• Derek Murray

Henri Drell

6'9" - 180 lbs

Estonia, 2000



Caught some film of his 10/13 game against Bologna, most takeaways remain the same as the original notes below.

His length and agility were solid, but there was still a lack of explosiveness. He finished well in the lane, especially through contact, displaying good body control and strength. I still worry about his ability to create space and elevate though; really wondering if/when we'll see him flash the ability to play above the rim when he needs to.

His length is effective against current competition but he won't be able to rely upon it as heavily at the next level.

Fell away really hard on some of his three point attempts. Need to see some improved balance on these. I can't envision him having much low post/interior game in the NBA/GLeague so his perimeter scoring must improve.

The lack of explosiveness and verticality are still concerns, but I continue to like his ball handling and ability to score. He's got a nose for the basket and remains a viable prospect for 2020.


Henri Drell declared for the NBA Draft this year but ultimately chose to withdraw and return to Pesaro for 2019-20. He's not a household name quite yet, but there is some well deserved hype building around him. Drell is a long, lean wing who can score in multiple ways and has legitimate NBA potential.

Drell's 2018-19 statistics give some concern, as 39/29/67 shooting splits in German Pro A last year aren't what you hope to see.

Whether it was shot selection, his aggressive nature, or simply execution issues, we need to see more this season to determine.

Even with the numbers - there is much to like offensively.

He's big & athletic, and covers ground really well with his long strides and arms. He's light on his feet for a big man but the quick-twitch & explosiveness will need to improve. The verticals below don't worry me too much as long as they increase in his 2019 tests.


Listed 6'9 in shoes and nearly a 7-foot wingspan, his ability to dribble and finish near the rim make him really difficult to contest. Right now he creates his space and gets looks by way of handles & craftiness. He can keep the ball away from defenders with a long swing-through; and when he can get his man on his hip his arms are long enough to finish without much trouble. He's got a decent euro step as well, not very quick but it's effective.

Drell's handles are solid & he's really smooth with the ball. He's got a nice set of dribble moves that he uses to create space and keep his man off balance. I also like his ability to stop quickly and remain balanced, as seen in these pull up jumpers.

He's also crafty and changes speeds well. He doesn't do this with elite or blow-by speed, instead by lulling his man to sleep and then using his length to seal on the 1st or 2nd step. He's creative & sneaky, and can manipulate his man into reacting how he wants.

One thing that worries me is that he can be a black hole. There are times he seems to prefer hero ball rather than check the floor for open teammates. In the clip below he holds the ball for considerably too long and then his teammate's only option is to heave up a three.

I appreciate the mindset of trusting himself to make a play, but in order to excel at the next level we'll need to see some maturity and distribution more often. Last year he averaged only 1.6 AST per game in 28 minutes.

Now to defense.

What I like most about his defense is his length. He really makes perimeter passing difficult with his wingspan and active hands. His feet & lateral quickness are good but not great yet; if his footwork improves, he could become a terrific on-ball defender. Look at how he makes seeing the floor difficult for the ball handlers here.

Drell also does a good job with his hands to gather steals. He averaged 1.7 STL/40 in Pro A last season due to aggressive pursuit of the ball in both half-court and transition.

One weakness I see right now is his closeouts. He keeps his hands up so I don't think there is any laziness here, but the speed to contest the shot is lacking. This season I hope to see him attack shooters and really utilize his length & athleticism. You can see here that shooters are able to get too clean of looks.

Henri Drell has shown legitimate NBA potential, but he's going to have to be efficient this year to be viewed as more than just a stash. He's got a really good frame that should develop muscle yet keep him fluid athletically. He can be a really smooth offensive player, and provide good activity on defense. His aggressive mentality, length, and skill set should translate well to the next level.

I'm not sure about a Round 1 pick at the moment, but if an NBA team buys into his offensive future, we should see him selected in Round 2.

Photo via FIBA Basketball

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