After an outstanding start to the Portsmouth Invitational in his first game, leading one scout in attendance to compare him to Chuck Hayes
, Diamon Simpson
trailed off over the remaining games, having some of his weaknesses exposed. Still, Simpson is definitely someone we need to take a more extended look at, given his production in college and seeing how he measured in at an impressive 68.5 with a 70.75 wingspan.
Physically, Diamon Simpson
is big enough to play the PF position in the NBA, as many undersized 4s have shown over the past few years. In addition to his solid length, Simmons brings very good mobility and coordination to the table, being a smooth athlete, albeit not a terribly strong or explosive one.
Looking at his offensive game, Simpson is not incredibly skilled, being more of a hustle player who does most of his damage finishing around the basket, either off of cuts, by getting out in transition, or crashing the offensive boards. Simpsons persistence and motor in general are outstanding, as he gets involved in a lot of plays and is very active in the painted area. While Simpson finished pretty well at the NCAA level, he has some problems projecting to the NBA here, as he isnt able to power up in a crowd very well, not possessing great vertical explosiveness. Against tougher competition, both in the season and here at Portsmouth, this led to a lot of blocked shots and missed around the basket, as Simpson doesnt really have the finesse game to step back and compensate for his lack of explosive power in side.
With his post game, Simpson shows very nice footwork and mobility, being able to maneuver adeptly around the paint and back his man down or turn to face in for short baseline drives. However, he lacks range on his moves, not showing much touch as he gets farther away from the basket, not really possessing a reliable hook shot or turnaround jumper. With his baseline drives, Simpson has decent enough ball-handling for straight-line drives and a good enough first step to take his man often, but his lack of explosiveness around the rim leads to some tough shot attempts, which only pose to get worse projecting to the next level.
Simpsons jump shot is also not very formidable, as he has wildly inconsistent mechanics, with a release point thats all over the map and a shooting motion that varies from an overhead release to a line drive with a few other things in between. His accuracy is reflective of his inconsistent mechanics, and it carries over to the free-throw line where he shoots a poor 58%.
Defensively, Simpson shows some promise, having a good motor and making a lot of plays, as evidenced by his 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks per game on the season, however hes prone to gambling at times. As a man defender, Simpsons instincts are questionable on the perimeter, and his fundamentals arent always great, though he appears to have the lateral quickness to stick with power forwards, but not small forwards. In the post, Simpson has very strong fundamentals, keeping his hands up and forcing tough shots well, however hes prone to being backed down and beat with quick moves at the NCAA level, something that projects as more of a problem in the NBA.
Looking forward, Simpson would appear to be fighting an uphill battle to be drafted, given his underdeveloped skill set and lack of standout athleticism or size, but he should get some opportunities to make a roster, and a team may fall in love with his motor. Still, to find a long-term place in the league, Simpson will undoubtedly have to put in a lot of hard work polishing his skills, but if he is unable to, he should be able to have quite a successful career overseas.