This is the fourth of a five part series in which I analyze the 2017 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 Sacramento Kings have been trying to find their shooting guard of the future for years. At first it was Tyreke Evans, and while he started off with a bang, he left with little fanfare. Then came Ben McLemore, and Nik Stauskas and a variety of veteran solutions that never stuck.
So it’s no surprise that a shooting guard was at the centerpiece of last year’s DeMarcus Cousins trade, with the Kings bringing back Buddy Hield, a player they had coveted in that summer’s draft but who didn’t manage to fall to them. Hield excelled with the Kings after a rocky start in New Orleans, averaging 15.1 points over the final 25 games of the season. He joined a Kings team that also got steady production from veteran guard Garrett Temple and also saw flashes from fellow rookie Malachi Richardson. The Kings also acquired the rights to European star Bogdan Bogdanovic last summer, and he’s expected to sign with the Kings as well. Shooting Guard is now the position of most depth for the Kings, but who knows what the future holds. The Kings need talent most of all, and there are some very talented shooting guards in this draft.
|Malik Monk||Fr.||32.1||19.8||.450||.397 (104/262)||.822||2.5||2.3||0.9||0.5||2.0||1.9|
|Donovan Mitchell||So.||32.3||15.6||.408||.354 (80/226)||.806||4.9||2.7||2.1||0.5||1.6||2.6|
|Luke Kennard||So.||35.5||19.5||.490||.438 (88/201)||.856||5.1||2.5||0.8||0.4||1.6||2.2|
|Frank Jackson||Fr.||24.9||10.9||.473||.392 (51/130)||.755||2.5||1.7||0.6||0.1||1.4||2.4|
|L.J. Peak||Jr.||32.8||16.2||.480||.327 (33/101)||.796||3.8||3.5||1.1||0.4||2.7||2.8|
|Tyler Dorsey||So.||30.0||14.6||.467||.423 (88/208)||.755||3.5||1.7||0.8||0.1||1.5||1.5|
|Josh Hart||Sr.||33.1||18.7||.510||.404 (74/183)||.747||6.4||2.9||1.5||0.3||2.0||2.3|
|P.J. Dozier||So.||28.7||13.9||.407||.298 (42/141)||.597||4.8||2.8||1.7||0.3||2.2||2.8|
|Wesley Iwundu||Sr.||31.4||13.0||.481||.376 (32/85)||.767||6.3||3.5||1.0||0.3||2.3||1.8|
|Sterling Brown||Sr.||32.7||13.4||.459||.449 (61/136)||.791||6.5||3.0||1.5||0.5||2.0||2.6|
|Sindarius Thornwell||Sr.||33.9||21.4||.445||.395 (58/147)||.830||7.2||2.8||2.1||1.0||2.5||2.3|
|Kobi Simmons||Fr.||23.5||8.8||.397||.327 (32/98)||.775||1.6||2.0||0.6||0.1||1.2||1.9|
|Damyean Dotson||Sr.||34.3||17.4||.469||.441 (108/245)||.830||6.9||1.1||0.9||0.2||1.0||1.7|
|Davon Reed||Sr.||35.3||14.9||.433||.397 (79/199)||.833||4.8||2.4||1.3||0.5||2.0||1.6|
|Andrew White||Sr.||37.2||18.5||.439||.400 (112/280)||.837||4.6||1.1||1.6||0.4||1.6||2.1|
|Isaiah Briscoe||So.||30.4||12.1||470||.288 (17/59)||.635||5.4||4.2||0.8||0.2||2.5||2.6|
|Antonio Blakeney||So.||32.8||17.2||.458||.358 (53/148)||.724||4.8||1.7||0.7||0.1||2.1||1.6|
|James Blackmon||Jr.||30.5||17.0||.477||.423 (91/215)||.837||4.8||1.9||0.7||0.0||1.9||1.8|
Malik Monk has a clear talent for scoring the ball. The freshman guard was one of the leading scorers in college basketball, with only Sindarius Thornwell, a senior, outscoring him among his peer group. He put up 19.8 points a game on good efficiency, making almost 40% of his three pointers. He also was an ok playmaker although trying to play him at the point in the NBA will be a problem. The biggest issue with Monk is that he doesn’t give you much on the other end. If you need points, he’ll get you points, but he doesn’t provide any rebounding, steals, or much defense in general, and his lack of size hurts him on that end as well.
Donovan Mitchell on the other hand does provide you with the potential for a fantastic defensive player. Even though he’s only 6’4, his wingspan is 6’10, longer than that of bigger guys like Josh Jackson. His steal rate of 3.7% is phenomenal and he also showed potential as a playmaker, although he likely never will be a great primary ballhandler. If Mitchell can continue to hone his defensive chops and become a more consistent outside three point shooter, he could be a great supporting player, in the vein of a Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley. Don’t look for him to become a go-to guy on offense though.
Luke Kennard’s one of the best and most efficient shooters in the draft. He was right up there with Monk in terms of scoring, but he did so at an even more consistently efficient rate, posting a .630 True Shooting Percentage, tying him with James Blackmon. Kennard carried Duke in some games and showed skill as a secondary ballhandler as well. He’ll have trouble on the other end of the floor in the NBA though, especially with his wingspan shorter than his height and below average athleticism.
Villanova’s Josh Hart does a little bit of everything. He shoots well, he he rebounds well, he passes well and he defends well. Perhaps the reason he isn’t ranked higher has to do with the fact that he’s a senior and doesn’t have as much “upside” as other prospects, but he seems to be a player that will be able to contribute right away and could have a long NBA career. South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell is another senior guard who has much the same traits as Hart, although Thornwell is a relentless attacker, and it shows up in his free throw rate which is tops among this group. He knocks them down at 83% as well which is fantastic for how many attempts he gets.
Sterling Brown is another player who fits the 3-and-D mold, hitting a whopping 44.9% of his threes while also playing some very solid defense. Brown has the size to defend NBA wings and could probably play some Point Forward in the NBA.
While I don’t see the Kings grabbing a shooting guard with one of their lottery picks, there’s talent in the second round that might just end up as too good to pass up, even with the depth the Kings already have at the position.
Coming Tomorrow: Point Guards