Kyle Filipowski NBA Mock Draft scouting report: Has Duke forward increased his stock from 2023 to 2024?

Duke’s Kyle Filipowski could have turned pro last year, but he elected to return to Durham with unfinished business.

The Blue Devils are already a step further than they went during Filipowski’s freshman season, advancing to the Sweet 16 after blowout wins over Vermont and James Madison.

Even though the star forward hasn’t posted the scoring numbers we know he is capable of, he has impacted both games at a high level in other areas.

Through two March Madness games, Filipowski is only averaging 8.5 points, but he only took one shot in the win over Vermont, racking up 12 boards, four assists, three blocks and two steals. He was more aggressive against JMU, going for 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, but he still added another five rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block to his totals.

The further Duke goes, the brighter the stage gets. That gives Filipowski more opportunities to improve his NBA Draft stock as he looks to secure himself among the lottery picks in 2024.

DECOURCY: Ranking the Sweet 16’s chances to win it all, from UConn to San Diego State

Kyle Filipowski stats

Stat Average
Points 16.6
Rebounds 8.2
Assists 2.9
Blocks 1.6
Steals 1.2
Field goal % 51.5
3-point % 34.6
Free throw % 66.7

Kyle Filipowski strengths

Filipowski is a 7-foot, 248-pound big man whose game will translate smoothly to the NBA.

The Duke sophomore can stretch the floor and protect the paint. He’s a willing 3-point shooter, knocking down 34.6 percent of his 104 attempts this season. He is capable of playing with his back to the basket or facing up with a soft shooting touch. He’s physical when he wants to be, rebounds at a high level and can score around the rim with smooth footwork.

Filipowski is lethal as a screener because he can pop, roll and even make plays as a passer out of a short roll. He’ll be a dangerous weapon for NBA teams that can maximize his strengths.

Filipowski is not afraid to handle the ball or attempt tough passes. He plays active, hands-on defense, recording totals of 87 steals and 80 blocks in 70 college games.

His coordination, mobility and versatility are rare for a player of his size, and he’ll be a reliable rotation big in the NBA.

Kyle Filipowski weaknesses

Even though Filipowski plays with an attitude, he tends to shrink against big, physical matchups. Despite mostly playing the five this season, he projects as more of a stretch-four than a center at the NBA level.

Filipowski has improved his 3-point shot as a sophomore, but he still shoots an inconsistent 31.1 percent on over 220 attempts for his career. It will be interesting to see if that number improves when he’s getting more catch-and-shoot looks in the NBA.

His ball-handling and passing skills are encouraging, but it also results in a ton of turnovers. It might be in part of his role as a go-to guy on Duke, but Filipowski tries to do too much on the offensive end. As a result, he has more turnovers (160) than assists (153) over two seasons.

The big question mark is what type of role Filipowski will play in the NBA. Will he be more of a perimeter-oriented big or will he be able to hold his own in the paint? His versatility is a strength, but the situation he lands in will also be equally important in defining his role.

MORE 2024 NBA DRAFT: Top 60 big board | Best prospects in March Madness

Kyle Filipowski NBA Mock Draft projection

Mock Draft projection: Top 20 pick

In my pre-NCAA Tournament Mock Draft, I projected Filipowski to go No. 19 overall to the Suns. While I believe he would be an extremely strong fit with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, it’s safe to assume Filipowski has hopes of landing in the lottery.

Filipowski would have been a fringe lottery pick if he declared for the 2023 NBA Draft. He elected to return to Duke instead, looking to avenge a second-round March Madness exit while piling up Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals and improving his game with hopes of raising his draft stock.

Even in a weaker draft class, Filipowski’s draft range feels similar to last year. He could very easily go in the lottery, but it would be a surprise if he were a top-10 pick. Anywhere between 10 and 20 feels safe, with the latter end being a steal for the team that ends up with him.

Kyle Filipowski NBA player comparison

Plays like: PJ Washington

It’s not a perfect player comparison, but Filipowski and Washington have some similarities as floor-stretching big men. They can both play the four or the five, serve as a roller or a popper on ball screens, make plays for others and defend with active hands.

Even though their playstyles match up, Filipowski is four inches taller and was far more productive in college. I would argue his NBA ceiling is higher, too, but Washington has quietly carved out a solid start to his career.

The Kentucky product has averaged 12.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 3-pointers, 1.0 blocks and 0.9 steals per game over five seasons. That feels similar to what Filipowski is capable of doing at the next level.

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