2015 NBA Draft profile: Devin Booker
With the way the NBA postseason and the Finals played out, it's no surprise elite shooters are at a premium these days with the way great offense can always trump the best defensive scheme.
Finding a polished shooter in the NBA draft has bolted to the top of many teams' wish lists and Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker will be getting serious consideration for one of the top lottery picks once the selection process begins June 25.
At 6-feet-6 and 205 pounds, Booker has excellent size for a shooting guard and a smooth stroke anywhere on the floor, which has scouts and team executives drooling. He averaged 10.0 points on 47.0 percent field-goal shooting, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21 minutes off the bench in his lone season with the Wildcats. He also shot 41.1 percent from beyond the arc -- where almost half of his shot attempts came from -- which also bodes well for his NBA future.
While three of the top draft prospects all measure 6-feet-11 (Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, and Kristaps Porzingis), the next tier of draft prospects are either point guards or small forwards. Booker projects to be one of the better shooters in the lottery and may indeed be the first pure shooting guard taken in the draft.
With his solid size and high release point, Booker has the ability to consistently get a clean shot over his opponent and is an effective defender out on the perimeter. Though he is only 18, he has already shown he can create good opportunities for himself with his movement off the ball and in pick-and-roll plays. His skills as a catch and shoot player and getting free off of screens are already solid and will only improve with time and repetition. His high basketball IQ and low turnover rate demonstrates a maturity on the court beyond the fact that he is one of the youngest players in the draft.
Booker is not an outstanding athlete. He has a shorter wingspan and average athleticism compared to his peers, but he is young and will fill out his body over time. As good of a shooter as he may be, solid ball-handling and playmaking will never go out of style in the NBA and he must work to improve on being more of a complete player on both ends of the floor.
While he loves to shoot jumpers, he will need to work on creating shots in the paint and improve his penetration and finishing skills in order to avoid being a one-dimensional player on offense.
Booker's play ideally recalls Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson and the young gunner would love to be compared to him. As evidenced by players such as J.J. Redick and Kyle Korver, he could carve out a long NBA career if he can post shooting numbers anywhere close to the best in the game at putting the ball through the net.
The Miami Heat at No. 10 would likely consider Booker if he is still available as they'll need to either groom Dwyane Wade's eventual replacement for the near future or replace him immediately should he bolt.
However, the Charlotte Hornets, who own the No. 9 pick, just traded away talented but mercurial Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers and could use a boost in the scoring department as one of the more offensively challenged teams in the league.