- Measurables: 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, senior guard from Illinois
- Key Stats: 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists per game on 40 percent shooting.
- Projected: Late second round
- Hickory High Similarity Score
Brandon Paul is doing a cool thing during his draft party. According to the Chicago Tribune, he’s auctioning off some of his college memorabilia … except for one thing:
It seems Paul is banking on good news. He was planning a party with fans in his hometown of Gurnee for Thursday night after the draft, when he said he will raffle off and give away autographed gear. (Though he said he would keep his orange shoes from his 43-point performance against Ohio State as a junior.)
Fits with the Pistons because …
For better or worse, Brandon Paul is a prototypical Joe Dumars guard. He’s big and strong, he’s versatile and has given minutes in college both in a playmaking role and as a traditional scoring guard and he’s reasonably athletic, drawing comparisons with Dwyane Wade coming out of high school because of his build and ability to finish while absorbing contact. The Pistons certainly need help in the backcourt and, depending on what they do with free agent Will Bynum and possible trade bait Rodney Stuckey, they could have a need for a guard who can attack the rim.
Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …
Paul doesn’t fill the two most immediate backcourt needs, however. He’s not a point guard and he’s not a great three-point shooter. Paul shot just 33 percent from three each of the last two seasons and his shot selection at Illinois was occasionally questionable. That’s partially attributable to playing for bad teams that needed him to score, but if Stuckey isn’t traded and/or Bynum is re-signed, those two along with Brandon Knight give the team three low-efficiency, shoot-first guards. That’s probably already too many, so adding a fourth wouldn’t seem to be the best way to fill out their guard depth.
From the Experts:
Paul came in as a freshman at Illinois hyped as a poor man’s Dwyane Wade. Blessed with great athleticism and length, many scouts thought he’d be a dynamic scorer at Illinois. He’s had his moments (including a 43-point game against Ohio State last season), but he’s been inconsistent. What a difference a new head coach makes. John Groce has opened up the offense and put the ball in Paul’s hands, and suddenly, he looks like a legit NBA prospect again.
The key to Paul’s productivity over the past two seasons, and one of his more intriguing qualities as an NBA prospect, is his ability to create his own shot. Possessing a quick first step, an explosive burst when attacking off the dribble, and a strong frame to exploit smaller guards, Paul can shake defenders one-on-one and turn the corner operating off ball screens. He’s a capable ball-handler, even running the point for stretches this season, but has room to improve on not over-dribbling and become more adept at playing at different speeds to help prepare for the quickness of NBA defenders.
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