Josh Heytfelt: 6-10, 260, C, Sr. (Gonzaga University)
Draft rank: #44
C rank: #3
Great fundamentals for a big man. Uses the backboard to his advantage when shooting the ball from both sides of the basket. Has great pick and pop ability at the next level. Can shoot the ball with ease and has great range on his J. Has very soft hands and good feet for a big man. Doesn’t look uncomfortable playing. Has good instincts in the paint. Sets solid picks. Has three point range capabilities. Shoots for a good percentage. Solid free throw shooter for a big man. Has good size to play Center in the NBA. Can knock down the mid-range jumper with consistency. Has a nice fade away jumper that he uses effectively once he has his man beat in the post. Has alley-oop capabilities on the fast break. Does a good job of slipping to the hoop after picks.
Plays below the rim in the half court. Has character issues (got arrested for illegal mushrooms). Doesn’t have back to the basket scoring ability. Doesn’t have great quickness. Disappears during games. While he has good instincts, he needs to be more of a presence on defense, as he often becomes passive and doesn’t block enough shots, or grab enough re-bounds. Likes to stay on the perimeter too much when he should be posting up inside. Doesn’t fight for position or look to seal his man in the post. Doesn’t like to play with his back to the basket. Doesn’t go up strong to the hoop. Struggles on defense when his opponent puts the ball on floor with good quickness. Really struggles when he is double teamed or trapped. Doesn’t do a good job of punishing smaller players when they are switched to him. Doesn’t sprint up the floor. Is slow in his moves in the post. Doesn’t good elevation from the post.
Heytfelt has solid skills to be a solid big in the NBA. But, I really worry about his mentality and if he has the work ethic to be a successful pro. He doesn’t bring it every night and often becomes passive and soft in games. He can’t have that mentality if he wants to succeed in the NBA. I also worry about his drive and if he realizes what it will take for him on and off the court to be a successful pro. There are serious character issues with Josh that could end up leaving him on the outside looking in on the association. I also don’t like his body language when he’s on the court.
--Got arrested for psychedelic mushrooms
Comparison: Brian Cook, 6-10, 234, C
Heytfelt’s shooting ability could allow him to find a home in the NBA. He has good pick and pop capabilities and teams look for bigs that can extend a defense. But there are also so many weaknesses in his game that he is really going to have to continue to work and be a team player if he wants to stick in the NBA. I have major questions about if he is willing to make that happen.
Heytfelt’s off the court issues have to be discussed when you are talking about a borderline NBA player. Do teams really want to deal with a guy who may be at the end of their bench and has off court issues? Yes, he is 6-11 with a solid build and a good shot, but I would take my chances on a guy with no off court issues that is going to work to improve his game. Guys like Carroll, Cunningham and Pendergraph would love to have that extra size but how much is that extra inch or two really worth? I say go with the guys who you know will bring energy to your practices and to the game when they enter.
I compared him to Brian Cook, because I see some similar shooting ability and face up skills in both guys games. They measured out pretty similarly with Heytvelt being a little stronger and athletic and Cook being a little bit of a better shooter. I hope that Heytfelt can turn into a more aggressive player on the floor, but I just don’t see it happening. He had the ability to dominate in college and he just never did. To have that size with his touch should’ve been a recipe for a dominant big man. Instead he was often aloof and looked uncomfortable on the floor. He will surely get drafted due to his god given ability but Heytfelt will have to understand that there are plenty of guys his size at the next level and he will have to really carve out a niche for himself as a consistent and reliable big-body shooter.