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Mathias Lessort – 6’9” Power Forward, France, 21 Years Old
Mathias Lessort is a power forward, who is projected to be an early second-round pick. Playing for Nanterre, he averaged 10.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and one block in 31 games. Shooting 58.8% from the field, he would attempt 14 shots per game on average. At the line he would experience some struggles, averaging a solid 62%. Turning professional in 2014, Lessort would consider heading to America, to attend University. Considered by Gonzaga and North Carolina State, he would decide to stay in France despite contact from both schools. He would declare for the 2016 Draft, but withdraw and remain in France for another season. His patience would pay off, with the Frenchman winning both the FIBA Europe Cup and French Cup.
Lessort is a great athlete, with the frame to thrive at the NBA level. He’s one of the stronger draft entries, playing with energy and toughness. Relentless on the boards, he is known as a high effort player. Defensively he is very good, but he has the potential to be a great defender. With his mix of strength and athleticism, Lessort is capable of making an impact in a lot of different areas. Experience is something that is sometimes overlooked in the draft process. He has plenty of experience, having played at a competitive level since the age of 18. With a high motor and the ability steamroll his way to the rim, he has some really good traits that will help him at the next level.
Barely standing at 6’9”, he is slightly undersized. He makes up for his lack of height through his elite athleticism. Doing most of his work inside the paint, he doesn’t shoot well. Capable of scoring from two-point range, his game from beyond the arc is non-existent. In fact, he didn’t shoot a single three-pointer whilst playing for Nanterre last season. His lack of ability shooting the ball makes his game one dimensional.
Now, Lessort has a basic post game. This leads to the number of opportunities to score being reduced. Lessort needs to develop a post game, in order to create more opportunities for himself. Shot blocking is one aspect he excels in. However, he lacks the discipline to take full advantage. Often getting into shot blocking situations, he mistimes his jump and fouls the opposition player. Seasoned NBA veterans can take advantage, so it needs to be sorted out.
In terms of NBA potential, Lessort screams role player. With the tools to make an impact off the bench, he can be useful playing reduced minutes. He has a lot of natural ability, but to be successful in the NBA he needs to refine the skill side of his game. Lessort appears to be destined for the second-round, with NBA teams always looking to add athletic players who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work. A raw prospect, he has the potential to be useful, good contributor.
NBA Player Comparison
The easy comparison for Lessort is Draymond Green. However, that is a lazy and rather useless comparison. Instead, one player the Frenchman reminds some of is Los Angeles Lakers power forward Tarik Black. Black is one of the better role players in the NBA, who when asked this past season to start, did so without trouble. Just like Black, Lessort still has glaring weaknesses that need to be figured out, especially if he wants to find success in the NBA.
Expect Mathias Lessort to be an early second-round pick on draft night, and be sure to stay updated with our complete coverage of the 2017 NBA Draft!