The draft is just two days away! In the first of our three-part T5Tuesday series, we take a look at some 1st-round wing prospects.
1. DeAndre Bembry (Junior, St. Joe’s)
Shooting Guard-Small Forward/6’5/205/Age: 21
Key Stats: 17.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4.5 apg
DeAndre Bembry looks like he should be playing in Dr. J’s era but make no mistake, his old school game is perfectly suited for the modern NBA. A 6’5 wing with playmaking acumen, Bembry is durable, loves pushing the break and is eager to find the open man (avg. 4.5 dimes last season).
Though his percentages weren’t great from downtown, his form suggests better success once there’s less pressure as a third or fourth option. And that’s the beauty of Bembry’s game – he doesn’t need the rock to make an impact, whether it’s aggressive rebounding or finishing on the wing.
2. Malachi Richardson (Freshman, Syracuse)
Shooting Guard/6’6/195/Age: 20
Key Stats: 13.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg
Malachi Richardson was the driving force for the ‘Cuse during their late burst to the Final Four. A lanky freshman who loves creating action, Richardson is gonna be a problem if he gains more strength to compete at a high level on both ends.
Some felt he could have used another year at school but his impressive performances in the tournament made it almost impossible to return. And the iron’s blazing hot right now, as the Memphis Grizzlies have, reportedly, promised to take him at #17. They desperately need another wing creator and scorer, which Richardson excels at.
3. Patrick McCaw (Sophomore, UNLV)
Shooting Guard-Small Forward/6’6/180/Age: 20
Key Stats: 14.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg
You might not know Patrick McCaw now but as soon as he suits up for his new team in Summer League, you’ll see why he’s one of the draft’s fastest risers. Not on anyone’s radar to begin the year, McCaw showcased tremendous versatility at UNLV, putting up decent numbers playing the 1, 2 & 3.
He’s only about 180 right now but has prototypical size at the two, with the ball-handling and defensive intensity to alternate between the 1 and 3 also.
The most underrated part of McCaw’s game, however, is his ability to adapt and improve. With a little more responsibility this past season, he improved his rebound & assist rates, while shooting better from the field. The Clippers seem to be a match made in heaven since Jamal Crawford‘s a free agent and they crave more versatility on the perimeter.
4. Taurean Prince (Senior, Baylor)
Small Forward/6’8/220/Age: 21
Key Stats: 15.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.3 apg
Taurean Prince, a senior out of Baylor, was one of the top forwards in all of college basketball a year ago. He doesn’t necessarily “belong” in the wing category (might play some small ball four) but he can slide down to the two in a lot of sets, especially with a team like Milwaukee that values size. Prince can defend, knock down the three ball (36% as a senior) and has the attitude and effort to become a glue guy.
As long as you don’t ask him to consistently carry an offense, you should be fine. If Prince continues his harassing, defensive activity and cash treys at a decent enough rate, he’ll have a very long career.
5. Timothe Luwawu (France)
Shooting Guard-Small Forward/6’7/195/Age: 21
Key Stats: 14.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.8 apg
Last year, we created a draft profile for France’s Timothe Luwawu before he withdrew at the last minute. Back in the pool for good, he’s hoping to land near the lottery after showcasing more aggression and energy in another season with Mega Leks.
To me, he’s a carbon copy of 2013-2015 Iman Shumpert, with more length and better consistency from deep. The quick “blow-bys” are there, as well as defensive sliding and rebounding.
But can he play under enough control to earn an early role in the league?