Ivan Rabb went in the second round to the Memphis Grizzlies. Where does the California Golden Bears basketball alum figure in Memphis’s overall plans? And was Rabb utilized properly in the Pac-12 in his time at Cal?
Learn more from Grizzly Bear Blues about how Rabb was utilized at Cal, and his struggles from the post.
According to Synergy, 38.4 percent of Rabb’s shooting possessions finished in a post-up, and he shot 37.6 percent from the field. That’s average by post-up standards, bad from a team offense standpoint, and nearly a disaster if you project it to the NBA. It was his touch and footwork (good) working against his team’s lack of spacing and his own lack of strength (horrendous). Only elite post scorers and passers get the ball in the NBA, though, and things probably don’t boil down that way for Rabb.
Rebounding: Rabb was one of the best rebounders in college basketball, finishing in the top 200 in offensive rebounding rate (10.7%) and the top 40 in defensive rebound rate (25.6%). Even with two seven footers in Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks being major parts of the rotation, Rabb was the most productive rebounder. Rebounders get paid highly in the NBA—if Ivan can keep a nose for the ball, he’s going to have a career there.
Defensive potential: It probably didn’t get seen a ton because Kingsley Okoroh was the block machine and got most of the attention, but Rabb showed he has the mobility to switch onto guards and be effective at bodying up against post players. He still has trouble with his footwork on the perimeter and can’t quite contest effectively at the rim the way a traditional big can. But with enough training and conditioning you’d figure he can learn a ton of these skills effectively.