With the NBA Draft Lottery behind us, we shift our focus directly to the June 26th NBA Draft. Over the next month we’ll look at some of the top prospects in the draft, along with players that the Magic either reportedly worked out, or interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine. UCLA’s Kyle Anderson is up next.
After two very strong seasons at UCLA, Kyle “Slo-mo” Anderson is on his way to the NBA. The third of a trio of Bruins to enter the draft, Anderson is arguably the most interesting right off the bat. Anderson can come in and contribute early in his career, while potentially causing some matchup problems with his great versatility as well.
|Points||Assist %||Rebound %||Usage %||TS%|
Anderson did a little bit of everything while a member of the Bruins. He was efficient scoring the ball, while also stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis. He’s a natural playmaker who can also score in a multitude of ways. Unlike other similar offensive prospects, he already contributes on the defensive end with his rebounding and active hands.
|Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Max Vert|
|6’ 8.5’||230||7’ 2.75”||8’ 11.5”||N/A|
- Physical Tools
Anderson is one of the most physically gifted players in this draft. Despite not having the speed of some players, Anderson’s size is a gift few have. With his nearly 7’3” wingspan, Anderson is a physical specimen. Thanks to his size, Anderson is arguably the most versatile player in this draft, with the potential ability to play and guard four different positions.
- Playmaking Ability
Predominantly playing point guard at UCLA, Anderson thrived running an offense and making plays for teammates. Of prospects in DraftExpress’ top-100, Anderson led the way in assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted, dishing out 7.4 assists per-40 minutes pace adjusted. Anderson is an extremely unselfish player and has the ability to find his teammates and hit them with perfect passes. Anderson also had the fourth highest Pure Point Rating, and fifth highest assist to turnover ration of any player in DraftExpress’ top-100.
- Offensive intangibles
Despite his strong play running the offense, Anderson has a few holes that need addressing on the offensive end. Despite shooting the ball well, there were times where his release looked inconsistent and the shot would look flat. Anderson also needs to tighten up his handling of the ball. He has a tendency to get lackadaisical and make lazy passes, which lead to his 19.1 percent turnover rate, which ranks him fifth amongst players in DraftExpress’ top-100. His general lack of speed and quickness hurt him as well. He’s not very prone to get out on the break, and has just an average first step, which could be an issue against some of the bigger, faster players in the NBA.
Arguably the biggest question mark surrounding Anderson is his defense. He doesn’t have a set position yet like most players in the draft, so there’s the question about who he’s going to guard. He’s got the length to guard four of the five positions, but does he have the speed and body to do so? He’s got great anticipation skills to go along with his great length, which have helped him previously be able to block shots and steal the ball at decent rates. He’s been known to have poor guarding position as well, which allows his defenders to get by him with ease at times, which could be exploited by NBA teams, especially early on.
Anderson is arguably the most unique prospect in this draft. He has a tantalizing combination of physical tools and all-around game, but the questions are also there still. He’s played point guard his whole life, but will a coach be willing to take that risk on him going forward? How can you mask his deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, especially early in his career?
With the 12th pick in the early range for Anderson, the Magic could have some interest in the 20-year old. Anderson could fill the void at point guard while making up a physically terrifying backcourt with Victor Oladipo for years to come. However, it might be in the team’s best interest to look elsewhere to fill their void at point guard while using the 12th pick to improve their depth.