If you’ve ever had the privilege to sit down and watch him play, then it’s not shocking that Josh Christopher’s name has begun to trend upwards after his performance at the NBA Draft Combine - soaring over a radar that he once was flying under.
Christopher showed a national audience what many have seen dating back to his days at Mayfair High School where he became a social media star: he’s an entertainer that oozes a mix of swagger that’s coated with confidence along with a knack for putting the ball in the basket.
He wears his shorts short, the colors on his sneakers pop, and he roasts defenders all while having a composed Californian calmness that’s become a trademark for hoopers from that region. He finished his prep days as ESPN’s 11th ranked player in the 2020 class which was headlined by Jalen Green, a former teammate of Christopher in AAU under Vegas Elite.
From there he went to Arizona State, starting in every game he appeared in while averaging 14.3 points an outing along with 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He was a double-digit scorer in all but two games, one of those being when he scored zero points in his first game since suffering a back injury, which ultimately ended up as the final game at ASU.
Christopher’s collegiate career-high came in an 83-74 loss against third-ranked Villanova, where he pitched in 28 points on 11-17 shooting which saw 3-5 shooting from long-range. After his lone season in Tempe, Christopher elected to enter the NBA Draft and participate in the combine, which gradually fast-forwards us to the NBA Draft Combine, a.k.a, present day.
On the opening day of the combine’s two-day scrimmage session, Christopher, playing with Team 4, notched 16 points and 10 rebounds during a 94-54 drubbing of Team 3. Christopher was the game’s highest scorer and second-leading rebounder while also dishing out 2 assists in 25 minutes of action.
He didn’t have a perfect showing however. He shot an ice-cold 0-6 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over five times, which is nightmarish for a guard. Yet despite his struggles, he was the most dominant player on the floor and knocked down every shot that wasn’t taken from behind the three-point line, which brought his shooting total to 6-12 from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line.
During Day 2, Christopher returned to action and only shot 4-12 from the field but stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 12 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. Most importantly, he finished the game without a single turnover against a better team and also knocked down a shot from beyond the arc. going 1-4 from deep.
The most popular plays that he had over the two days were two dunks, the first coming during a commercial break on the opening day which caused a late reaction from Twitter, but the second one was seen live on Friday when Christopher crossed over from left to right in a half-court setting and punished the rim with his right hand.
Christopher officially stands 6’4.5” while wearing shoes and weighs in at 214.8 pounds. He has a wingspan of 6’9.25” and leaped a 37.5” max vertical leap.
It’s hard to tell if he’ll be available for the Houston Rockets at pick 23, but it’s worth wondering if they’d combine that pick along with the 24th to trade up and get him. Whether Houston decides to draft Evan Mobley or Jalen Green at two is the hottest draft topic, and neither selection should deter them away from Christopher. If the selection is Mobley, Houston will without a doubt be looking to add a guard that can score the ball after opting to pass on Green; if they do select Green, the opportunity to pair the former AAU running mates and obtain that instant chemistry amongst young talent will be an enticing possibility.