The NBA Draft Combine is this week and it began Monday with the players going through strength and agility drills before the scrimmages — televised on ESPN — tip-off Wednesday.
The only Mountain West player to earn an invite to the combine was former San Jose State guard and reigning Mountain West player of the year Omari Moore, a second-round sleeper who could rise up draft boards depending on how he does in the combine.
Assuming he plays in the scrimmages, let’s talk about what needs to happen for him to improve his stock!
What does Moore need to do to improve his stock?
Listed at 6-foot-6, Moore has good size. He averaged 17.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.8 assists last season, in addition to 0.7 blocks and 0.7 steals. In 117 career games with the Spartans, he averaged 11.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 blocks.
While at San Jose State, Moore’s best trait was as an on-ball shot creator — especially since he was part of a program that lacked reliable creators throughout his four seasons.
He has a very strong first step and subsequent explosiveness to blow by defenders off-the-bounce, especially with hesitation/change-of-pace maneuvers flowing into his strong side (right). He was explosive around the rim and showed flashes of finishing over bigger defenders with dunks and an assortment of layups. Though to improve his stock, he will need to showcase he can blow by other wings off the bounce.
When he wasn’t attacking the rim, one of Moore’s more prominent moves was generating separation with stepback jumpers — especially from distance. His 3-point efficiency — 33.8 percent in 2022-23 (on 5.7 attempts) and 34.0 percent (2.9 3PA) for his career — will need to improve if he wants to carve out a sustainable role as an offensive threat at the NBA level. Fortunately, his career-best 75.8 free-throw percentage (3.7 FTA) last year suggests he’ll be able to improve his overall efficiency.
Moore improved as a playmaker throughout his four seasons. He upped his assists on a per-possession basis each season, averaging 6.2 assists per 75 possessions in his final season. He was good at leveraging advantageous situations and reading an opponent’s back-line — especially in the pick-and-roll.
One of my biggest questions about Moore’s draft stock is how he performs when the rock’s not in his hands.
His on-ball usage increased every year, and when he was off-ball, San Jose State utilized pindown/Chicago/Miami actions that got him flowing downhill. But when an offense isn’t run for or through him, Moore can be a lethal spot-up threat, which is inherently more efficient than operating off-the-dribble as a 3-point threat. Depending on how he does this week in spot-up shooting drills plus off-the-ball in scrimmages (should he play) is very important for his stock.
Defensively, Moore was a capable off-ball defender and possesses enough has enough length/athleticism to potentially defend multiple positions on-ball at the next level. Though he must add strength to help buoy his screen navigation. He’s an offensive-minded player, but if he can hold his own defensively, his stock will continue to raise.
Moore is a serious sleeper with very good athleticism and on-ball potential in the NBA as a secondary creator, but if he’s able to maintain consistent effort defensively, raise the floor as a creator and generate offense off-the-ball, he should move up plenty of teams’ draft boards this week.