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2017 NBA Draft - Brew Hoop Community Draft Board: Typical Duke guard, Luke Kennard

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The skilled shooter and defensive question mark fills #14

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-South Carolina vs Duke Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

As we inch closer to the Bucks pick at #17 it appears the guards are falling off the board leaving a slew of big men in their wake. With the #14 pick, the community selected a very skilled and potent offensive threat with very questionable defensive abilities, which is to be expected: Luke Kennard - SG, Duke.

Much like his Duke brethren Jayson Tatum, Kennard’s offensive game is well developed and he utilizes a wide array of tools to put the ball through the basket. He had a productive freshman year, and an offensive explosion in his sophomore year had him shooting up draft boards all season. He wasn’t a top-tier recruit coming into college like his teammates Tatum or Giles, but he put in the time to improve and hone his game in the lone offseason.

At just under 6’6” Kennard has good size for an NBA shooting guard, and when you combine that with his fast-twitch shooting action, quick release and stable form Kennard’s shooting ability reaches new heights. He attempted over 120 more shots than the next Duke player, and on 201 three-point attempts Kennard shot almost 44% on the season. In his freshman season he shot only 32% on 172 three-pointers, a marked improvement and a large enough sample size to project to the pro-level. Additionally, from the stripe Kennard shot 86% on 187 attempts, a free throw rate of 38.6 via barttorvik.com.

His jumper is his most threatening weapon, and he showed an ability to get it off in any situation. With a good feel for the game on offense Kennard roams and lingers on the outside, sliding to an open area for swift catch and shoot opportunities; as well as showing promise shooting off the dribble by hitting 21 of 88 threes unassisted. He’s got a tight handle on the ball. It’s not elite point guard handles, but he’s very capable of taking care of the rock. By acting as the primary ball handler at times this season Kennard showed some playmaking ability, especially in the pick and roll where his jumper kept defenses honest. Kennard averaged 2.8 assists per 40 as well.

Kennard’s strengths reside at the perimeter and leveraging that shooting ability into attacks. He’ll exploit a closeout efficiently off the dribble or pump- and jump-fake his way get an opening he can dive into. His basketball IQ is outstanding, and he showed poise and confidence in crunch time, hitting big shots as a Blue Devil this season.

The downside is Kennard’s bulk and length. At just 196 pounds and a 6’5” wingspan, Kennard struggles to body up, preferring to outsmart, leverage his body or sleuth his way to the basket. He shot 62% at the rim, but at the NBA-level Kennard will struggle against bigger, larger and longer men in the post or at the rim. His athleticism and quickness are very average. He’s unable to get around most defenders in the pick and roll or one on one to attack the rim off the dribble, and he can’t elevate with ease above defenders.

Those deficiencies grow exponentially on the defensive end, where some serious questions lie due to his lack of focus or effort. When you combine that with his underwhelming athleticism and length there are no ways for Kennard to overcome mental mistakes. He’s big for a shooting guard, but his short arms make him less effective and he’ll struggle switching onto small forwards. Duke is notoriously not that great on defense so it’s possible he could be better in a tough-nosed system, but as of right now Kennard is an exploitable defensive liability for any positions 1-3.

Kennard would be a welcome offensive impetus for the Bucks back court alongside Malcolm Brogdon and Matthew Dellavedova. He could also handle primary or secondary ball handling duties when Giannis Antetokounmpo is in the game. Kennard’s floor stretching would be greatly welcomed, and even though his speed doesn’t make him a rim attacker he can aptly run a pick and roll or work off ball to confound a defense. He wouldn’t be a plus-defender at first, but his 127.3 offensive rating this year brings an elite element the Bucks are thirsty for.

Draft Tidbits:

Jarrett Allen, a center from Texas, is who DraftExpress projects the Bucks to take at #17 as of publication.

The 2017 Brew Hoop Draft Board

  1. Markelle Fultz - PG, Washington - DraftExpress Profile
  2. Lonzo Ball - PG, UCLA - DraftExpress Profile
  3. Josh Jackson - SF, Kansas - DraftExpress Profile
  4. De’Aaron Fox - PG, Kentucky - DraftExpress Profile
  5. Jayson Tatum - SF, Duke - DraftExpress Profile
  6. Malik Monk - SG, Kentucky - DraftExpress Profile
  7. Jonathan Isaac - SF/PF, Florida State - DraftExpress Profile
  8. Dennis Smith - PG, N.C. State - DraftExpress Profile
  9. Frank Ntilikina - PG, Strasbourg - DraftExpress Profile
  10. Lauri Markkanen - PF, Arizona - DraftExpress Profile
  11. Zach Collins - PF/C, Gonzaga - DraftExpress Profile
  12. Donovan Mitchell - G, Louisville - DraftExpress Profile
  13. OG Anunoby - SF/PF, Indiana - DraftExpress Profile
  14. Luke Kennard - SG, Duke - DraftExpress Profile

Poll

My Pick for the #15 Spot on the Brew Hoop Community Draft Board is:

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    John Collins - PF, Wake Forest
    (38 votes)
  • 24%
    Justin Jackson - SF, North Carolina
    (49 votes)
  • 5%
    Ike Anigbogu - C, UCLA
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    Jarrett Allen - C, Texas
    (26 votes)
  • 14%
    Justin Patton - C, Creighton
    (29 votes)
  • 12%
    Harry Giles - C, Duke
    (25 votes)
  • 6%
    T.J. Leaf - PF, UCLA
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    Trade the pick!
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (4 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now