Yes, I understand that his lack of athletic ability can hurt him playing big minutes at the NBA level. I also know that he’s one of the best if not the best shooting big man in college basketball. His skill to get himself in an NBA game is that he can stretch the floor and make shots. He also possesses a very high basketball IQ, simply put he can make basketball plays. He understands how to look for cutters, pass out of double teams, and make the extra pass to spot an open teammate. There are many negatives that are said about players that lack athletic ability. No question it hurts your development if you are looking to be an elite NBA player. But one can never discount the ability to think the game. When I scouted in the NBA I would hear the same remarks about players like Matt Carroll, Steve Novak, and Matt Bonner. There’s no question that none of the players I listed could win a foot race, high jump competition, or broad jump. What all three of those players can do is stretch the floor and make shots and are all smart players. When they are in the game they won’t hurt your team in the short term. With their ability to shoot the basketball and make smart basketball decisions as long as they are not your first, second, or third option they won’t hurt your team.
There is a lot of value in smart players on your bench in the NBA. He may struggle playing long stretches of min John on the right team can be a great asset at the end of your rotation. If he plays on a team that has two penetrators he can spot up in the corner and when his man rotates off to stop penetration can be a deadly weapon making shots for a team. There are certain things he’ll struggle with such as defending a long athletic big man or rebounding out of the power forward position, but he can definitely be an asset making shots for your team. I never like to talk about draft positioning like this player should be the 8thpick of the draft or this guy is a late first rounder. The way that I evaluate is if a player has an NBA skill or not and to try to figure out his value by the time his first contract is up. It’s tough to predict where John will get drafted or if he will get drafted at all, but what I do know is on the right team especially one that has multiple penetrating guards he will bring value to an NBA team. Outside of the 11 or so irreplaceable players in the NBA such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, etc. and then about 30 all-star level players after that the rest of the players in the league are merely role players that do at least one specific thing that bring them value in the NBA. Like anything else you have your higher level role players and then some are just one trick ponies that can get in a game for one specific reason like shooting, rebounding, defense, penetrating, etc. Shurna has size and can make shots.
I think he can be a Matt Bonner type of player at the next level. Matt is one of the best shooting big men in the game. Besides being an inch taller Bonner and Shurna posses a lot of the same features in their game. Bonner is a specialist that can space the floor with his shooting and makes a lot of smart basketball plays as well. He has taken his one skill in shooting the basketball and found himself a career in the NBA by being a player that can come in a game and make shots. Like Bonner, a team will have to take a chance on Shurna and give him an opportunity. I have a lot of faith in his ability to stick in the NBA if given the opportunity.
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