NBPA Takeout: Seventh Woods

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — One of the most frequently discussed and hotly debated prospects in the Class of 2016, Woods has drawn many targeted eyeballs the past several days.

No one likes being patient. I don't and you don't, which only makes us human. That truth becomes pertinent when evaluating Seventh Woods, because as much as we all want to issue an opinion right now, the truth is that there's only so far we can project with a player who's so rough around the edges yet also clearly extremely gifted.

Woods hasn't shot the ball well at camp, reinforcing a common concern about his game. His form doesn't look bad, he just doesn't hit as many shots as you'd hope. He can have struggles from deep and also the free throw line, and who knows how long and to what extent he'll be able address that deficiency.

Meanwhile, though focusing on his point guard skills and despite the fact that he's being recruited to play that position in college, debate rages whether he should be categorized as a point or a wing. The growing sentiment among pundits is wing, but like everything else, no one will know for certain until later.

So those are the limitations. But Woods also has made plays at camp that no other player here can make: His ability to get to the rim and explode into his shot off one foot are unparalled, and no one bursts through the open court with as much speed. A solidly built 6-2 mega-athlete can take that style to the highest level of the sport, and a full dose of Woods games presents a daunting challenge to anyone inclined to issue a casual dismissal of his languishing skills.

And while he isn't a classical handler or passer by any definition — he's actually a combo, the only question is whether he's a PG/SG or SG/PG — he does make some nice passes and breaks out dribble moves that freeze defenders in place. Everyone wants to see him become more complete, but what he does already will translate to college and the NBA. There's no translation question, just a production question and balance question. And on defense, he is 100 percent point guard and a potential lockdown guy down the road.

I'm reminded of a player from my neck of the woods (no pun intended) named John Wall. Woods lacks Wall's length and long stride, but he faces the same crossroads Wall — who also was considered a non-playmaker (albeit a more creative passer) and a non-shooter — and ultimately decided to play to his strengths and ignore his weaknesses, obviously to great effect.

What Woods has attempted to do is play through his shortcomings to develop a complete game, and that's simply going to be a lengthy process. Whether he's competing at this event or at one this fall, the assessment here likely will still stand. He needs more time than people are willing to grant him, but that's their problem — not his.

In the meantime, I'd love to see him develop more of a Wall-ian philosophy and simply play a speed game. Get the ball and race endline to endline. Avoid threes unless necessary, and don't attempt to be Jason Kidd running the show. That wouldn't tell us everything about his ultimate level as a prospect, either, but it would make for a hell of a show.

Woods remains a nationally elite prospect and will continue to generate intense debate among scouts and college coaches.

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