When you tune into Gonzaga’s first March Madness game and see Drew Timme on the floor, your first thought will probably be, “how is he still there?”
Once you see him dominating with a traditional old-man post-up game, you might be wondering whether he’ll be an NBA player in the future. If you search for a 2023 NBA Mock Draft, you’ll quickly notice he isn’t a projected first-round pick. But why?
Timme has been a staple of college basketball for four years now. He’s been the engine of Gonzaga’s success for the last three seasons. The three-time All-American continues to improve, averaging career-highs with 20.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game to lead the Bulldogs back to the NCAA Tournament.
How does he project as a prospect at the NBA level? The Sporting News takes a deeper dive below.

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Timme does his damage on the offensive end, where his footwork and touch are immaculate out of the post. Old school post players like Kevin McHale and Bill Walton would be proud of how the Gonzaga senior handles himself on the block.
He has every post move in his arsenal: hook shots with either hand, fadeaways over either shoulder, up-and-unders if he gets a defender on a pump fake. No one is better at using angles to bank shots off the glass. Timme’s patience and skill with his back to the basket is a lost art.
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He’s physical when he’s positioning for rebounds and has a great nose for the ball when it comes off the rim. He’s also improved as a passer out of the post, where he has dished out over 100 assists in a season for the first time in his career.
He’s close to being a well-rounded big man prospect on offense.
Timme’s limitations come on the defensive end, where his lack of athleticism and lateral quickness cap his ceiling as an NBA prospect.
Lightning-quick NBA guards would frequently attack him in pick-and-rolls. Faster, more explosive forwards would take advantage of him with NBA spacing. At 6-10, 235 pounds with a 7-2 wingspan, Timme has the size to defend his position but he lacks the agility and leaping ability it takes to prevent NBA-level athletes from scoring at the rim.
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He works his tail off on defense and his IQ can make up for some of his physical shortcomings, but it won’t completely mask that issue.
As for the offensive end, Timme has regressed as a 3-point shooter. He is 2-for-22 (9.1%) from 3 on the season and 17-for-74 (23.0%) for his career. Even though he has soft touch on post shots, he’s also a sub-70 percent free throw shooter, leaving doubt that he’ll ever be a true floor-stretcher.
Mock Draft projection: Second-round grade
Timme is a college basketball star but he’s not the type of moldable prospect that NBA teams would use a first-round pick on. His ceiling is limited but because of his proven skill, effort and winner’s mentality, some team will likely take a swing on him in the second round.
Plays like: David Lee
A Timme-Lee comparison is more about the Gonzaga forward’s playstyle than a projection of his NBA career. He won’t be the two-time All-Star that Lee was, but Timme’s old school post up game and physicality is reminiscent of the former Florida standout.




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