C – 7’1, 245lbs – Born 13th January 1994
Three years into his professional career out of Iowa, Woodbury has spent his entire time in the G-League, and has now been with six different franchises. Indeed, he managed four this season alone. Woodbury initially returned to the Westchester Knicks, was traded before camp started along with Buay Tuach to the Capital City Go-Go for third- and fourth-round picks in this year’s draft, was waived the next day (along with Tuach; highly successful trade, that one), was picked straight back up by Westchester, waived again at the start of the season, spent a fortnight over November and December with Stockton, and only then was picked up by Grand Rapids, where he spent the remainder of the season. In combination, this would suggest that he is a fringe G-League player.
Maybe he is. Or maybe he was, because he just posted a career-best season.
Woodbury only does a few things on the court, and has to be used in a certain way to have any positive effect. With respect – and do please get to the end before thinking I’m beating up on the guy – there is quite a lot he does not do. He is a seven-foot post player who does not post, who doesn’t handle, who doesn’t shoot and who does not block many shots either. He does not jump, he does not have good touch at the rim, he does not create offence, and he does not even have that much toughness on the ball. He struggles to pass out of double teams (not that he is drawing many), he does not have the lateral foot speed to keep people in front, and he also does not dunk that much.
What he does do is be a presence. A lane clogger who goes to the glass, Woodbury plays good positional defence on the interior and, considering that he lacks for foot speed, hedges and recovers pretty well on the perimeter as well. Woodbury’s average frame and short arms limit the match-ups he can play in – against quicker line-ups, he struggles and mostly just fouls – yet he has developed as a roll man in the pick-and-roll, takes and gives contact, and has much improved his free throw stroke. In having a good understanding of position and defensive timing, Woodbury has found himself as a player, despite not having great athleticism or offensive skill. Sometimes, all you need is to be in the right place.
– 20th June, 2019
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