In his freshman year at Boise State, Chandler Hutchison scored just 3.1 points per game. By the time his senior year with the Broncos had come to an end, Hutchison had increased his scoring output to 20 points per game.
“He gets better every year” is a cliche that can get thrown around a lot in college basketball circles, but Hutchison embodied it. He went from a role player getting spot minutes as a freshman and turned himself into a do-it-all wing for Boise State. In doing so, he’s become a near lock to be a first round pick in June’s NBA Draft.
Here’s what Hutchison can bring to the NBA.
Weight: 197 lbs
As the NBA continues to drift towards positionless basketball with a heavy emphasis on versatility, Hutchison has the build of a guy that can fit right in. With good size on the wing, Hutchison should be capable of switching on the defensive end and guarding multiple positions. He averaged 1.5 steals per game during his senior year, and had a steal rate in the top 200 nationally. His length and athleticism should allow him to be a serviceable defender right from the jump, which could wind up in receiving a few more minutes than a typical rookie.
Offensively, Hutchison’s best skill is his ability to get to the rim and convert. Eli Boettger of Mountain West Wire compared Hutchison’s shooting splits to other similar players in the draft.
A comparison of Chandler Hutchison's shooting rates and percentages to other first-round guard and wing prospects: pic.twitter.com/L2ONpYesXl— Eli Boettger (@boettger_eli) May 20, 2018
As you can see in the chart, Hutchison converted on an absurd 72% of his shots at the rim. He’s a fluid athlete and handles the ball well for a wing, and the numbers show it. He’ll need to continue to be able to get to the hoop against NBA defenders while he develops his jumpshot. Similar to that, Hutchison was also among the best in the country at drawing fouls.
The biggest question mark for Hutchison right now is his jumpshot. He’s not a bad shooter by any means, but he clearly needs to improve if he hopes to make a big impact in the league. His senior year, he shot 35.9 percent from distance on nearly four attempts per game. As noted in the chart above, he shot just 34.2 percent on two-point jumpers on a high volume. Now, some of that can be attributed to being a high usage player, but it’s reasonable to have concerns about Hutchison’s jumper.
Another weakness - as unfortunate as it may be - is his age. At 22 years old, Hutchison is already older than many players in his class, and even players in classes that precede him. Some front offices may view him as a player that is already nearing his ceiling, and may opt to take a player with more potential or upside.
Lastly, he’ll need to continue to add muscle to his frame. The size and strength of the players he’ll be matched up against are going to be a big change from what he faced in the Mountain West. Adding weight will be a key to maintaining his potential as a 3-and-D player.
It was reported that Hutchison was promised a first round spot by the Chicago Bulls last week, which prompted him to sit out of the NBA Draft Combine. At the No. 22 pick, that feels like a good range for Hutchison. We’ll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition, but the latter half of the first round feels appropriate for him.