Damien Inglis NBA Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Bucks Rookie

Daniel O'Brien@@DanielO_BRFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2014

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12:  Damien Inglis #8 of the World Team drives to the basket against Team USA on April 12, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Drafted by: Milwaukee Bucks, 31st pick overall 

Country: France
Height/Weight: 6'8", 240 lbs
Age: 19 years old
Projected NBA Position: Small Forward
Pro Comparison: Poor man's Luol Deng/Thabo Sefolosha
Twitter Handle: @DamienINGLIS


Update: Tuesday, June 17 at 11:10 a.m. ET

Inglis has decided to remain in the draft after initially stating that he'd withdraw, according to his agent:

--End of Update--


He's one of the youngest and most unproven draftees in the 2014 class, but French Guiana's Damien Inglis has intriguing two-way potential in the NBA.   

With a 7'3" wingspan and 240-pound frame, he has exciting defensive capabilities. On the other end, his ball-handling and passing skills are unique for someone his size.

He only played 15 minutes per game in the French League, however, so it's tough to tell how his skills will translate and how soon he'll be a substantial contributor. It might take him years to become a polished scorer in the Association.

Either way, you can't help but be interested in his future.




You're not going to find too many small forwards with better size than Inglis. He's 6'8.5" with shoes on, per DraftExpress, and his 7'3" wingspan allows him to register an 8'11.5" standing reach.

Statistics at Chorale Roanne

On top of that, he's a solid 240 pounds, which gives him plenty of bulk and strength to absorb contact during slashes and defend most power forwards.

He moves smoothly laterally but not explosively. The same goes for his end-to-end speed and vertical agility. It's decent, but he won't run and leap with the top-tier athletes of the NBA.

Overall, his tools give him a chance to score against different types of defenders, and on the other end, he should be able to guard several positions.



Point-Forward/Offense Upside

Inglis doesn't have the quickness to consistently blow by opponents, but he can still handle the ball and make plays.

His dribbling is fluid, so if he uses change of pace and strength, he'll be able to effectively navigate through defenses. His skill and instincts will compensate for his lack of burst.

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12:  Damien Inglis #8 of the World Team dribbles the ball against Team USA on April 12, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this pho
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As a passer, he didn't rack up a ton of assists in France, but he gave glimpses of great vision and accuracy, along with a slew of impressive dimes at the Nike Hoop Summit. He does really well on the secondary break, and he's unpredictable in half-court situations.

While he's not always going to thrive above the rim, Inglis will use his frame and long arms to find buckets on the interior. His sheer size will help him score if foes play small ball and put 6'6" wings on him.

As a shooter, he's not consistent and has room to improve. That being said, his delivery is promising, and he shot 39 percent from the international line as an 18-year-old.


Defensive Versatility

Inglis puts his physical gifts to good use as a stopper, combining great footwork with tremendous size.

He's able to shift and stay in front of most playmakers and wings, and he's big enough to hang in the paint with the bruisers. He will be able to check many shooting guards, most small forwards and nearly all power forwards. In addition, his tools and mobility will enable him to rebound well for his position, especially if he's at the 3 slot.

DraftExpress video analyst Mike Schmitz extols Inglis' defensive capabilities in his scouting report: "NBA-ready defender. Can guard at least three positions, excellent fundamentals. Moves really well laterally, has the size and strength to defend on the block...Uses 7'3" wingspan to rack up blocks and steals."

Schmitz isn't the only one who loves the youngster's defense. One scout told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that Inglis has "strong defensive potential" and is "a multiple-position defender who is ridiculously long."

Several NBA players, such as Thabo Sefolosha and Boris Diaw, have proven that you don't need explosive athleticism to succeed on that end. Inglis could follow in their footsteps.



To this point, Inglis hasn't established himself as a proficient scorer. A huge reason why is because you can't always count on him to finish plays as a shooter or slasher.

On jump shots and rim attacks, he lacks the touch to put the ball in the hoop.

His two tasks moving forward are to (1) streamline his shooting delivery a little more so he can comfortably get up and (2) work on his scoring touch off the glass and near the rim.

Inglis has the look of a scorer throughout most plays, all the way until he puts up an awkward scoop shot off the back iron.

He also committed 1.2 turnovers in just 15.3 minutes per game, but he'll improve in that area with time and experience.



Immediate Projection

Since he's so young and struggles to consistently score, he's not going to have a substantial role (if he even sees the court at all). Inglis won't see the ball much until he's trusted to generate offense.

He could, however, see sporadic minutes against reserves and use his size to make plays and defend stoutly.


Long-Term Projection

Inglis might be the most difficult player to project down the road. He's an overseas enigma who has seen limited playing time, and he's in the early stages of development as a scorer.

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress noted that shooting, more than anything else, may ultimately determine how successful he is in the NBA: "Inglis' ability to become a legitimate threat with his feet set from NBA range is likely the biggest key to him becoming a valuable contributor."

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 12:  Damien Inglis #8 of the World Team squats on the court during the game against Team USA on April 12, 2014 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Instead of assuming he'll bust or break out as a star, let's look at a modest comparison. He could play like a less-productive version of Luol DengInglis might not be quite as savvy, but he makes up for it with strength and skill, and he's a similarly talented passer at small forward.