Credit: Gonzaga University

Zach Norvell Jr. Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Zach Norvell Jr.

Soph. 6’5″ 205 Shooting Guard Gonzaga DOB: 12/9/97
14.9 ppg 4.3 rpg 3.1 apg FG: 43.4% 3 PT: 37%

Click here for full stats

Recruiting Profile

Wingspan: 6’5.5″

NBA Comparison: Eric Gordon/Gary Harris

Strengths: Outside Shooting, Range, Natural Scorer

Weaknesses: Efficiency, Quickness, Length

Norvell Jr. was a part of some very good Gonzaga teams, and this year he is considered the third best draft prospect on their team by most draft analysts, giving you an idea of just how much talent they possessed. While he is not a highly projected draft prospect like teammates Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke, Norvell Jr. is the most polished scorer of the bunch and he has a game that fits well with the modern NBA game. Mainly used as a shooter in college, he played that role well showing the ability to knock down outside shots both off of the dribble and in catch and shoot situations. 62.5% of his attempts were on three pointers, which given the fact he took 7.1 per game his 37% rate is a sign that he can be a highly efficient shooter. He can use multiple moves like step backs and a cross over as well, and he was able to drive by defenders at times in college but it was not a large part of his offensive game. He has a natural ability to score the basketball with a mentality that is undeterred by missing a few shots, and that will help him have the necessary confidence entering the professional ranks. He was able to finish the rim in transition as well as slide out and a hit a three on the fast break. An underrated part of his game his ability to create a shot off of the dribble, and while that will definitely be more difficult at the next level, Norvell Jr. has shown that he can be more than shooter given the opportunity. He passed well from the wing averaging over 3 assists per game, and having the experience of having solid talent around him at Gonzaga will help him going forward. 

His shooting numbers as a whole could have been better, but they were solid, and he has strong mechanics in his shot that will not need any adjustments. Having a quick release will help, and shooting free throws at 86.7% gives teams have confidence in his shooting abilities. Being as strong of a free throw shooter as he is, teams would like to see him attack the basket with more frequency and get to the line. There should be no issue with Norvell Jr. as a shooter, but how he incorporates more elements into his overall offensive production will be a key going forward. His defense will be a question mark as he enters the league, and he can improve in this area. His 6’6″ size is solid, but his wingspan measuring in at just 6.5″ will be a concern for some teams not only for his defensive potential but also how well he can get off shots against NBA level defenders. If he can be an effective defender, and shoot the ball at a high level, Norvell Jr. he could be a potential steal for a team that needs some help on the wing. He did handle the ball well and at times was in the lead guard role on the fast break setting up teammates or pulling up for a jump shot. His pick and roll potential is intriguing where he has shown good instincts in whether to pass or knock down an outside shot. 

This gives you an idea of his ability to finish at the rim:

Here is an example of how he can create and knock down an outside shot: 

Norvell Jr. is projected to be a second round pick to undrafted, however he could play his way into a second round lock with a strong pre-draft performance. There was a thought that he might return to school and try and lock down a first round selection in next years draft, but he has stated he is planning on keeping his name in this year. His ceiling as a professional is a starter level guard that can score the basketball at an above average rate with efficiency. The worst case scenario for Norvell Jr. is that he is unable to score effectively at the next level and struggles on defense leading him to be a in a limited role coming off of the bench. 

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