Podz-casting & Watchlist Candidates

The NBA In-Season Tournament is about to wrap up the qualifying round and it’s been very exciting. Several spots are coming down to the wire with several possible scenarios in each conference. With the season getting it’s legs under it, let’s take a look at some players garnering early interest.

note - I’d like to do these sorts of things at a more regular cadence but TBD on if that’s possible or how regular it would be

Podziemski Scouting Report

Brandin Podziemski has started playing more recently after being forced into action during the Draymond headlock game when the Warriors were effectively without Steph, Klay, and Dray. He’s responded by staking down a rotation spot and averaging nearly 24 minutes in his last 6 games. Fairly or not, many see him as a replacement of sorts for Jordan Poole and while they are similar sizes and play similar positions, they’re far from the same player. I’ll go over my general scouting report after watching three full games closely (MIN, OKC, OKC) as well as an Ottoneu-specific outlook.


Let’s start on the defensive side of the ball, where Podz struggles in some areas but is already excelling in others. He has a high level of activity which both helps and hurts, as he is very aggressive in helping teammates, whether they need it or not. He rotates quickly and has already taken several charges, both on and off the ball, but can overcommit and leave his teammates figuring things out behind him when the offense gets through his line of defense. This aggressive mentality also shows up in his overall physicality on defense as he is willing to get into the bodies of bigs and use his leverage to keep them from getting to their spots, including a time he kept Rudy Gobert from catching a pass on a pick and roll after switching onto him. He loves mixing it up on the boards as well, crashing hard and looking to get a hand on the ball.

However, there are certainly concerns as well. He was only in the situation with Rudy Gobert because he got slammed by Gobert’s screen, and he seemed to have some troubles navigating screens in the games I watched. His aggressive help, particularly at the rim, does serve as a deterrent, but his lack of size doesn’t always let him finish the job. Anthony Edwards and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are two of the most gifted offensive guards in the league, but both of them seemed to light up when they noticed Podz was matched up on them. Perhaps more damning is that other Warriors were very eager to send help whenever they noticed Podz matched up on a premier offensive player, showing little faith in his ability to stop players one on one.

The combination of lack of size and agility could make it tough for him to play any more than a 6th man role unless his offense becomes so good that he has to stay on the floor. It also makes it tough to profile what type of player he guards since I have questions about his ability to chase players around screens, but he’s also not someone you necessarily want at the point of attack. It seems a zone defense might be best for him to use his physicality and instincts while also hiding him.


Unsurprisingly, Podz plays a very active, aggressive style on offense as well, constantly cutting, looking to set screens, and crash the offensive glass. There were numerous times he set flair screens, cut through to the opposite side to free up space, or found soft spots in the defense. This should give him good synergy with Steph, since Steph is always looking for pin-ins when finishing cuts to the corners and flairs to the wing from the middle of the floor. He seems to understand spacing and set up a high / low between Looney and Saric by telling Looney to cut to the free throw line, but also tends to invade space and occasionally run into teammates when he’s overactive.

Podz also clearly has some touch, both around the rim where he is willing to use either hand and the glass and on his jumper with how much arc he puts under it. He uses fakes on and off the ball, including a beautiful pass fake / Eurostep move against the Thunder that gave him a wide open layup and also has a strong pivot game to help create space.

Unfortunately the lack of size and agility show up on this side of the ball as well and teams will force him to finish over length inside the arc, which may prove difficult. He loves curling off pin-downs with a go and catch move to give him momentum into the lane, but had at least one shot blocked and severals discouraged. One of his favorite moves is a running half-hook, which looks beautiful and is a fun counter move, but I doubt it’s efficacy as a primary option. He tends to take wide, looping angles on these drives that make it easier for the defense to recover, but may be necessary for him to create any initial advantage at all. If he could diversify his reads and tighten up his angles coming off these screens, then he could be a dangerous weapon coming off of them.

If he shoots well enough to force closeouts, then his ball skills could be put on display more and he could develop into a second side initiator, but for now he seems to mostly be a spot up shooter and opportunistic driver and scorer.


Podz is worth a flyer in at least categories and traditional points as he offers some upside in assists, rebounds, and 3 point shooting for a guard while not taking too much off the table with turnovers or poor 2 point percentages right now. It remains to be seen if he or Moses Moody claim more rotation minutes since if they remain in a timeshare then neither of them are particularly viable. However, the Warriors are an old team and Podz could have solid standalone games when one or more of Klay, Steph, or CP3 are out, and there is upside for next year depending on what happens with Klay and CP3’s contract situations.

Watchlist Candidates

I want to highlight some players who have caught my eye but don’t seem worth auctioning just yet, including one two-way player and five college prospects. Three of these college prospects were broken down in more detail by Jonathan Wasserman. This is mostly done off of highlights and scouting the stat line, unlike my deep dive on Podz!

Craig Porter Jr. - Cleveland Cavaliers - G

He’s on a two-way contract but has claimed minutes with the Cavs dealing with backcourt injuries frequently so far this season. If he gets promoted to a standard contract, then he’ll be even more appealing. He’s a slashing guard who doesn’t shoot many threes but could contribute in the defensive categories as he’s averaging 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes this year after averaging 1.5 of each in nearly 34 minutes per game last season as a senior in college.

Reed Sheppard - Kentucky Wildcats - G

The son of Jeff Sheppard didn’t come into the season with much NBA fanfare as Justin Edwards, DJ Wagner, Aaron Bradshaw, Rob Dillingham, and Zvonimir Ivisic all captured more, but he’s quickly put himself on the radar with impressive efficiency on offense and event creation on defense. He’s hitting two-thirds of both his two point and three point attempts and averaging a whopping 3.2 steals per game in just 24 minutes while adding a block for good measure. We’ll see how it continues in conference season.

Matthew Cleveland - Miami (FL) Hurricanes - G

A transfer after spending two seasons at Florida State, Cleveland is showing improved shooting all around. If he can sustain the success he’s seen so far on his jumper and free throw, then he’s a draft candidate as a wing sized player with good athleticism and solid ball skills.

Carlton “Bub” Carrington - Pitt Panthers - G

Perhaps the surprise freshman of the year so far, Carrington has already recorded a triple double (though against lowly North Carolina A&T), shown an off the dribble jumper, and some creation upside. The concerns are that while he has good size at 6’4” and looks bursty with the ball, he only has one steal on the year with zero blocks or dunks. He is receiving some hype now, with Jonathan Wasserman putting him 10th in a recent mock draft.

Trevon Brazile - Arkansas Razorbacks - F

Brazile is returning from a torn ACL suffered last season that limited him to 9 games at Arkansas after spending his freshman season at Missouri and showing up the jump shot / shot blocking combo that got him on the radar initially. He’s 6’10”, mobile, can rebound, and is currently shooting 40% from 3 and 81.8% from the FT line while blocking 1.9 shots per game.

Ryan Dunn - Virginia Cavaliers - F

Dunn is an über athletic wing with some insane defensive instincts. His body and explosiveness is similar to Jalen Johnson’s while his defensive instincts seem to rival Herb Jones’. However, he’s even more raw on offense than Jones, but his free throw shooting has ticked up and his explosiveness and hustle are getting him easy points. Any further progress with his shot or ball skills could have him moving way up draft boards.