Jason Burnell extended his contract with Dinamo Sassari so we will watch him again in Italian and in the Champions League. He is a versatile player that could find a place in many top teams in the future.
Height: 201 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Date of Birth: 15/8/1997
2020-present Dinamo Sassari
Played his freshman year for Georgia Southern University but left the program because he wasn’t happy with his playing time. As a sophmore he played for the St. Petersburg college and led the team with 20.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Spent his final two years of college eligibility at Jacksonville state and had some good numbers there too. In 2019 he went undrafted and started his pro career in Cantu.
Shooting: Shooting from distance has room to improve. Not that he is that bad as a shooter but I’m not completely buying his shot. The release isn’t the smoothest or the quickest and this is already something that can improve. Also not that consistent and can have some bad days, even from the free throw line. He is not taking many shots and is probably aware that he isn’t the best shooter behind the arc but I think he has the potential to get better at it over the years.
Slashing: In my opinion he should try to attack with drives more often since he usually has the speed advantage over his defenders and his handles look solid too. Sometimes just too passive in offense and he is leaving some points on the table that way. I think he needs to be a little more active as a scorer be it with shots from distance or with drives.
Post Ups: Post ups on the other hand are something where he is pretty active. He likes to play with back to the basket and go to the rim or create something for his team mates. Per InStat more than 30% of his possessions in last season were post ups. His post up technique is decent and is capable of creating separation. Strong enough to move bodies but not sure if he will be able to continue this way on a higher level against bigger and better players.
Playmaking: As I already mentioned, Jason has the ability to create something for his team mates. His playmaking skills are above average for a player his size and for his position. He scans the floor well and is capable of delivering passes that come on time. Some of his passes can be a little too optimistic and they resulted in a turnover but overall his playmaking skills are something that can make him an interesting player even for teams on top level.
Transition: He likes to run or push the ball forward after grabbing a rebound or getting a steal. Fluid ball handler for his position and makes pretty good decisions on the go. He scored 1.23 points per possession in transition last season and this is definitely something that teams will expect from him when he gets an opportunity on a higher level.
Perimeter defense: His versatility can be seen on that side of the floor too. He can play solid defense outside and inside. His lateral movements and reactions in my opinion could be better. Has a pretty high gravity point and sometimes gets stuck on the floor and recovers too slowly. He is able to defend most of the wings on perimeter but not really a player that could stay in front of guards that are dominant in isolation.
Off-Ball Defense: Jason can lose his focus in off-ball defense or be positioned poorly too many times. Not maneuvering around screens the best way possible and leaving too much space for his man and better shooting forwards can punish that. Also sometimes has the habit of helping when it is not his job to help and sometimes late in rotations. Has some room to improve in this area too and I believe he is able to do that in the next few years.
Post Up Defense: I think there are some reserves in his post up defense too. He is not the tallest for a forward and some forwards are taking advantage of that. He is usually moved around way too easily and I would expect a stronger stance from him if we just look at his body. He tries to contest shots and not letting any open looks and is a pretty competitive player on post ups. I believe that with more experience he will get better at defending down low too.
Rebounding: Jason is an active rebounder and averaged almost 7 rebounds per game which is a great number for his size. Showing good feel and instincts for rebounds and again showing some competitiveness and motor. He is not really a high-flyer that would jump high above the rim but mostly relying on his basketball IQ and feel when going for rebounds and this could translate to higher level too.
Steals: He is showing some solid feel when going for steals too. I already mentioned in his off-ball defense that he is sometimes helping when it is not his job to help and mostly going for steals on those plays. Active hands and can take away live balls or make some interceptions. After getting a steal he almost always tries to push in transition and look for quick points.
Blocks: Jason made progress as a rim protector in last season. Averaged around 0.7 blocks per game in all competitions combined and some of those blocked shots were really spectacular. Tries to contest every shot possible and showing some good instincts and feel for blocks and a solid rim protector for a player his size.
Jason Burnell can do a lot of things on both ends of the court. In offense he can play inside and outside but in my opinion he should be a little more aggressive in his drives and improve his shot from distance. Has good court vision and had many games with 5 or more assists.
Overall a solid defender too but has room to improve almost in every defensive area but especially in his perimeter and off-ball defense.
He extended the contract with Sassari for another year but I think at the end of the season it will be time for him to move to a little higher level.