Josh Heytvelt
Team: Hitachi Sun Rockers
PhysicalsPositionsRankings SalaryMisc
H: 6' 11"
W: 246 lbs
Bday: 06/02/1986
(30 Years Old)
Current: PF
Possible: PF/C
RSCI: 74
Agent: David Bauman
High School: Clarkston
Hometown: Clarkston, WA
Best Case: Matt Bonner
Worst Case: Damir Markota

Predraft Measurements
YearSourceHeight w/o ShoesHeight w/shoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachBody FatNo Step VertMax Vert
2009NBA Draft Combine6' 10"6' 11"2467' 1.25"9' 0"10.828.534.0
YearSourceHeight w/o ShoesHeight w/shoesWeightWingspanStanding ReachBody FatNo Step VertMax Vert
2009NBA Draft Combine6' 10"6' 11"2467' 1.25"9' 0"10.828.534.0

Basic Per Game Statistics - Comprehensive Stats - Statistical Top 25s

DraftExpress Overseas Free Agent Rankings: Players 25-50
January 3, 2010

One of the bigger surprises of draft night last June, at least from our perspective, was seeing every NBA team decide to pass on Josh Heytvelt in both rounds. After all, 6-11 guys with skills don’t grow on trees, even if there were a number of red flags to be concerned about. He didn’t get much more interest in the summer apparently, as he decided to accept a lucrative contract offer in Turkey and has been posting strong numbers in that fairly weak league ever since, to the tune of 17 points and 9 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. Heytvelt is a guy that will surely get his fair share of looks in summer league and mini-camps, and it wouldn’t surprise us in the least bit to see him latch onto an NBA roster eventually.

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NCAA Weekly Performers, 3/3/09
March 3, 2009

Before the start of the season, Heytvelt needed surgery to insert two more pins in his foot since his previous surgery did not heal correctly. He recovered well and has started all 28 games this season for the Zags and is putting up similar numbers to that of his sophomore campaign, where he solidified himself as one of the best players in the WCC and garnered national attention as well. His production dropped off last season due to a decrease in playing time because of his injury and off court issues, but he has been instrumental in Gonzaga’s undefeated run through conference play this season and will be depended upon greatly as we go further into March.

Heytvelt elevates well off the vertical for dunks in traffic and can pin shots off the glass on weak side rotations. Almost all of his 9.1 rebounds per 40 adjusted are because of his athleticism and not because of his fundamentals, as he is inconsistent with boxing out and surrenders inside position too often. He’s grabbing about two rebounds less per- than he was two years ago, and 1.3 blocks less as well. Although he’s still efficient, he’s not doing it at the same rate, which would lead one to believe his injury and the subsequent weight he put on has affected his ability to elevate the way he once did.

On the offensive end, his advanced skill set for a big guy is still hard to ignore as he’s able to step out and shoot and also finishes well around the basket. He converts about 45% of his catch and shoot opportunities according to Synergy Sports Technology, albeit on a modest sample size (30/67). With that said, he has an effortless looking stroke and shoots with confidence and there’s no reason to believe he can’t consistently shoot at this rate with more attempts. He’s 21/50 from beyond the arc on the season, or 42%.

Around the basket, Heytvelt is connecting on an outstanding 72% of his shots (SST). This has a lot to do with his soft hands and soft touch, as well as his good mobility in the painted area. He has a good feel for where he is when he receives a pass at the basket and wastes little time deciding what to do with it. He’s not as effective operating with his back to the basket, often getting pushed further away from the basket than he wants, taking questionable shots or is forced to put the ball on the floor which gets him into trouble. He’s also not much of a passer at all, making up his mind what he is going to do and rarely seeing his teammates, even when they are open on the perimeter. Amongst all players projected to be drafted in the next two years, Heytvelt ranks in the top 5 amongst the worst passers in the NCAA per-possession.

There are several stretches each game where Heytvelt will disappear. He’ll go a couple minutes without touching the ball and won’t really have any impact on the game. This has been particularly noticeable in some of Gonzaga’s biggest games this year, where he often came up pretty flat. Some of this has to do with the talent around him, as the Zags have a few players who often look for their own offense (Pargo, Daye, Gray, Bouldin). Another reason however has to do with Heytvelt’s lack of focus for a full 40 minutes - as he’ll play aggressively in spurts and then fade into obscurity in other instances.

Still a liability on the defensive end, it is unclear as to who Heytvelt can defend at the next level. He gets muscled around in the post and doesn’t put up much of a fight - often content with playing behind his man as opposed to fighting over the top to dissuade a post feed. He also has a tendency to flop, which referees around the WCC have taken notice of and are not giving him the benefit of the doubt as of late. He also lacks great lateral speed and thus struggles with quicker players on the perimeter. With that said, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and is not afraid to mix it up - something that may work in his favor for a team looking to add some toughness.

All in all, Heytvelt is certainly an intriguing prospect. He offers a lot with the great size and build coupled with a smooth outside shot, and in the right situation he should be able to make a roster and potentially earn playing time down the road.

[Read Full Article]
Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences (Part Two: #6-15)
November 13, 2008

Josh Heytvelt is coming off an up and down junior year, where he started the season on the bench while recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. This was just another in a long line of setbacks after missing a portion of his sophomore season following felony drug charges for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Heytvelt was sidelined for the first eleven games of last season and finally made his return in late December. Due to the injury, and severe conditioning problems that came along with it, he saw his minutes drop from 26.2 to 20.6, going went through spurts poor production and even being asked to come off the bench during certain stretches in an attempt to get him back on track. If healthy, and in better shape than he was last season, Heytvelt will look to pick up where he left off after his standout sophomore season where he averaged 15.5 ppg and 7.7 rpg in just 26 minutes per game.

Heytvelt is a versatile big man who does a decent amount of his damage in the post, but can certainly stretch the defense out with good range and a nice stroke. He is an excellent target in the post thanks to his soft hands, excellent touch and ability to finish strong at the rim, but can also create shots for himself both facing and with his back to the basket. His skill level really stands out at the collegiate level considering his size, and he does not possess any deficiencies in terms of his physical attributes either, as he is very mobile for a 6-11 player and has a solid frame as well.

When in the post, his bread and butter is turning to his left shoulder on either block and shooting a baby hook, which is quite effective. He has a soft touch in there and has very good footwork as he uses his pivot foot to his advantage. Another way he uses that pivot is with his inside pivot away from the basket, which he uses very well to face up. He’s made a living off the move which creates space and allows him to get his shot off.

Where Heytvelt struggles at times in the post is with his shot selection. He doesn’t always look comfortable down there, as he has a tendency to rush his moves or force up questionable shots. It would benefit him to get stronger down in the paint, as he doesn’t always do a great job establishing position inside, and has a tendency to fade away from contact at times.

Heytvelt’s explosiveness and leaping ability seemed to decrease last season because of his foot injury and the conditioning issues that came along with it. He was catching less alley-oops and having far less follow up dunks than in years past, as he looked quite a bit heavier. It’s going to be interesting to see if he can regain some of the athleticism he used to showcase in the past on a regular basis.

Heytvelt gets to the free throw line at an excellent rate, but only shot 66% last season once there, which is considerably low for someone with his shooting stroke. This indicates a lack of focus, which has always been one of his biggest issues.

Defensively, Heytvelt is a bit stuck between positions at the NBA level. He lacks the strength and probably the toughness to defend most back to the basket centers, and doesn’t have the lateral quickness to guard some of the more athletic power forwards that like to face the basket. He’s fairly crafty but seems to lack focus on occasion, not always playing with the same intensity level, and being somewhat foul prone at times. At times he looks pretty fundamentally sound, particularly guarding the post, but in others he seems to show little to no interest in helping his team come up with a stop. Heytvelt’s shot-blocking numbers rate by about 50% last season, and he lost nearly 2 rebounds off his per-40 minute averages. It will be imperative for him to regain the athleticism and activity level he once had in order to not be docked points by NBA scouts for his defensive potential.

There are two main issues to keep an eye on regarding Heytvelt – one of them of course being his physical conditioning. The second issue are his intangibles. Heytvelt’s suspension for drug possession will be researched heavily by NBA teams, and any additional incidents could drop him out of draft consideration. He has already earned himself a reputation for having a bit of a different personality than most college athletes, and it will be important for him to show some maturity in this his senior season. Considering his talent level, Heytvelt could be well on his way to an All-American type season, and Gonzaga could very well make a deep run in the NCA tournament with all the talent they have on their roster. If those two things come to fruition, there’s no doubt that his draft stock will rise dramatically, as there are very few big men who possess his combination of physical tools and skill-level.

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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the 'Other Conferences' (Part One: #1-#5)
October 29, 2007

During what clearly looked to be his coming out party in his sophomore season, everything went downhill quickly for Josh Heytvelt after he was arrested the night before a game against St. Mary’s. Along with a teammate, he was caught by police with hallucinogenic mushrooms, and thus his sophomore season abruptly ended. Rather than looking to transfer or trying his luck with the NBA draft, Heytvelt chose to complete extensive community service and attempt to regain the trust of his teammates after being allowed a second chance with the university. Now a junior, the big man must prove the incident was an aberration, while still showing the same ability he flashed inconsistently on the court last season.

Heytvelt has a wide array of skills offensively, and was the inside threat Gonzaga lacked in their first round loss against Indiana in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The junior big shows very comfortable facing the basket, as well as shooting turnaround jumpers from the low post. He has soft hands, and is mobile enough to run the floor in transition and finish effectively around the basket. He also relies on a right handed jump-hook and has the ability to face-up and drive past most opposing big men. Heytvelt also can step back and shoot the open jumper when left open. On two 3-point attempts per game last season, he managed to hit 40% of these attempts. Simply put, there aren’t many 6-11 players anywhere in the country who can boast such a large variety of ways to put the ball in the basket. His 23.7 points per 40 minutes averages indeed make him the 5th leading scorer in the country amongst returning big men.

Defensively, Heytvelt can be very effective at times, especially going against traditional back to the basket big men. He uses his body very effectively to deny the ball in the low post, and holds his ground against big men with superior strength. He’s also smart enough to know how to use his length to disrupt shots in the paint, but doesn’t get baited into cheap fouls as often as most other young college big men. Heytvelt has the timing to block shots on occasion as well, as his superior physical tools suggest he might at this level. You would like to see him play a little tougher at times, though, as we’re often missing a degree of activity from Heytvelt that would really put his size and athleticism to work. He often looks a bit too lackadaisical.

Physically, Heytvelt shows very good athleticism and runs the court better than the majority of big men in college basketball. The big man also has a quickness advantage that allows him to dribble past slower defenders, and his leaping ability makes him a good rebounder at the college level. Despite his athletic ability, he needs to work on becoming stronger with his upper body before facing NBA competition.

Heytvelt could stand to improve his footwork when operating out of the low-post, and would be much harder to guard with more post moves and counter moves in his arsenal. For right now, he relies on a few staple moves, which NBA big men and their advanced scouting departments will be able to figure out. He also needs to play with a more consistent energy level. In certain games last season, Heytvelt would disappear for long stretches, and his lack of effort on both ends of the floor was apparent.

Josh Heytvelt has the talent to develop into a lottery pick with a strong season, but he must first answer some questions both on and off the court. Based on talent alone, he should be a lot higher than our ranking here would indicate, but his mushroom incident will be considered a big red flag for NBA scouts. He has two years of eligibility to prove he can play against high-level competition, and stay out of trouble off the court.

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Stock Watch-- Tournament Week (Part One, Stock Up)
November 27, 2006

Redshirt sophomore Josh Heytvelt showed scouts how special he truly can be when he wants to play, and also how average he can be when he just goes through the motions. Against North Carolina, Heytvelt resembled a player you would surely see pegged in the lottery. He displayed very good athleticism, was incredibly active, and showed off a very nice skill set facing the basket. More importantly, he (along with his Gonzaga teammates) absolutely shut down UNC star Tyler Hansbrough, limiting him to 9 points. The Washington native had 3 incredible blocks this game, with 2 being on Hansbrough, and played with a fire that fans had never seen in him before.

Against Butler however, we saw the Heytvelt that we saw last year….an extremely talented player whose production never seemed to equal his skill set. While he still had a decent game statistically (16 points and 8 rebounds), he was nowhere near the prospect we saw against North Carolina. When the Zags needed a bucket late in the game, the Washington native was nowhere to be found. He showed that Gonzaga will go as far as he takes them, with the potential to beat powerhouses like North Carolina, or to lose to mid-major schools such as Butler.

Consistency is the key to Heytvelt’s draft stock, so scouts will surely watch him closely to see if he is able to continue his dominant play through WCC competition. If he is able to, he should be able to solidify a spot for himself somewhere in the late lottery, either in 07 or 08. Either way however, Josh has done an excellent job of raising his stock now to the point that he should be a first round pick, even if he only plays like he did versus Butler for the rest of the season.

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