Gabriele Procida was born on 1 June 2002 in Como, Italy. Procida played for Cantù as a junior. At the 2017/18 ANGT, Procida played limited minutes for Stella Azzurra. The next year Procida played a larger role for Virtus Bologna at ANGT where he averaged 10.75 points, 5.25 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2 steals over the 4 games. Procida made his professional debut when he was 17 in the 2019/20 season. He played a marginal role where he only played 28 minutes over 7 games. This past season he has a more consistent role, averaging 15.5 minutes over 28 games, even starting 4 games. Procida declared for the draft as an early entrant.
Procida is listed at 6’ 7″ (200cm) and 194 lbs (88kg). On the wing Procida has nice length and uses it rather well. He would be considered a good athlete by traditional standards. Procida is a great run and jump athlete with the ability to jump off both feet. He prefers jumping off his left foot. His top end speed is a bit underwhelming at times. Physically, Procida needs to get stronger in all parts of his body. His lack of upper body strength is evident as he gets bumped around on both sides of the ball. He will actively avoid contact on the offensive end which shows a lack of confidence in his body at the moment.
He has a rather high centre of gravity which limits some of his movement. On defense it limits Procida’s ability to get low in a defensive stance. He doesn’t slide well laterally but the high centre of gravity doesn’t help. He could do with more flexibility to get lower to the ground which would make him more explosive on offense. When in short spaces Procida has nice burst, particularly off the catch. His short explosive bursts of movement are really impressive. Procida shows nice footwork on the offensive end when setting up his man on screens and exploding for cuts. He has long legs which allow him to cover a lot of ground.
Procida is a great shooter off the catch. He shot 31/80 (38.8%) from three this season. Procida moves well off the ball to get open. He has shown the ability to relocate when a teammate is handling the ball and his defender turns his back on him. Procida is comfortable shooting off movement and can get a good look without fully stopping to set himself. His length and the quickness of his jumpshot allow him to shoot over contests. In transition, he has shown the confidence to spot up from three.
Procida is also a threat shooting off the dribble. He can punish defenders if they go under on screens. His quick trigger helps him get shots off when he gets space. If he does get closed out on, he is comfortable taking a dribble and pulling up. On the perimeter, he often takes a little dribble to his right side and launches a three. If the close-out is hard enough he will attack forward and pull up a dribble inside the three-point line. When pulling up Procida’s size and length is useful for him to shoot over smaller defenders. His handle limits his creativity as a pull up shooter and results in most of his pull up shots coming as one dribble pull ups after a closeout.
Procida has a nice jumpshot with no major mechanical flaws. He does tend to have his feet aimed to the left of the basket at the beginning of his shot. His knees tend to follow the way his feet are facing when they bend, his right leg kicks out further causing his knee to bend inwards a bit more. When shooting off the catch, he will jump further forward as he is raising up and releases the ball on the way up in a smooth stroke. Off the dribble, he will jump a bit higher than when shooting off the catch and releases the ball more towards the apex of his jump; it is still smooth but has more of a slight pause above his head when releasing. After releasing Procida holds his follow-through well but his right hand slightly flicks to the right.
Procida doesn’t have a very large sample size for indicators of shooting at the senior level. From the free throw line he had only 27 attempts this year at Cantù where he made 17 (63.0%). At junior levels he was 5/6 at ANGT and 21/30 for Italy. Adding these numbers together he is 43/63 (68.3%). This number is small but it shows he isn’t a bad free throw shooter. Procida’s touch appears to be decent even if he can struggle scoring at the rim. He has shown some variety in the shots he takes. Procida can shoot from three off movement, standing still and off the dribble. Then he can step inside and hit shots from the midrange. While Procida doesn’t have amazing indicators when you factor in his current shooting ability and nice form he projects to be a good shooter.
Procida likes to attack the rim where he can be useful with his length and athleticism. He suffers from a lack of physicality which really hurts him as a finisher. His lack of physicality and unwillingness to embrace contact has forced Procida to be craftier as a finisher. A favourite of his is using his right hand on the left side to get the ball up on the glass quicker. He is willing to use his left hand to finish but there are some concerns that he relies on his right hand a little too much sometimes. It is promising that when Procida gets downhill he has his eyes on a dunk and will try to put any help defender on a poster no matter how big they are. Procida’s touch is decent even if his non-dunk or alley-oop rim finishes were just 17/38 (44.7%) according to InStat. The biggest reason for his misses is a lack of creating separation resulting in contested shots.
When Procida is attacking the rim off the dribble he usually attacks from the wings. It is easier for him to attack when the defense has been scrambling. If he is attacking off a pick and roll or something similar and goes middle, then he can have some trouble blowing by the defender. This results in difficult looks as he has to take contested shots. His go-to move if it is not a straight line drive is a right to left crossover coming to the middle. Procida uses his length rather well to finish as he gets the ball up high on the glass with either hand. He does show a good ability to decelerate when trying to create separation from the defender. If Procida gets stronger he could start bumping defenders off as he is making a move around the basket instead of getting smothered.
Off the ball Procida is a good cutter when he does cut; he sets his man up very well. When coming up and about to come off a screen Procida can really explode after he plants his foot to get a back cut. This is where Procida’s athleticism is so useful in the half court as he can really explode in a short space and can then elevate vertically to attack the rim. Procida plays above the rim as he can elevate off one or two feet. He gets targeted on lobs off of back door cuts from the wings. For a wing, Procida is good at crashing the offensive glass for putbacks.
As a playmaker Procida suffers from a lack of handle which limits his on ball opportunities. Usually when he gets a chance to attack off the dribble it comes as secondary initiation. Attacking off the dribble, Procida prefers to attack on the wings or baseline. His handle isn’t good enough yet for him to be taking guys off the dribble with a set defense. Most of the time he will use a jab step and use his first step to beat defenders. If Procida does attack off the dribble he usually needs a screen to get the advantage and create separation. He will look to go to a right to left cross back towards the middle in one on one situations.
When making plays for others Procida has shown some flashes of passing when he can get downhill and make a play. While it hasn’t happened a lot, when he is getting downhill he has shown the awareness to know where his big is to make drop-off passes. With Procida’s athletic ability he can hang in the air and contort his body to get the wraparound or drop-off pass while attracting a help defender.
The majority of the turnovers that Procida committed this season came from lazy or poor passes. There are a lot of simple passes that he will miss the target on. Towards the end of the season when he was given a few more opportunities on the ball he turned the ball over because of his poor handle. If he is unable to beat his man he can get stuck on the perimeter and throw a bad pass. When he does beat his man, Procida often won’t anticipate the nail defender helping and can turn the ball over.
Procida isn’t good defensively right now. When he is defending on the ball he is far too upright and fails to get in a defensive stance. His centre of gravity hurts him as it is rather high. It’s hard to gauge his lateral quickness as he doesn’t really get into a defensive stance but it doesn’t look good. He needs to improve his footwork and the angles he takes as he gets blown by on the simplest of crossovers or even fakes. Procida gets caught peeking at screens and gets blown by too often. He does bump chests well against people driving on him but needs to get stronger for this to be more effective. When navigating screens he attempts to get skinny but isn’t the best at it yet, often resulting in him running in to the screen and trailing the play.
Procida is better as a defender off the ball than he is on the ball. When he is one pass away he is quite active to reach in and make a play on the ball. Down as a help defender Procida is usually late to make rotations to protect the rim. If he is there, he will often jump way too early. He needs to do a better job of playing with physicality as he will usually swipe at the ball or try to block the shot without using his body or going up vertically. Hopefully when he gets stronger in the future this can trigger a change of mentality for him. When Procida is sinking down he has shown flashes of his vertical pop to block the shots of the roll man. There is definitely some upside for Procida as a help defender with his height and vertical pop if he can get to help positions earlier and learn to use his verticality. Procida’s close outs aren’t the best as he tends to launch at the shooter but does close out short and can sometimes contain them when they put the ball on the floor.
Gabriele Procida is an enticing prospect with his shot making ability and athleticism on the wing. He has serious upside as a shooter and if his handle can develop there is the potential for him to be a shot creator on the wing. An improved handle would help Procida to finish around the rim as he would create easier looks for himself. As he gets older, he should add weight and get stronger which will also help him with finishing around the rim as well as imposing himself on the defensive end.
There are a few things that Procida needs to work on in order to be successful in the NBA. While he has the tools to be successful defensively, he isn’t good right now so he will have to learn how to play defense, especially on the ball where he struggles at the moment. Procida also needs to get stronger, I think this will help him in a number of areas. Defensively, it could improve him bumping guys on the ball and be useful to impose himself when using verticality. On the offensive end, the added strength could really help when it comes to finishing around the rim. Procida doesn’t play with contact well at the rim and tries to avoid it. If he embraces contact with added strength he can be a really useful slasher with his athleticism and natural cutting instincts. An improved handle is necessary for Procida to reach his potential as a shot creator. This would also help him as a finisher and a playmaker.
I would advocate for a team to draft Procida in the second round. Even though Procida isn’t ready for the NBA right now the potential he has as a shooter is worth the gamble in the second round. An NBA team could stash him for a couple years and then have a valuable player if he can develop. Procida has a wide range of outcomes. There are many scenarios where he doesn’t even come to the NBA or is just never good enough to be an NBA player. If he does develop well, then it is realistic that he could have a role off the bench for a team possibly as a spark plug type player if he never develops defensively or as an off-ball shooter if his handle doesn’t develop. The best realistic development for Procida could result in him being a starter where he is still more of a role player relied on for his shooting but has some creation ability alongside one or two dominant playmakers.