Name: Jordan Nwora
Measurables: 6’7″, 225 lbs
Stats last season: 31 games played, 18 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists per game; 6.1/13.9 FGs (44%), 2.5/6.1 3PTs (40.2%), 3.4/4.1 FTs (81.3%)
Louisville junior forward Jordan Nwora projects to be one of the best pure floor spacers in this draft class. He has elite catch-and-shoot ability, ridiculous range, and has shown excellent volume and efficiency in his three years in college. He’s not the most physically or athletically gifted player in his class but was one of the top scorers in college basketball over the past two seasons. Nwora isn’t just a shooter, though, as he has quite the reputation of a top rebounder. As one of the best rebounders in the ACC over the last two years, Nwora is an excellent rebounder for his position and size. Although his outside shooting is elite, I have questions about his upside and versatility on offense. Nwora is a bit one dimensional, and he has proved to be nothing more than a floor spacer.
Defensively, Nwora is limited due to his lack of speed, lateral quickness, and agility. He is nowhere near a lockdown defender and is an average ISO defender at best. Most of his impact on defense comes from rotations as a team defender. To sum things up, Nwora is primarily a positional defender who will struggle on that side of the ball in the NBA until he improves his foot speed and defensive instincts.
Catch and Shoot Ability – lightning-quick release, good mechanics, excellent hop shooter
Range – Elite range, extends far beyond the NBA line
Rebounding – great defensive rebounder, battles for offensive boards too
Finishing – good finisher around the rim, can finish around bigger players
Athleticism- athletic limitations include vertical pop and explosiveness
Shot Selection – settles for jump shots too consistently, is one-dimensional on offense
ISO Defense – choppy footwork on closeouts, gets blown by easily
Playmaking – can make designed reads, struggles against a moving defense
Best Landing Spot
Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers are in win-now mode more than ever, and their roster looks to be complete except for outside shooting. The Philadelphia frontcourt is a bit crowded, but Nwora could find himself near the end of the rotation as a floor spacer. For years Philly has lacked the necessary spacing on offense to provide lanes for Ben Simmons and room for Joel Embiid to operate efficiently in the paint. Philly has a ton of outstanding perimeter defenders already in Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, and Josh Richardson, which allows Nwora to focus on his strengths as a shooter. I’m not sure if adding Nwora solves all of Philly’s problems offensively, but he addresses the need for perimeter shooting right away.
Worst Landing Spot
Los Angeles Clippers. Under Doc Rivers, the Clippers have made a name for themselves as a versatile, defensive-oriented team. Nwora checks the box as an excellent shooting option, but lack any defensive versatility to play in the Clipper’s system. The Clippers often rely on playing small ball and switch coverages in PnR situations. Nwora is a reliable team defender but is limited in his ability to guard smaller players on the perimeter. I think Nwora would be better suited on a team in need of outside shooting, and one that can mask his limitations as a below-average one on one defender.
Draft Range: Mid to late 2nd round
Basketball IQ: 6. Overall IQ for the game is solid on both ends. Offensively, Nwora knows how to space out and move around on that side of the ball. On defense, he has solid instincts and is a capable team defender. Shot IQ is questionable as he defers to his jump shot too often.
Shooting: 9. One of the best shooters in the draft. Excellent in catch-and-shoot opportunities, terrific volume and efficiency, has NBA range. Must improve shooting off the bounce and consistency as a finisher. Has a nice runner/floater in the mid-range.
Passing: 6. Usually makes designed reads, should not be depended on as a playmaker at all. Needs to make quicker reads, and forces passes in the interior, which can lead to turnovers.
Dribbling: 6. Has a decent handle and a few advanced moves but is loose with the ball. He needs to be more efficient off the bounce.
Hustle: 7. Good energy and effort on both ends, battles for the occasional loose ball and will fight for rebounds.
Rebounding: 8. Above-average rebounder for his position on both ends of the floor. Uses strength to get rebounds over taller players, solid with his position on the glass.
Defense: 6. Reliable team defender, but must work on his on-ball defense. Knows rotations well and knows when to stunt/dig in the post, but is often seen giving up driving lanes as an ISO defender. Allows straight-line drives and is slow to close out on shooters. Not very switchable on defense, doesn’t have the footspeed to keep up with smaller guards.
Leadership: 7. As a junior, he was of the more experienced players at Louisville. Good body language and encouragement towards teammates.
Athleticism: 5. Lack of explosiveness and vertical pop, slow footspeed. Lack of athleticism hurts him on both ends of the floor.
Upside: 5. What you see is what you get with Nwora. He won’t wow anyone with his athletic tools and explosiveness, but he’s an excellent floor spacer and could be an impact player off the bench for a team in need of outside shooting.
Total Rating: 66/100
Jordan Nwora NBA Comparison
I like the comparisons between Nwora and Pacers forward Doug McDermott. Both were big-time college scorer who relied heavily on their outside shooting. Like McDermott, Nwora is limited in his offensive and defensive versatility and will be utilized primarily as a floor spacer. Nwora will likely have to improve his shooting off the bounce to reach the level of McDermott as a scorer, but he can shoot the cover off the ball in catch-and-shoot situations. Both players are not exceptional defenders but have shown that they are capable of playing team defense by making the right rotations and necessary energy plays on that side of the ball.