Anthony Black NBA Draft Analysis
May 1, 2023, 3:14 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2023, 3:38 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz own three first-round selections in the 2023 NBA draft, and one of the players they’ll consider in June is Arkansas guard Anthony Black.
With a top 10 pick, the 16th pick, and the 28th pick in the first round, the Jazz will work out an enormous swath of players projected to be selected throughout the draft.
Let’s look at how likely lottery pick Anthony Black performed in his lone season at Arkansas, and how he’d fit with the Jazz.
Anthony Black Strengths
Averages: 12.8 ppg | 5.1 RPG | 3.9 APG | 45 FG% | 30 3Pt % | 70 FT%
The first thing that jumps out about Black is his excellent size for a point guard, standing 6-foot-7 with a well-built frame.
Whereas most true freshmen have long, wiry bodies, Black will enter the NBA with a frame that can withstand the physicality of the pro game right away.
Second, Black uses his height to his advantage on the offensive end seeing over defenders to find his teammates cutting to the rim, or on kick-outs after getting into the paint.
The Arkansas freshman can make every pass in the pick-and-roll but uses his terrific vision to look off defenders, creating easy opportunities for teammates that other lead guards in college basketball traditionally don’t see.
A 6'7 point guard, Anthony Black showed impressive creativity, pace, physicality and smarts operating out of ball screens. He played more minutes than any freshman in college basketball, establishing himself as one of the best defenders in this draft class. https://t.co/EfdfX59GLW pic.twitter.com/9N0jjKu0LR
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 12, 2023
At times, he showed an ability to pull up off the dribble and score from the mid-range, giving him a secondary option as a scorer.
Unlike some taller point guards who struggle with a high dribble, Black is comfortable attacking off the bounce with either hand getting into the teeth of the defense.
Defensively, Black is a menace both on and off the ball. The guard is an NBA-caliber athlete with a high-level motor that allows him to bother his opponent at the point of attack or by keeping them out of the play entirely.
The Texas native also gets a lot of poke-away steals as a help defender leading to easy baskets in transition. There’s little doubt he’ll be a strong defender throughout his career, making him a relatively safe prospect compared to other guards in the lottery.
Anthony Black Weaknesses
For as talented as Black is with the ball in his hands, he should have averaged more than 12.8 points per game, especially against the smaller guards in the college game.
Black’s biggest weakness is his poor three-point shooting efficiency, knocking down only 30 percent of his attempts at Arkansas.
Anthony Black forcing a turnover with a dig at the post, deflecting a pass, and causing a steal with some pesky on-ball defense, all in 47 seconds. pic.twitter.com/sT01kzcKff
— Will Morris (@w_a_morris) January 26, 2023
Unlike some guards in the college game who have low three-point percentages due to high-variance shot-making, Black simply isn’t a threat as a shooter. The guard made more than one three-pointer only seven times during his college career, and never made more than three in a game.
As a result, he struggles to score in the halfcourt, even when attacking the rim.
Black showed some ability to finish with his right hand off the dribble but traditionally preferred to kick the ball out rather than pressure the defense in the paint.
While that worked at times in college, NBA defenses won’t be bothered by Black’s one-dimensional scoring attack.
The guard will benefit from better spacing at the next level as Arkansas was the 324th ranked three-point shooting team in college basketball, and having better screen-setters will allow him to create more space in the pick-and-roll.
Anthony Black Overall
Despite his obvious weaknesses and his underwhelming statistical output, there should be very little question that Black will be an effective NBA player, with enough two-way skills to contribute to a playoff rotation.
NBA comparisons will be all over the board for Black, ranging from Josh Giddey, to Ben Simmons, to Marcus Smart, to Kyle Anderson, but those are positive signs that highlight the number of different ways the Arkansas product can contribute to an NBA team.
The NBA Draft is fast approaching, and we're breaking down the top prospects on the board.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) May 11, 2023
Black brings unique size and skills to the backcourt compared to other players in the draft around him, and if he further develops his shooting ability, he has a chance to be one of the top players in the draft.
Regardless Black will be selected in the lottery and should get strong consideration from the Jazz with their earliest pick if he’s still on the board.
Where Will Anthony Black Get Drafted?
Due to his positional size, athleticism, and impressive instincts on both ends of the floor, Black will likely get drafted in the mid-lottery as high as number five to the Detroit Pistons down to the Utah Jazz at pick nine.
Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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