SG Duke Luke Kennard 6’6” 200 6’6” wingspan
Player Comparison: Bigger Kirk Hinrich
Why here: The Bulls were the worst shooting team in the NBA last year. They need players with the ability to project as a playmaker and a shooter while having leadership qualities that wont bump heads with the minds of Rondo and Wade. Kennard is exactly this- an unselfish leader with point guard skills, shooting ability, and size to play one-three. This in addition to the looming trade rumors and departure of superstar Jimmy Butler, Kennard’s services would be greatly appreciated. His skills line up with a lottery selection, but his vibe aligns with players that slip past their value (apparently the Knicks are considering him at eight, which would be a mistake).
Strengths: Very efficient (53/44/86) and versatile scorer… high IQ on and off ball… moves through screens with intelligence… understands flow of transition and half court offenses… good with the catch and shoot… can create own shot with his shiftiness, especially in terms of pull up jumpers. Dependable step backs, floaters, and fade aways… frequently sprinkles in head fakes and hesitation moves. He led a Duke team in scoring that had one of this drafts best scorer’s in Tatum. Shows skill around the hoop with his finishing ability… is patient and takes what the defenses gives him… completes layups with both hands… can absorb contact for and-one chances but isn’t remarkably strong in the air, despite getting to the FT line consistently. Has great footwork in all aspects of his game.
Although inconsistent, he has shown brilliant glimpses as a playmaker, especially in the p&R… can find teammates through tight windows… enjoys throwing lobs although he didn’t toss a ton at Duke… passes with force and determination- a needle zipper if you will.
Has good defensive instincts despite lacking elite athleticism and length… strong base helps guarding up positions… is agile and has moderate lateral quickness… fights around screens and chases off ball like a horsefly. He doesn’t let up… takes getting beat personally, frequently gets his man back.
Impressive leadership skills and poise… kept mind right and teammates participating in games on task while distractions bounced everywhere last season at Duke. Despite falling a bit short in the NCAA tournament, he has proven to have the clutch gene and confidence as a scorer needed to survive a long time at the next level.
Showed great rebounding base for a guard… is aggressive around the hoop… fights for position and slithers to the ball… incredible at predicting bounces… rebounds his own misses… can box out bigs for short periods of time.
Weaknesses: Underwhelming athlete… doesn’t explode at the rim… first step and dribble moves are crafty rather than quick and speedy. Doesn’t have a vast dribbling arsenal. Cant finish over imposing length… struggles to capitalize on switches to bigger wings and fours/fives.
His length and frame aren’t impressive– will be guarding ones and twos.
Needs to improve his passing in terms of consistency, off the dribble, and post entries… doesn’t have incredible vision from all parts of the floor… can put blinders on when switched or guarded by smaller defenders. Only averaged 2.5 apg last season… doesn’t look to pass… resets offense or shoots rather than finding teammates for buckets.
Weakest aspect of game is defense… isn’t super fast or quick so he frequently gets beat by quicker ball handlers… bigger wings get inside position with ease… is easy to shoot over, especially because of his lack of length and vertical. Despite playing on offense with sense of urgency and intensity, he lacks those same traits on the defensive end.
Outlook: The Bulls snag the safest player available at this stage. An athlete with superior intellect and offensive promise on the court, Luke should be able to slide off the bench and make an impact for a long time. Everyone needs back up PGs that can guard multiple positions.
Random Prediction: Has longest career in this draft. Wins $1,000,000 for a charity in a fundraising shooting event.