Rakeem Christmas: 23-years old, Syracuse, Power Forward/Center
Draft Express Measurements (Draft Combine): 6″9.75, 243-pounds, 7″5.25 wingspan
2014-15 Stats: 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.5 blocks, 0.9 steals, 55% field goals, 71% free-throws, 0-1 threes, 34.3 minutes
Quick Season Review: Rakeem Christmas was without question one of the most improved players in the nation last season. After never averaging more than 6 points or 5.1 rebounds, Christmas became the Orange’ best player. It was about time that Christmas lived up to his status as a top 20 player coming out of high school. He finished with 10 games of at least 20 points and 12 double-doubles. Christmas’ best game of the season came against Wake Forest, when he finished with 35 points and 9 rebounds in an overtime win. While the Orange disappointed by not making the tourney and going 18-13, Christmas surely didn’t.
Strengths: Terrific shot blocker and defender. Incredibly long and a good athlete. Improved scorer in the post. Good rebounder and makes good reads (passing) on offense. Can make free-throws for a big man. Can defend multiple positions. Game is still improving. Runs the floor well for a big.
Weaknesses: Might lack an inch or two, to play the center spot in the league. What position will he play? Turnover prone (2.5 to) for a big. One of the oldest players in the draft (23-years old). Shooting range.
Where He Would Help Spurs?
Rakeem Christmas will bring shot blocking and rebounding to the Spurs, two things they can use, especially with Tim Duncan getting older. Christmas can also provide some offense off the bench inside.
NBA Comparison: J.J. Hickson
Rakeem Christmas has similar size and body type as J.J. Hickson. Hickson isn’t the shot blocker that Christmas is, but he is a little more versatile on defense.
Below is a Rakeem Christmas highlight video uploaded by ACC Digital Network.