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A Look At NBA Draft Prospect James Webb III

The 6-foot-8 combo-forward had an impressive career at Boise State, but can his game translate to the NBA?

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

It is always hard to track players that come from mid-major schools because everyone always questions the competition. But just because they play weaker competition, doesn't mean that they can't become a future NBA player. James Webb III spent two season with the Boise State Broncos in the Mountain West Conference, and he was clearly their most explosive player this past year. Averaging 15.8 PPG and 9.1 RPG during the 2015-2016 season, he primarily played as a stretch four or on the wing. That versatility could make him into a very intriguing player for the next level.

Webb is 6-foot-8 and has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, which makes him ideal for the stretch four position at the next level. One big problem with Webb is that he is very undersized physically, as he weighs just under 200 pounds, which is a problem. Obviously, he'll need to put on a little more weight before he'll be able to defend against most front-court players Webb is extremely athletic and moves well for a big man. He will need to become more of an efficient shooter at the next level as well because he only shot 24.8 percent from three last season (40.9 percent during the 2014-2015 season).

If you watch Webb play, you can see that he has the length and the athleticism to be a next level stretch four, but he still needs to improve, particularly on the offensive side if he wants to have an NBA career anytime soon.

Webb Breakdown

The best thing about Webb is that teams all over the NBA are looking for players with his size, length, and elite athleticism. There is high need for stretch fours in the NBA that can hopefully translate to small-ball centers, but Webb has a long way to go. He needs to get physically stronger first so he can start scoring more in the froncourt and be able to guard multiple positions. He shouldn't have any problems guarding too many perimeter players because of his quickness, but his lack of strength could prevent him from guarding most NBA front-court players. 

The problem with Webb's offensive game is that he lacks confidence. He hesitates to take players to the basket, and Webb's not very good at creating his own offense. Webb is great in transition because he can get up and down the floor in a hurry, but he is still quite hesitant in half-court sets. Webb is a high-flyer and he can score in a variety of ways, but he settles a lot for jumpers. Webb needs to stop settling for jumpers and start attacking the rim more as he's quick enough to work as an off-ball weapon. hat boost of confidence combined with his jumper could allow him to be a solid pick-and-pop threat.  Once he adds on a little more weight and develops more confidence in his rim-attacking ability, he should become a better overall offensive player.

Webb's quickness and high energy level gives him a lot of potential on the defensive end. Those traits are evident as Webb averaged 8.4 defensive boards per 40 minutes in his junior seasons. Like on offense, he'll need to become stronger and gain some confidence before he'll really become a defensive threat at the next level.

Overall

The bottom-line is pretty simple; James Webb III is an elite athlete and his skills represents what NBA teams look for out of the stretch four position. Once he puts on a little more weight and develops more confidence on the offensive end, then he should get his opportunity to shine in the NBA. He probably won't hear his name called on draft night, but don't be surprised if you see Webb flying all over the court in summer league or the NBA D-League anytime soon.