Team: Florida State
Age: 20 (August 8th, 2000)
Weight: 194 lbs
The first thing that pops out for him is the 3 and D potential. With long arms and a good motor, he projects to be a plus defender. He should be able to guard 1-3 on most nights without a problem. He moves his feet well and likes to create turnovers. He’s a team defender and is good on rotations as well. As a shooter, he shot great from 3 both seasons with a career average of 41.7%. This is encouraging along with good balance, a high release point, and his improvement as a shooter off the bounce as Vassell hit only 1 jump shot off the dribble in his Freshman year. That number improved to 39 made jumpers off the dribble in his Sophomore season. Vassell showed great leadership qualities at 19 years old and plays the game the right way. He makes the extra pass. His motor never changed no matter how many touches he was getting. As a playmaker, Vassell needs to improve his handle a bit, but there’s potential for him to make plays out of pick and roll situations. Then Vassell also does a good job of running in the open floor and filling the lanes properly. Overall, there’s clearly a high floor here. He’s got a 3 ball, is long, is a competitor, is smart, and is a leader.
While Vassell’s jumper projects to be a strength, that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked. His elbow extends out at times, and it’s a very high arching shot – almost awkwardly high to an extent. His free throw % was also a mediocre 73.8%. Then as a driver, Vassell’s inability to play off one foot really limits his game. When going up for layups/dunks it’s always off two feet which makes him more vulnerable as he is slower going up and less explosive. Vassell also lacks a quick first step and his handles aren’t good enough to break down a set defense. Then he also showed no signs of a step back or anything of that nature to get his shot off. Everything is very basic for him in the scoring department. Defensively, he is too skinny to guard bigger wings/forwards which limits his versatility despite having excellent length. He’s not the type of guy you can just put on the opposing team’s best forward and call it a day. He’s not a great individual defender, but is a very good team defender, and that can’t be mistaken.
Vassell is a prospect that doesn’t jump off the screen when you watch him, but does a lot of the things necessary to win. He will always have a team first mindset. Vassell’s 3 and D projection is obviously the most intriguing skill set and while his mechanics can improve, he’s got the foundation to come in and be at least average from 3 to start his career. Then as a defender, there are limitations but could be very good in a switch heavy defensive scheme (similar to how he was used at Florida State). Then the potential as a playmaker out of the pick and roll is something that sets him apart from other 3 and D players. While he’s still improving in that area, there’s definitely potential that an offense can run through him as a secondary playmaker at times. Vassell is not a franchise player though. He’s not a player I would suggest a team that’s looking for a face of a franchise to draft. It’s not even likely he will be a regular starter, but he does still bring traits NBA teams crave. Top destinations would be Mavs (18th), Nets (19th), and Jazz (23). These are teams that already have their core players set and are ready to win. They don’t want young players that need time to develop. It’s highly possible though he goes much higher than 18, but the limitations are clear. Vassell should be picked somewhere in the 14-23 range.
Article Written by Bradley Patten
Stats found on Sports Reference (https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/devin-vassell-1.html)
Photo credit to Marcio Jose Sanchez (https://accsports.com/acc-analytics/stock-rising-devin-vassell-fsu-stats/)