Yves Pons, 6-6, Small Forward/Power Forward, INSEP, 1999
-Physical specimen at 6' 6 with a shredded frame, huge hands, and long arms (over 7' wingspan according to Pons). Should easily be able to play at 230+ pounds in time.
-Tremendous leaper in space. Best off two feet. Finishes above the rim with ease. Power dunker. Great lob target.
-Versatile defender who may be able to check up to four positions in time. Can sit down and slide on the perimeter. Regularly switches ball screens. Competitive, takes pride in stopping his man. Tools should allow him to defend on the interior a little bit as he continues to mature.
-Off ball playmaker defensively. Regularly rotates from the weakside and meets opponents at the rim. 4.3 steals and 4.8 blocks per 40 minutes at the ANGT. Plays hard.
-Shooting stroke is a bit rigid but he shows flashes 4-of-5 from three in Kaunas. Should be able to turn into at least a respectable spot shooter in time, especially with minutes coming as a small-ball four with longer closeouts.
-Has the stride length and explosiveness to turn into a solid straight line driver as his handle improves.
-Competes on the glass. Will fly in from the perimeter for tip dunks. Uses his tools to get to loose balls on the defensive glass.
-Plays within himself for the most part. Understands his limitations. Plays a simple game.
-Limited skill set. More of a physical specimen, defender, dunker at this stage.
-Super rigid with the ball. Struggles to put it down even in a straight line at times. A little bit bulky with the ball. Prefers to gather off of two feet even on straight line drives.
-Very left handed around the rim. All power, lacks touch.
-Can make the simple play but not a very talented playmaker on the move. Not going to play out of a ball screen with much success.
-Defensive fundamentals still has room to improve despite impressive physical abilities. Can work on his technique getting over ball screens.
-Plays hard overall and lets his tools do the talking, but he can fade in and out of games at times because of his lack of an elite offensive skill. Relegated to a ball mover from time to time. Can be more aggressive attacking the rim in the half court.
-English is very shaky.
-Somewhat of a robotic personality. Doesn't show much emotion, positive or negative.
Pons caught the eyes of NBA scouts early and often in Kaunas thanks to his elite physical profile, high-flying dunks, above the rim blocks, defensive versatility and occasional spot shooting. Although he's not short on deficiencies, Pons is exactly what many NBA teams are looking for a long and athletic combo forward who can defend one through four and make enough spot threes to keep the defense honest. Honing his 3-point stroke and at least becoming a passable ball handler and playmaker will be key for Pons' NBA potential moving forward. Born and adopted from Haiti, Pons moved to France at age four. He may have a chance to develop those skills in the States, as he's reportedly considering playing college basketball next season as he's being recruited by the likes of Texas Tech, Tennessee and Florida at the moment, but also is getting looks around Europe. Pons proved to be one of the top NBA prospects in attendance thanks to his tools and fit in today's NBA as a combo forward.
Yves Pons, 6'6, Small Forward, INSEP Academy, 1999
-Good size for the wing at 6'6
-Strong frame. Long arms. Big hands
-Very developed upper body. Huge shoulders and biceps. Does not look like your typical 17-year old physically
-Elite level athlete. Ridiculously powerful and explosive. Pulls off in-game dunks you might expect to see in a dunk contest. Finishes on the way up, not at the top of his jump, and then continues to elevate
-Multi-positional defender. Capable of covering guards, wings and forwards alike. Contains dribble penetration with outstanding lateral quickness. Plays with huge energy
-Completely shut down tournament's #1 scorer Dzanan Musa in their head to head matchup
-Career 2.4 steals and 2.3 blocks per-40 minutes. 10.7 rebounds per-40 in Zaragoza
-Capable of making an open shot. Does not have the worst stroke. Ball comes out of his hand fairly nicely. Can even knock down shots off the bounce. Career 69% from the free throw line.
-Quick, powerful first step. Draws fouls just by putting the ball on the floor
-Shot 7/24 for 3. Shoots a very flat jumper that doesn't leave him a great deal of room for error. Not the most fluid looking jump-shot. Has a lot of room to improve in this area. Does not appear to have great touch or feel as a shooter/scorer
-Ball-handling skills are a work in progress. Straight-line driver who struggles when forced to do anything complicated in the half-court. More combo forward than wing in terms of his ball-skills at the moment
-Overall feel for the game is not great at this stage. 4 turnovers per-40. Can get a little careless with the ball. Lack of experience shows.
Outlook Highly productive lefty wing/forward from Haiti. Has the tools to play some small-ball power forward, especially if he grows another inch or so. Misses a lot of time with injuries the past two seasons, which put him somewhat off the radar prior to this event. Only played 17 minutes per game for reasons no one in Zaragoza could quite understand. Made the most of it, averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds with 1.3 blocks and .7 steals, while shooting 77% from 2-point range. Finished the tournament ranking 5th in PER. Will need to continue to improve his skill-level and basketball IQ, as he won't be able to overwhelm opponents with his sheer strength and athleticism the way he often did in Spain.
Yves Pons, 6-6, SF/PF, Insep//Asvel France, 1999
-Extremely developed body for his age.
-Long arms. Huge hands.
-Explosive leaper. Can finish above the rim in traffic.
-Big time defensive potential. Can guard multiple positions due to his blend of size, strength, length and athleticism. Quick laterally. Good effort on D.
-Has a chance to develop into a capable shooter. Streaky with average mechanics but shoots it with confidence. Decent starting point considering his age.
-Crashes the offensive glass
-Wore a knee brace all week and a sleeve in the game. Explosive vertically and quick laterally but doesn't run with great fluidity.
-Not a great ball handler. Can attack in a straight line but isn't all that comfortable handling on the perimeter. More of a 4 at this stage.
-Doesn't get much rotation on his jumper. Shoots with the outside of his hand. Needs to tighten up his mechanics.
-All left hand.
-Doesn't have a great feel for the game.
-Stuck between the 3 and the 4 offensively
-Blends in at times despite his outstanding physical tools
Outlook Pons stood out immediately due to his chiseled frame, long arms and explosiveness. It will be interesting to see how he progresses offensively as he'll need more of a skill-set to go along with his physical tools and defensive versatility.