Ivan Rabb NBA Draft Profile


Ivan Rabb, Sophomore, Center, California


Ivan Rabb’s decision to return to California for his sophomore year did not go as he had hoped. After his freshman season, Rabb was projected as a possible lottery selection. Now, he will likely go closer to the end of the first round, if not later. His points, rebounds and assists totals slightly rose in his return to Cal, but his efficiency decreased considerably. His field goal percentage went from an impressive 61.5% to a disappointing 48.4%. Rabb’s regressions as a sophomore will alarm scouts and his role in today’s NBA is unknown.

Rabb’s most likely use at the next level is as a small-ball center. Standing at 6-10, Rabb has good, but not great size for a center. He has an average frame that he should look to bulk up, as he gets bullied by bigger players in the post. Rabb does have the mobility to be a useful big man at the next level. He’s a good roll man off of screens with great hands to gather passes and creativity to finish around the rim. His mobility also shows up in transition as he runs out ahead of the pack and gets himself easy baskets.

In offensive sets, Rabb spends most of his time in the post. At California, Rabb wasn’t able to play in an NBA-style offense, often playing alongside a seven footer which clogged the paint. Rabb shows good footwork in the post, but lacks the strength and explosiveness necessary to finish at a high rate in the NBA. He does absorb contact well, with six FTA per game. Rabb isn’t much of a jump shooter, but does show some potential to extend his range. He went 8-20 on threes as a sophomore and hit a respectable 66.3% of his free throws. He has a bit of a hitch in his shot and shoots line drives at the rim. To be an offensive threat at the next level, Rabb needs to make defenses respect his shot, at least in the mid-range, to open up the floor for him.

Defensively, Rabb has a ways to go to make an impact in the NBA. His lack of strength shows up in his post defense. Rabb struggles on the perimeter with poor lateral quickness and will be limited to defending centers who can bully him down low. He doesn’t project as a rim protector due to his lack of explosiveness. He does have solid instincts and is a good off-ball defender who is always in the right place. His best skill is his rebounding ability, as he averaged 10.5 boards per game. He actively seeks out loose balls and has the reach to grab rebounds in a wide radius.


Final Projection:

Ivan Rabb may have a hard time sticking in the NBA as it’s played today. Many teams have abandoned having two big men on the floor at the same time and are playing smaller. Today’s power forwards can shoot the ball and have defensive versatility. Rabb is built like a traditional power forward, but doesn’t have the perimeter skills to survive as a forward at the next level. He will likely have to play a lot of minutes at center, but he isn’t strong enough to hold his own against NBA big men. If Rabb doesn’t develop as a shooter and defender or doesn’t become stronger in the paint, he may not be able to find a lasting role in the NBA.


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