The Notre Dame standout is on the Lakers roster, and the Lakers kick off the preseason tonight. Here’s my report on forward VJ Beachem:
Height/Weight: 6’8/ 193
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’10/ 8’8 ½
Hand size: 9
College/ country: Notre Dame
Tools: Mid range, defense
- Excellent mid range shooter
- Above average defender
- Good athlete
- Above average basketball IQ
- Must add weight
- Disappeared in the 2017 NCAA Tournament
- Must work on ball handling
Overall: This report was written before the draft, but I had projected Beachem to be a 50+ pick or undrafted. He did not get drafted, but was picked up by the Lakers. Beachem has solid length for his position, which helps his defensive upside. Beachem is able to be a decent shot blocker thanks to length and timing, and overall above average defensive skills. He moves his feet well on defense and has active hands and excellent reflexes. His athleticism is good, but not elite or great. His bread and butter on offense is going to be from the mid range, particularly in the catch and shoot. Beachem has the potential to be a stretch four off the bench while being able to solidify the defense. However, Beachem must add weight in order to improve his chances at reaching his full upside. He is only 193, which severely restricts his ability to play any power forward.
Beachem is not great at creating for himself, so many of his scoring opportunities will have to come from playing off ball.
Overall, Beachem has the potential to be a nice bench player. He must add weight, improve shooting consistency, and keep up his defensive skillset. While the Lakers are hosting him for the preseason, he may not stay there beyond that time. Look for him to get a lot of time in the G-League this season, and to see his name again next training camp on another NBA team.
NBA Comparison: Roy Devyn Marble
I compare Beachem to Marble, a former Iowa Hawkeye and Orlando Magic, because of his mid range game as well as his defense. Marble started several games in Orlando due to defense alone. While Marble is out of the league, the skillset of a wing defender off the bench is valuable, especially if a bench wing defender had a capable 3 point shot. Beachem’s off ball play will play a large role in his NBA career’s path.