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Nathan Jawai
SI Rank
4
Position: Country: Ht., Wt.:
6'10, 282

BIOGRAPHY: Because of his size, Jawai has drawn comparisons to Shaquille O'Neal with similar explosiveness at the basket and penchant for dunking. He has a lot of raw talent, but will need some time to finesse his skills to really compete at the NBA level. Jawai averaged 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds last season for Cairns Taipans, ranking third in the NBL (Australian Pro League) in rebounding, fifth in field goal percentage (57.5) and ninth in blocked shots (1.0 bpg). The reigning NBL rookie of the year has started to develop a mid-range shot, but overall is still very green in terms of basketball skills and shot selection. Jawai hasn't faced the type of competition he would in the NBA, or even in European leagues, and his lack of experience and conditioning are concerns considering he often had trouble finishing games. Weight loss could help him move more smoothly up and down the court. Although he has much to learn, Jawai is considered a good student of the game and easily teachable. His defense could use some work and he tends to give up a lot of space under the basket given his frame, which if worked on, could help improve his rebounding numbers. He shot just 64.5 percent from the free-throw line this season, although he has good form and has shown signs he could improve. Jawai could be a late first-round pick.

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