Devin Vassell might not be a household name just yet, but the swingman out of Florida State is an expected lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Nov. 18. There was some concern about him last month, however, when a clip of one of his workouts was posted online and showed him using a bizarre shooting form.
Launching the ball from well behind his head, and kicking his feet back, Vassell was almost in a "C" formation at the mid-point of his shot. That's not at all how his release looked in college and was obviously a bit puzzling. The good news is he was apparently just joking around, according to The Athletic's John Hollinger:
Worrying clips of Vassell launching Jamaal Wilkes-style from way behind his head were wisely scrubbed from Twitter, and sources insist that it was just him goofing around and not a real change in his form.
Hollinger's report echoes what Charlton "Cy" Young, one of Vassell's assistant coaches in college, told Ian Begley of SNY: "He has not changed his shot at all." Young said Vassell was fooling around with some extremely deep 3-point attempts, which is why he was flinging it from behind his head.
It's not surprising that Vassell's camp would want to downplay any sort of negative press, and honestly, this seems like a pretty realistic explanation. That clip wasn't from any sort of official workout, and a guy just messing around shooting weird shots is more likely than a potential lottery pick destroying his form in the span of a few months. Anyone who's ever picked up a basketball has done something similar while shooting around in an empty gym or park.
Besides, it's not like teams wouldn't be able to figure out the truth immediately during workouts. If that really was his new motion, we probably would have heard more about it by now, and he would be falling down draft boards. That hasn't been the case. Of course, we won't know for sure until the season rolls around, but for now it's probably safe to believe this report.