Height - 6’6
Weight - 200 Lbs
Wingspan - 6’10
Devin Vassell was relatively unheralded during his first year at Florida State. His statistics were unremarkable and it looked like he had some way to go before even entering the Draft conversation. His sophomore season has put Vassell into that conversation; Vassell could very well be the best wing in this Draft.
Under the guidance of Leonard Hamilton, Vassell has grown as a ball-handler and as a defensive presence on the court. He is an attractive proposition for all teams; every team wants to find a quality, young 3&D wing. These players are not readily available in the trade market or in free agency.
Vassell’s skills translate nicely to the NBA and this is a key reason why he is projected to go in the lottery. Oklahoma City currently own the 25th pick in the Draft and there would have to be a little work to get a lottery pick in order to select Vassell.
A lot of draft boards have Vassell slated around 11th with the Spurs being projected to take him. The Thunder would have to get to 10th and pray that Vassell is not already off the board. This would mean trading with the Suns to get their pick in the Draft.
The Suns almost made the playoffs last season behind the talents of Booker and Ayton. Phoenix’s starting unit was hugely productive and performed really well. The bench unit was much less effective. The Suns badly need a couple of veteran players who can steady the ship when necessary.
Phoenix also need more depth in their reserve guard rotation. I like Elie Okobo and Jevon Carter but Phoenix will need more than them if they want to make the playoffs next season. The Thunder have a player in the form of Dennis Schroder who can provide offensive creation off the bench while also being a veteran presence.
A deal involving Schroder going to Phoenix and the tenth overall pick coming back to Oklahoma City would make sense for both sides. The Suns would get a player who should have won Sixth Man this year and the Thunder would get a good pick in the Draft.
I believe that Vassell is worth the wheeling and dealing. He would provide shooting, athleticism and shot creation at the wing spot. I watched a decent amount of Vassell film while I was researching this article and I was surprised by how well rounded he is.
When you watch college prospects, you will usually see one glaring flaw that the player must correct. The only real flaw which I noticed in Vassell’s game is that he is not particularly explosive. He has enough hops to be a capable dunker but he did struggle to beat his man off the drive when he was matched up with a more athletic player.
This is not a big issue, his explosiveness can be corrected and improved if he works on his body over the next few years. A lot of rookies enter the league with bodies that need time to adapt to the demands of the NBA.
There are a few minor issues such as his inconsistency as a scorer and his tendency to over help as a defender but these are good problems to have. I would rather have an unselfish guy who learns when to assert himself than a ball-hog.
There are two big positives to Vassell’s game which put him towards the top of my list. Devin is a good athlete and a great shooter. Vassell’s athleticism is not measured by his vertical but how he traverses the court. Vassell covers ground really well and stops quickly; these are incredibly useful skills for a basketball player to have.
His shooting is mechanically sound and he was a deadeye from deep for the Seminoles. Vassell shot 41.5% from 3-point land last season and he took 3.5 attempts per game from outside. That is really solid production and there is enough data from his two seasons at Florida State to suggest that these results are not anomalies.
Vassell’s strengths lies in his shooting and defense but his burgeoning playmaking should not be ignored. Over the course of the season, Vassell has worked on being a creator off the dribble. He is not perfect by any means but he has been smooth on the drive and was able to create shots for himself effectively.
I still think that his handle is a little loose for my liking. His dribble would have to be tighter at the professional level for the Thunder to consider letting him handle the ball as the lead guy.
Devin Vassell is very close to being the perfect fit for this young Thunder side. Vassell projects to be a knockdown shooter and a tough defender. He would be a valuable supporting piece for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley.
Vassell makes sense as a Thunder player for his skill set but also his attitude. A lot of scouts have noted that Vassell is an unselfish player who is more than willing to give the ball to a teammate in a better position.
Last season, the Thunder moved towards a style of offense where the ball was shifted around the court and everybody made the extra pass. I would expect this style to continue going forward as this style of basketball worked really well for the Thunder. It would make sense to add Vassell into this type of system as he is happy to make plays for others.
Vassell would be an amazing pick up in the Draft and the Thunder should seriously look to acquire him if possible.