2024 NBA Draft scouting report: Kyle Filipowski

Duke big man Kyle Filipowski has elevated his stock with a dominant sophomore campaign.

Kyle Filipowski, Duke
Kyle Filipowski, Duke / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages

Kyle Filipowski could have been a lottery pick last year, but he opted to return to Duke for a sophomore campaign. Part of that was "unfinished business," as he said, but he also underwent double hip surgery in the offseason. The hope was that it would improve Filipowski's lateral quickness and flexibility when defending space.

So far, Flip's improvement has been pronounced. He's still the same player at heart, but he has assuaged defensive concerns while shouldering an even bigger role on offense. He is one of the best players in college basketball, leading the charge for a Blue Devils team that has a chance to go deep into March Madness.

NBA teams will take significant interest in Flip, whose skill set is tailored to the trends of today's game. He's the rare pass-dribble-shoot big man, a true 7-footer who can generate advantages on the perimeter and create for teammates.

With so little settled at the top of the draft, Flip has a chance to rise higher than he ever would have last season. There is a certain feeling of reassurance with such a dominant, blue-blood college star. Flip could flunk out at the next level, but it feels unlikely. He possesses one of the most stable floors in the 2024 class.

Kyle Filipowski NBA Draft bio

Height: 7-foot-0
Weight: 230 pounds
Birthdate: Nov. 7, 2003
Position: Power Forward/Center
Offensive Role: Big Man Connector
Defensive Role: Roamer, Interior Anchor
Projected Draft Range: 5-20

NBA Draft highlights


Kyle Filipowski has garnered comparisons ranging from Zach Collins to Santi Aldama. Another popular name floating out in the ether, probably from those with a special confidence in Filipowski's ceiling, is Lauri Markkanen. That is a misguided comp, honestly, but is serves as a strong foundation for understanding the appeal of Filipowski.

He offers a ton of offensive versatility for a 7-footer. He can run off screens to shoot 3s, handle in pick-and-rolls, push the tempo in transition, or camp out in the post. Flip has incurred a far more robust role as a sophomore, embracing his physicality to punish mismatches in the post and fully weaponizing his playmaking chops.

Feel is an underrated attribute when evaluating prospects, and Filipowski has it in spades. He's prone the occasional lapse in judgement, but Flip reads the floor at a high level and delivers passes on a rope. He can playmake on the short roll, he can face up and create from the elbow, or he can even operate as a ball-handler in inverted pick-and-rolls. Duke gives him quite a bit of freedom; so will a smart NBA team, hopefully.

He will be best served in a connective role at the next level, at least to start. Flip should focus on spacing out to the 3-point line, tying the offense together with timely passes, and straight-line drives. He doesn't have much of a pull-up game, so his points will come primarily in the paint or behind the 3-point line.

Flip is limited athletically — especially in terms of length and strength — but he has developed a nice repertoire of moves on the block. When mismatched with wings, he can put his shoulder down and score with brute force. He has some of that classic Duke nastiness to his game. He relishes the opportunity to make an impression, literally and figuratively.

The defense has really blossomed in 2024, too. Flip is racking up stocks (1.6 blocks, 1.1 steals), making a constant impact in passing lanes and regularly denying shots at the rim. He's not going to switch 1-5 necessarily, but Flip has looked comfortable guarding up in space and operating as a roamer in the paint. His activity level and effort makes up for athletic limitations. He will also draw charges, lay out for loose balls, and generally make the extra hustle play. Coaches love intangibles, which Flip has in spades.


Filipowski is the rare NBA prospect with a negative wingspan. He's listed around 7-foot in shoes with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, which will inhibit his rim protection at the next level. It also factors into Filipowski's offensive prognosis: he struggles to finish against length and athleticism at the rim.

It's important to monitor how "real" Flip's 3-point shooting is, too. He's up to 35.3 percent this season (as of this writing) after shooting 28.2 percent as a freshman. The form looks good and he has feather-soft touch, but so much of his value as a driver and perimeter playmaking fulcrum is reliant on teams respecting him beyond the arc. If defenses start to sag off and pack the paint, Flip's life gets much harder.

The pull-up shooting really isn't there, which circles back to the mild oddity of the Lauri Markkanen comps. Flip is mobile and a solid shooter, but he's not flying into off-balance jumpers or nailing pull-ups under duress. That can change and improve over time, but right now, he does the majority of his scoring on touch shots in the paint or spot-ups behind the 3-point line. What Flip does well, however, is leverage the threat of his floater or a strong drive to locate teammates and deliver touch passes.

This doesn't necessarily qualify as a "weakness" — in fact, some might view it as a plus — but Filipowski does play with a real edge. Sometimes that line blurs into tried and true Duke villain territory, where it feels like he's taking a page out of Grayson Allen's book.

That stuff's not great. NBA teams should embrace Filipowski's edge, but sometimes being an emotional player can have negative side effects, too.

On defense, Filipowski will compete hard. He can move in space, he's improving as a shot-blocker, and the awareness is there. That said, he will face new challenges against NBA speed and spacing. Teams might want to try him at the four; how well can he contain drives, navigate switches, and hang on islands against NBA-level slashers? That is all on scouts' minds as the NBA draft edges closer.

Filipowski is mobile, but he's not a switch-all big, and he doesn't have the length to maximize recovery speed or offset it perimeter lapses with elite rim protection. He falls into the 'tweener' category a bit. He should get by on smarts and effort for the most part, but there are legitimate questions.

Final summary

Few prospects in this class have performed at Filipowski's level, it's that simple. He will be 20.6 years old on draft night — roughly the same age as Brandon Miller last year — so the extra time in college shouldn't hurt much from that perspective. That is especially true this season, with such a flawed freshman class. Absent the availability of clear-cut future stars, NBA teams are sure to take interest in Flip's well-rounded skill set and the diversity of his potential impact.

He also has the benefit of playing at Duke, flanked by high-level talent and playing against the toughest competition in college basketball. Flip has carried Duke on his shoulders at times, emerging as a full-blown college star and the leader of a historically great program. That is all gravy. It shouldn't necessarily sway scouts toward Flip, but it will.

The intangibles and the dynamism of his repertoire should keep Filipowski firmly in the lottery conversation through June.


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