Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Travis Bader



  • Measurables: 6-foot-5, 191 lbs, senior guard from Oakland University
  • Key Stats: 20.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 39 FG%, 41 3pt% and 94 FT%
  • Projected: Second round/undrafted

Matters to No One But Me …

Travis Bader will forever (well, maybe not forever … only until another prolific shooter comes along) be etched in the record books as the three-point-shot-makingest-player-guy in NCAA history after surpassing J.J. Redick this year, but his highlight of the season was definitely drawing a weird foul in the Horizon League Tournament to help Oakland (briefly) keep its season alive. Via SB Nation:

Full disclosure, as an Oakland alum, I’m desperate for a Grizzly to stick in the NBA. If I were a NBA GM right now, I can say with 100 percent certainty that Bader, Keith Benson and Rawle Marshall would all be on my roster. But unlike his predecessors who made brief NBA cameos, Benson and Marshall, Bader actually has a skillset that fits very well with what NBA teams need on their bench. Marshall’s perimeter shot didn’t become reliable enough for him to earn consistent NBA minutes despite his size and athleticism being good fits for the league and Benson’s wiry frame despite his shot-blocking and offensive abilities made risk-averse teams hesitant to give him much of a chance to earn a spot. Bader, as a tall wing who can get his shot off and make it, could project at worst as a reliable spot-up shooter/floor spacer off the bench. There’s a constant need for those, so I’m hopeful he gets a fair opportunity to make a roster.

Fits with the Pistons because …

Because he makes all the shots, of course. Listen, Bader is certainly nolt worth a first round pick. It might even be a stretch to take him early in the second round when the Pistons pick. But if he goes undrafted (and it’s looking more like that won’t be the case as teams are realizing that his shooting is an extremely valuable commodity), they should be all over him for their Summer League team and for a training camp invite.

Bader was a fairly unheralded Division I recruit who absolutely made himself into a prolific shooter and scorer at Oakland with a relentless work ethic. In fact, he was arguably Oakland’s only viable offensive option at times the last two seasons, and as such, he faced overwhelming pressure from defenses who did everything they could to not give him clean looks. He still managed to make over 40 percent of his 3-point attempts for his career.

Bader showed he has an all-around game at the Portsmouth Invitational this month, with improved defensive abilities and his trademark offense landing him a spot on the all-tournament team. He also has good size for a NBA guard at 6-foot-5, so that combined with his quick release should give him no issues getting his shot off at the NBA level. He’s also good at using screens, as Oakland often had to run him through hoops to help him get looks with teams shadowing him with multiple defenders at all times.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

Bader will likely struggle defensively against NBA shooting guards. He’s smart, moves his feet well and works hard at his game, but he’ll be average at best athletically among peers at his position in the NBA. He’ll also suffer from the same bias that all four-year college players do when it comes to pro evaluators — how much room does he have left to improve compared to less experienced players in the draft.

Bader also likely won’t be a player who can get his own shot off the dribble at the NBA level.

From the Experts

Chad Ford:

"Scott (MI)Any chance Oaklands 3 point stud Bader gets drafted?Chad Ford  (1:45 PM)For sure. Many scouts believe Travis Bader is the best shooter in this draft. Averaged 4.5 made threes a game this season. Has a real shot at the second round."


"On the defensive end, the wiry wing, while showing great effort, isn’t a lockdown defender by any means. He is willing to compete, evident when he worked hard to front the post and picked up a steal on Wednesday, but lacks the strength and length (6′ 5” wingspan) to contain penetration consistently. While not a bad athlete, he’s a bit behind the eight-ball with his average physical tools.Bader certainly has the shooting stroke to be a specialist at the professional level. His ability to shoot coming off of screens and dribble hand offs is an intriguing skill in a game full of quick actions. With that said, Bader’s lack of defensive potential and struggles doing anything off the bounce and inside the paint limit his versatility. If he chooses to do so, Bader could carve out a nice career for himself as a specialist overseas."