This is the fifth and final part of a five part series in which I analyze the 2015 NBA Draft by position. As a source I used DraftExpress's mock draft and for statistics I used both DraftExpress and Sports-Reference. All statistics used are for the prior college basketball season. Because of the lack of advanced statistic information and difference in playstyle for international leagues, I have only included NCAA players in this analysis. For information such as player position, school, height, etc. please click on the player's name and it will take you to their DraftExpress page with all that information.
The Kings have supposedly been looking for a PG to be their long term floor general for a couple of years now. They passed on Elfrid Payton last year (not something that I think they would repeat if given a do-over) and are now in a position where they once again could be faced with the decision on whether or not to draft a PG. Darren Collison proved to be more than able to run the position last year, but he's not a star and is probably not the long-term answer.
While the Kings won't have a realistic shot at the hottest PG prospect in D'Angelo Russell, there's still a player or two that could pique their interest.
|D'Angelo Russell||Fr.||33.9||19.3||.449||.411 (95/231)||.756||5.7||5.0||1.6||0.3||2.9||2.1|
|Tyus Jones||Fr.||33.9||11.8||.417||.379 (47/124)||.889||3.5||5.6||1.5||0.1||1.9||1.2|
|Jerian Grant||Sr.||37.1||16.5||.478||.316 (50/158)||.780||3.0||6.7||1.7||0.5||2.2||2|
|Cameron Payne||So.||32.2||20.2||.456||.377 (84/223)||.787||3.7||6.0||1.9||0.5||2.5||2.1|
|Delon Wright||Sr.||33.3||14.5||.509||.356 (26/73)||.836||4.9||5.1||2.1||1.0||1.9||1.4|
|Terry Rozier||So.||35.0||17.1||.411||.306 (48/157)||.790||5.6||3.0||2.0||0.2||2.2||1.7|
|Olivier Hanlan||Jr.||37.6||19.5||.454||.353 (65/184)||.759||4.2||4.2||1.3||0.0||2.7||2.1|
|Quinn Cook||Sr.||35.8||15.3||.453||.395 (102/258)||.891||3.4||2.6||1.0||0.0||1.2||1.9|
|T.J. McConnell||Sr.||30.5||10.4||.498||.321 (25/78)||.829||3.8||6.3||2.2||0.1||2.1||1.8|
|Keifer Sykes||Sr.||35.0||18.6||.452||.311 (46/148)||.780||4.5||3.9||1.7||0.2||2.2||2.2|
|Jarvis Threatt||Sr.||37.1||18.0||.413||.217 (10/46)||.691||5.8||5.4||2.5||0.2||2.5||2.1|
|Marcus Thornton||Sr.||36.7||20.0||.456||.402 (102/254)||.830||2.8||2.9||0.6||0.1||2.3||1.1|
|Ryan Boatright||Sr.||35.8||17.4||.423||.411 (86/209)||.850||4.1||3.8||1.4||0.2||2.4||1.9|
There are some fantastic PG prospects available this year, and that's without even including Emmanuel Mudiay, who spent his post-high school year playing professionally in China. Ohio St. star D'Angelo Russell made the case this year that he was not only one of the best freshman in college basketball but one of the best players. Russell has amazing size for a PG and was also an efficient and prolific scorer, both in getting to the rim and shooting from the outside. Despite his penchant for scoring, he was still an able and willing passer, posting a solid 30.1% assist rate. Russell's size gives him the option of playing either backcourt role on both ends of the floor. Russell's also one of the better rebounding guards in the draft, which is ideal for a team looking to break out after missed shots (much like the Kings hope to be). For Russell to fully realize his potential, he will need to bring the same energy and effort on Defense as he does on Offense. If he does that, he could become a truly special player at the NBA level.
Another intriguing prospect is Cameron Payne, who has been projected as high as the Kings pick at 6. Payne has shot up draft boards recently, and it's unsurprising if you look at how gaudy his numbers were. Payne posted the drafts' best assist rate at 40% and he also was among the lower end in turnover rate. Payne's big assist numbers came despite the fact that he was also his team's leading scorer and number one option on offense. Payne also has upside defensively, where he has good instincts and a high steal rate. Of course, Payne played against some of the weakest competition of anyone in the draft, which puts some doubt into how good his numbers really are. He also proved to be an inconsistent outside shooter and will need to improve on that end. Still, Payne definitely has the talent and skills to be a very good NBA PG.
Duke's Tyus Jones won an NCAA championship by acting as more of a scoring PG than anything else. Jones possesses a solid mid-to-long range jumper and was also able to draft fouls at a decent rate. The problem with Jones is that he's a bit undersized and wasn't particularly efficient. His usage rate of 18.7% is also a surprisingly low number for a PG. Can Jones run an NBA offense or is he more of an undersized SG with above average ballhandling skills?
Notre Dame's Jerian Grant is another big PG, a trend for this draft. Grant was able to lead his team in both scoring and assists, much like Russell, but wasn't able to shoot it as consistently from outside, where he hit just 31.6% of his three point attempts. Most of Grant's damage came from attacking the basket and getting to the line, as well as drawing attention to himself and then finding the open man. Grant is also one of the older prospects in the draft, turning 23 in October.
Utah's Delon Wright is similar to Grant in many regards, both in size, age, even posting nearly identical assist and turnover rates. Wright is unique however in that he posted well above average steal and block rates for a PG. Also, while Wright has improved as a shooter, he's not good at scoring off the bounce and isn't an explosive finisher, which could lead to problems in the bigger, quicker NBA.
Duke's Quinn Cook is an example of statistics not explaining the whole story. Cook was Duke's PG the last three years before playing SG this season as Tyus Jones took the reins. As such Cook's exceedingly low assist rate of 13.2% makes it seem as if he's a poor passer, when in actuality, he's quite capable of running a team, having posted an assist rate of around 30% in each of his first three seasons at Duke. He also doesn't make many mistakes, posting the lowest turnover rate among all PGs and one of the lowest in the entire draft. Cook offers the ability to play both on and off the ball and is an excellent outside shooter. Cook doesn't have the size or upside that other prospects do, but he seems like he could be a very valuable contributor off the bench. If Cook doesn't get drafted, he'll be a hot summer league prospect.
Also, yes, this draft has an undersized SG masquerading as a PG who hits a lot of threes and mainly focuses on scoring whose name is Marcus Thornton. Time is a flat circle.