Last week, we did an in-depth dive on Duke guard Jared McCain. Well, McCain isn’t the only potential lottery pick that played for the Blue Devils this season. Kyle Filipowski, who was undoubtedly Duke’s best player, also has a shot at being picked early in the first round — and he just might be selected ahead of McCain. This season, Filipowski averaged 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game for the Blue Devils. And the 7-foot center was a first-team All-ACC player and consensus second-team All-American.

Filipowski would have been a borderline first-round pick if he entered last year’s draft, but he decided to stay in Durham for one more season. And after a brilliant year, it’s hard to blame him for that decision. Filipowski has improved his draft stock and should be the second or third big man selected in the 2024 NBA draft.

Offensively, Filipowski’s versatility doesn’t come around very often. While Filipowski isn’t strictly a back-to-the-basket big, he does like to post up quite a bit. And he averaged .948 points per possession in post-up situations, which was good for the 69th percentile in college basketball. That’s not to say that Filipowski will get to the NBA and find success backing down guys like Joel Embiid. But teams won’t be able to hide smaller forwards on him. He will just back them down and go up strong over them, either finishing at the rim or drawing a foul. And he also has enough quickness to face up and get around some slow-footed centers — when he isn’t just shooting over the top.

Filipowski is a good shooter for a big man, regardless of what the numbers might say. This season, the 20-year-old shot 34.8 percent from deep, which was up from 28.2 percent last season. And while Filipowski’s 67.1 percent shooting from the free throw line leaves a lot to be desired, there isn’t much to worry about when it comes to his jumper. He sports good mechanics and a high release. And he shot 76.5 percent from the line as a freshman, so this is something he should figure out. He just looks so comfortable stepping out and taking shots, and he did have six games this season in which he buried at least three triples.

It’s just very easy to envision a role for Filipowski as a pick-and-pop big, so the fact that he can score inside is a huge plus. And Filipowski also happens to be a good passer. Nobody will mistake Filipowski for Nikola Jokic, but he does a good job of reading the game and getting his teammates good looks. Having the size to see over the defense helps. He can pick out cutters and open shooters with his back to the basket, but he also does it from above the break. Filipowski is actually an underrated ball handler. That makes him more dangerous than he should be off a live dribble, and it also makes him a threat in the grab-and-go game. It won’t happen regularly in the NBA, but Filipowski has the ability to get a board and dribble the ball up to initiate some offense.

Filipowski isn’t quite as good of a shooter as Lauri Markkanen, and he isn’t as instinctual as a scorer either. But Filipowski has a little bit of Markkanen’s fluidity on offense, and that’s going to be valuable at the next level. With his complete arsenal, it’ll be easy for his next coach to find ways to unlock his potential. And the beauty of Filipowski is that he can fit with a bunch of different lineups. Last year, Filipowski played heavy minutes as a power forward, with Duke having Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II on the team. This season, Filipowski played primarily center. Both years should serve him well moving forward.

Defensively, Filipowski probably won’t be your standard shot-blocking big. Sure, he averaged 1.5 rejections per game this season, but he’s not an explosive leaper. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a serviceable defender, at the very least. Filipowski was the anchor of a Duke team that was top 15 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency this season. And the team only gave up 0.731 points per possession when Filipowski was on the floor, which put him in the 88th percentile in college basketball. By Synergy Sports’ standards, that’s viewed as “excellent.” And Filipowski was in the 77th percentile as an isolation defender, as well as the 73rd percentile in post-up situations.

The reality is that getting up and blocking shots isn’t the be-all and end-all. Filipowski is good at practicing verticality and at least forcing opponents into difficult shots. He’s also really good at moving his feet and getting himself in the right defensive positions. And the best part about Filipowski is that the footwork even extends to the perimeter. Will Filipowski be able to seamlessly switch onto guards in the NBA? Of course not. But he can make guards work a few possessions a game and at least make opposing teams think twice about targeting him relentlessly.

There just aren’t a lot of NBA prospects that immediately bring size and shooting, so players like Filipowski will always be valuable. And then you add in the fact that he does a bunch of other things well, plus brings a certain readiness as a two-year prospect. This is a guy that can help teams right now by keeping things simple and doing what the coaching staff asks of him. But Filipowski also has a lot of room for development, making him one of the few high-floor, high-upside players in the class.