The Second Round of last night’s NBA Draft was certainly…. eventful for the 76ers. Philly began the evening with picks 33, 34, 42, and 54, but after a flurry of trades and sales the Sixers walked away with just one player from round two: Iowa State wing Marial Shayok with the 54th pick.
Shayok, who transferred to Iowa State from Virginia for his senior season, played his way onto draft boards with drastic increases in his scoring production, upgrading his points per game from 8.9 to 18.7. Equally impressive is that while increasing his scoring and offensive load, Shayok was able to increase his efficiency as well, with his TS% jumping from 51 to 61 while taking over 5 more shots per game. Take a look at his productive between his Senior and Junior seasons, courtesy of Liberty Baller’s Andrew Patton.
Shayok was able to pick up his fair share of accolades in his lone season at ISU, being named All-Big 12 1st team, Big-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and Honorable Mention All-American. He also picked up an invitation to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a prestigious senior only pro showcase, and was named to the All Tournament Team there as well.
The main appeal of Shayok’s game is his three point shooting prowess. Excluding heaves, the senior connected on 39.9% of his attempts from deep this past season, and while his high release is a bit irregular, his 87.8% clip from foul line suggests that his shot should translate.
Shayok is comfortable shooting off the catch and the bounce, per Synergy he averaged 1.25 on all catch and shoot jumpers (87th percentile) while also netting 1.079 PPP on jumpers off the dribble (91st percentile).
A former student in Tony Bennent’s defensive academy at the University of Virginia, Shayot is predictably a heady defender. He can use his 7’0’’ wingspan to be a disruptor in driving and passing lanes, poking the ball loose.
Shayok, however, doesn’t have great footspeed or lateral quickness. His one on one defense was average in college, yielding 0.94 points per possession on direct isolations, a number that would likely increase should he see time in the NBA. His length, though, helps him to contest shots, holding opponents to 33.3% shooting on jump shots he contested.
Shayok will have to lean on his length and build to overcome his lack of speed or explosiveness, standing at 6’6’’ with a 7’0’’ wingspan. While Shayok has garnered some comparisons to soon to be former 76er Furkan Korkmaz due to their shooting and slow foot speed, Shayok’s wingspan gives him a bit of an added dimension to his game. That length helped him shoot 74.6% on shots at the rim.
During his press availability last night, Elton Brand confirmed that Shayok “will be part of the organization”, but would go no further on to what extent. Context clues would suggest that Shayok is likely destined to receive one of Philadelphia’s two-way contracts, just like last year’s 54th overall pick Shake Milton. Unlike Milton, there is very little in Shayok’s game past his shooting ability. While Shayok is a gifted shooter and long bodied defender, Philadelphia is likely receiving a close to finished product, as Shayok will turn 24 this July and after the major jump he took in his senior season his development as a player looks to be close to complete. Look for Shayok to be a featured player on Philadelphia’s Summer League team as well as on the Delaware Blue Coats to start the season, having to prove himself at those levels before he’s given further opportunities.