shot creator in the half-court. He does have a quick first step that can get him past his defender in a straight line, but he isn't capable of getting into the paint on a regular basis against a set defense, particularly when forced to execute advanced moves.

Although he struggles at times creating his own offense, he does a nice job of moving the ball and finding his teammates in spots where they can score. His 5.5 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted ranks second among shooting guards in our top 100 and will help him provide value offensively since he isn't a great scorer. He's calm on the ball, sporting great vision that helps him find open teammates and he delivers very accurate passes that demonstrate an extremely high basketball IQ.

With his leaping ability, he can track down offensive rebounds and gathered in 2.1 per 40 minutes pace adjusted. This is yet another indication of both his strong physical tools as well as his excellent feel for the game, as he anticipates well and shows nice timing tracking down loose balls.

Tokoto also shows great potential on the defensive end, where he can use his athleticism to lock down either guard spot. He's a ballhawk defensively, as his wingspan allows him to get steals (1.9 per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season). He can also help rebound defensively, as he pulled down 5.1 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted.

Although he has the tools to be a lockdown defender at the next level, he'll need to show some improvement in his defensive fundamentals to realize this potential. He has the tendency to give up dribble penetration too easily and get lost in screens. With his limited offensive game, he will need to be an elite defender to earn playing time in the NBA which means that learning the nuances of NBA schemes and improving his focus will be key for him as he moves to the next level.

Tokoto will need to make some significant improvements to his offensive game to find a niche and stick in the NBA, which he certainly seems to realize and is currently looking to address. Despite his limitations, he is still an intriguing draft prospect as he brings a unique set of athletic skills and versatility. If his offensive tools catch up, he could be a nice rotation player over the course of his career. While he may need some time to develop, he could end up as a key player for a NBA team at some point down the line.

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