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2020 NBA Draft Profiles: Paul Reed

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Look at that shot!

NCAA Basketball: St. John at DePaul Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Reed out of DePaul is one of the draft’s most interesting big men. Can he get more comfortable handling the ball, improve his shooting mechanics and be more physical? Those are questions to which only time has the answers, but I’ll try my best.

The Specs

Height: 6’9

Weight: 220 lbs

Wingspan: 7’2

Key Notes

Offense

  • Really good finisher at the rim
  • Looks good off pick-and-rolls
  • Alley-oop threat
  • Has good athleticism, asking a traditional big to guard him on the perimeter is tough
  • Needs to improve the shot, especially mechanically (if you can’t tell by the cover photo)
  • Not great in the post
  • Decision-making is a work in progress

Defense

  • Has some very promising tools as a defender
  • Absolute stat stuffer on defense
  • Good rebounder
  • Really good lateral speed for his position
  • Off-ball defense is not good at this point
  • Can quickly get into foul trouble (averaged three per game last season)

Active Player Comparisons

If everything goes wrong: Marvin Williams (recent version)

If everything goes right: Trevor Ariza light

Most Realistic Outcome: JaMychal Green + defense

Stats and Accomplishments

2018-19 Big East Most Improved Player

2019-20 All-Big East Second Team

Best Games Last Season

@ Iowa

25 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 10-14 (71.4%) FGA

vs. Providence

24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 10-15 (66.7%) FGA

3 Key Things

  1. The Shooting

Not all big men are going to be good shooters. The only time this is usually a problem is when you have big men who aren’t very, well, big. And at just 6’9, Reed is a bit undersized. He doesn’t have a ton of strength to bang it around in the post. When Reed wasn’t blowing by bigger defenders on the way to the basket, he was usually taking pick-and-pop jumpers. He didn’t put up great numbers on jump shots in the half-court, placing in just the 33rd percentile according to Synergy Sports. That may have something to do with his very funky shooting form. I’m not sure it’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist bad, but . . .

Reed isn’t doomed. He was surprisingly very good at finding his spots and capitalizing in them last season. He still managed to finish in the 73rd percentile of spot-up shooters last season. One look at this shot chart and it should be clear he doesn’t waste his time taking shots he knows don’t go down. You cross your fingers and hope this translates.

2. The Size

Reed is built how I imagine a lot of big men will look in the future. A little shorter than you’d like, but lengthy and bouncy as all hell. He played power forward for DePaul, which is where he’ll play most of the time in the NBA (would be a good small ball five). This is why the shot improving is a pretty big investment. As good as Reed is at getting to the basket, he likely isn’t going to be able to dominate with his back facing it. This shouldn’t be a huge issue for the Mavericks, who ran the seventh least post-ups in the league last season, but rather a concern his NBA stock in general.

3. The Versatility

Dare I say that Reed’s lack of size — which I just said could be a liability — may become an asset? Without some serious improvements in his shooting form, it doesn’t seem like the deep ball can become reliable with volume. But Reed still has a lot of areas where he can provide value. His quickness on the perimeter can beat slower defenders. He’s an improving passer and playmaker. He’s a good rebounder and vertical floor spacer. He’s a prolific defender, especially on the perimeter. There’s a lot Reed can offer a team, even if he’s not a volume scorer.

The Checklist

NOTE: Explanation of categories is listed in the comments

Role with the Mavericks

The Mavericks have plenty of reserve big men. With Porzingis likely facing a minutes restriction for at least some amount of time next season, Reed could help supplement some offense in his absence. He would have his biggest impact on the defensive end, maybe even being able match up with some big wings.

Summary

Reed is a prospect for the 31st overall pick. I’m not too crazy about the Mavericks adding another big man given the outlook of how I think they’re roster will look, but Reed is interesting. I love his versatility as the game continues to utilize guys like him. I’m not exactly sure Dallas is the perfect fit, but he still interests me a bit. Given who is still on the board at 31 (assuming the pick is still getting used), maybe the Mavericks roll the dice a bit.