Pro Player Comparison: J.J. Hickson, Denver Nuggets
With a similar body, strengths and limitations, Montrezl Harrell projects as some version of J.J. Hickson, who's made a living around the rim as a scorer, finisher and rebounder.
Harrell is an explosive athlete with powerful arms and legs. He's shot at least 57 percent from the floor in both years at Louisville, where he's done most of his damage in the paint.
Like Hickson, you'll occasionally see Harrell step out and knock in a mid-range jumper, but at this point, that's not really his game. Harrell likes to work with his back to the rim or facing it from the elbows.
A good portion of their offense also comes off the ball—put-backs, alley-oops, dunks off dump passes. They finish and clean up plays that come their way around the basket.
Though Hickson and Harrell are capable of scoring over their men, neither is too strong of a one-on-one player. Hickson's inability to improve as a post scorer or shooter has held him back a little bit as a pro.
Over the next few years, we'll see if Harrell can gradually improve in the areas where Hickson has seemingly plateaued.
“I’ve been working on my post moves a lot, a lot of different aspects of my game," Harrell told Yannis Koutroupls of Basketball Insiders. "I have showcased a couple of things here, putting the ball on the floor, getting to the basket. There’s a lot more of my game that hasn’t been shown.”
Worse comes to worst, we're talking about an interior scorer and strong presence on the glass.