Height: 6’10, 245 lbs.
Simi is a high impact power forward with solid size and strength. His ability to run the floor and handle the ball is what makes him an intriguing prospect at the next level. His explosiveness helps him excel at making plays off a rebound or if he plays the passing lanes and creates turnovers.
The Ontario native underwent corrective knee surgery in January last year, but it has not slowed him down after proper conditioning and rehab this season. His athleticism is elite, his defense creates offense. He’s got a quick first step and reaction on the perimeter. Simi is also a solid defender at every level of the court with an impressive wingspan.
His ball handling does have to improve, but his simple crossover against most players his size is effective. His size gives him the advantage to develop better positioning for rebounds. His knack to find the ball after a miss is elite and with his strong frame he continues to develop his understanding for the game.
His passing ability is his most underrated ability. He has the vision and the decision making ability to make the correct pass. His passing off the block is above-average and has lead to a lot of easy baskets for his teammates. His size makes him a very common option on screen and rolls. Simi has to improve on reading the defense and understand when to cut and when to fade.
For Simi to have a chance to succeed and have some longevity in the Association he must become a better player offensively. His motor works with him and against him. Relying on his athleticism to separate him from his opponents it can be discouraging watching him play against more skilled players.
His shot is very concerning, a very flat free throw shot and no range. He must improve with his footwork on the block. He’s only got the quick blow by that he depends on. His spot up shot can sometimes not come close to the rim, even if he has time to set up. And other times, he might put way too much power into it.
Needless to say, that’s a major weakness in his game.
His feel for the game has been in question occasionally, due to his mental lapses on defense that happen an uncomfortable rate. There’s the poor positioning, he loses his man, and even watches the ball too often to name a few of the concerning habits he obtains on defense. He will not survive at the next level defensively without watching more film and learning from his lapses.
Simi Shittu is a gifted athlete that with time can become a reliable five at the next level, with the proper player development. He must learn how to shoot better consistently, become more well versed on the block, and improve defensively while also not depending on his athleticism to always give him the advantage over his opponent.
For right now, I see him landing in that early 2nd round range if he decides to declare this year, but there’s a very real chance that he could climb up the boards if his shot continues to develop throughout the season.