Leading up to the NBA Draft we will be analyzing scouting reports for various players who have entered their name in this year’s NBA Draft. The focus of these articles will be on prospects who we find most intriguing and feel readers need to become more familiar with. Please let us know if you want any players specifically @edupridepress. All stats and videos are via KenPom, ESPN, DraftExpress, and YouTube.
Isaiah Hartenstein – PF/C – International – Germany
Weight: 225 lbs
Age: 19 years & 1 month
Projected: 26 (DraftExpress) 24 (CPP Big Board) 22 (CPP Mock Draft)
Background: Dirk Nowitzki may no longer be the only 7-footer from Germany in the NBA after this year’s draft! Isaiah Hartenstein is a 19 year old big man from Germany that is currently projected to be a first-round pick in the draft. After playing Euroleague for a few years now, Hartenstein is ready for the NBA and ready to make a splash immediately. Being apart of many playoff teams that have made deep runs in Euroleague and being apart of the German national team, Hartenstein comes into the draft highly experienced and used to playing deep into a season. Isaiah Hartenstein is a versatile big man who can space the floor and looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow European imports in Kristaps Porzingis and Nikola Jokic. Originally born in Oregon, Hartenstein moved back to Germany with his family at a very young age and grew up playing basketball with his father. For the 2016-17 year, Hartenstein has played his basketball with Zalgiris in the Lithuanian League. There, he has averaged 13.7 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and shot 56.1% from the floor. At the Nike Hoop Summit in April, Hartenstein played and measured much better than back in December. At the Hoop Summit, Hartenstein measured 7’1 ¼” with shoes, a wingspan of 7’2 ¼”, and had a standing reach of 9’1”. In the Hoop Summit game, Hartenstein played 18 minutes, shot 4-6 (67%) from the floor, grabbed 4 rebounds, blocked 2 shots, and finished with 10 points. Hartenstein looked pretty good against some of the best players in the 2017 Recruiting Class and will only improve as he prepares for the NBA Draft.
Strengths: Perhaps what has most NBA personnel’s attention is Isaiah Hartenstein’s size and stature. Standing 7’0” with a 9’1” standing reach, Hartenstein has the measurements to be a center in the league rather than a power forward. Hartenstein’s measurements are very similar to those of Donatas Motiejunas when he was 19, but Hartenstein is about 20 pounds heavier. He is very agile and prefers to load up before finishing above the rim. Hartenstein’s physicality and competitiveness are attributes that could find him success against other physical big men in the NBA. Per 40, Isaiah Hartenstein would grab 14 rebounds a game and is a very active rebounder on both the offensive and defensive end. He is getting better and better each game with his shot blocking ability and uses his weight to his advantage to bully his opponents around. In pick-and-roll situations, Hartenstein could prove to be excellent and fall into the post with ease. As a distributor, Hartenstein does a nice job moving the ball and can drive and dish. He has shown throughout this past season that he is comfortable playing out of dribble handoffs. As for his long-range ability, Hartenstein has showed flashes of a spot three. If he is drafted to be a center, Hartenstein’s shot is good how it is. On the defensive end, Hartenstein is agile enough to be a successful pick and roll drop defender and has the strength to be a reliable post-defender. Overall, Isaiah Hartenstein possesses impressive attributes that can contribute to a successful career as an NBA center.
Weaknesses: Although Isaiah Hartenstein has a fantastic frame and excellent size, he does not always use this to his advantage. He sometimes plays undersized and hunched instead of extending up. Isaiah Hartenstein’s shooting ability has been promising at times, but his mechanics are broken. Lifetime, he shoots 28.4% from 3-pt range and 61.6% from the free-throw line. It is hard to consider Hartenstein a scoring threat if he struggles to do everything but dunking. Isaiah Hartenstein has very poor and choppy footwork in the post and has a very underdeveloped floater/hook shot. Hartenstein has shown he can pass, but sometimes struggles in his decision making. He settles for extreme passes for flashy shots instead of the easy pass to the wing. Turnovers are something Hartenstein has struggled with his entire career, averaging 5.0 per 40. As an isolation defender up top, he often gets caught off guard and blown past. His best case scenario is being a drop down defender. Isaiah Hartenstein is a very emotional player and plays with a lot of passion. He gets down on himself easily after a mistake and always looks for perfection. Coaches and personnel love to see this in a player, but to an extent. Hartenstein needs to keep his emotions in check so they don’t burn him at the next level.
Comparison: A mix between Channing Frye and Timofey Mozgov
If Channing Frye and Timofey Mozgov’s skills were mixed together, the product would be Isaiah Hartenstein. Hartenstein’s size/frame and physicality is identical to that of Timofey Mozgov’s. Isaiah Hartenstein is slightly taller than Mozgov, but plays the glass identical. Defensively, Isaiah Hartenstein tries to body his opponents, much like Mozgov. As for Channing Frye, he represents the shooting ability that Hartenstein can develop. Frye has always been a very good spot shooter from deep and a good finisher in the paint. Although a lot of people bash Hartenstein’s shooting numbers and mechanics, he really has not taken many 3-pt shots. If he works on his jumper in the offseason and is given more looks, he could develop a shot much like that of Channing Frye. Hartenstein’s does not look to drive like Channing Frye, and excels in pick-and-roll like Frye. Isaiah Hartenstein is a very intriguing international prospect that has received calls from multiple NBA teams picking in the 20-30s, so expect to hear his name called near the end of the first round in June!
Be sure to check out our other Top 30 Breakdowns and NBA Draft Charts: