In this series, Jameson Draper will be firing up his Crystal Ball and diving into the 4 Spartans that signed pro contracts this week. He is going to attempt to predict the future and tell you what their NBA careers are going to look like. You can read our predictions of Denzel Valentine, Deyonta Davis, and Bryn Forbes.
Matt Costello - Signed in free agency by the Atlanta Hawks
After going undrafted in Thursday night's draft (as expected), the Atlanta Hawks signed Matt Costello to a free agent contract, allowing him to participate in training camp and Summer League.
As much as I want Matt Costello to be a surprising success story in the NBA, I just really don't see it. He's a 6'10" center, which is a tad bit on the short end for an NBA center. In a league where small ball is beginning to rule, though, it wouldn't be a problem, except Matt Costello doesn't have the mobility to guard stretch 4s or stretch 5s on defense. He would get bodied by the big centers and wouldn't be able to stay with the small ones. Imagine Matt Costello trying to defend Draymond Green.
Costello, while a relatively good rebounder, does not have the skill set to succeed offensively in the NBA. He doesn't have a jumper, he has no instincts with his back to the basket and doesn't have the athleticism to overpower other players.
Costello is a player who doesn't have a great frame (his wingspan is only two inches longer than his height) and lacks the athleticism to keep up with the changing times in the NBA. He will be a non-factor offensively and the furthest thing from a rim protector on defense.
If he can develop a nice jumper, works on scoring in the post with his back to the basket and continues to improve his rebounding skills, there may be a place for him on the deep bench of an NBA team. I think his future lies in Europe, though, where he could dominate with his heart, toughness and rebounding skills.
Best case scenario: Tyler Hansbrough
Worst case scenario: Doesn't ever play an NBA game.
Verdict: Tyler Hansbrough is like Matt Costello, except he is a much better scorer and was one of the best college basketball players ever. He averaged less than three points and three rebounds per game in his 2015-2016 campaign. I don't see any scenario in which Costello becomes a serviceable NBA player.