With only a few days to go until the NBA Draft, we’re going to break down a few mock draft selections for the Thunder. We’ve already done six, Semi Ojeleye, Jawun Evans, Terrance Ferguson, Harry Giles, Justin Jackson, OG Anunoby, Derrick White, and TJ Leaf.We’re going to break down a couple more. Stay with us as the NBA season ends and the NBA offseason ramps up.
Who: Luke Kennard
Position: Shooting Guard
Wt: 202 lbs.
Luke Kennard is a sharp shooter from Duke and he could be exactly what the Thunder are looking for in the draft. His size and shooting ability can provide defenses some troubles.
At 6-6, Kennard is the prototypical shooting guard. He doesn’t have a great wingspan. He’s frame hasn’t added much bulk. Overall, he’s not a great athlete, which means he lacks explosiveness off the dribble.
Despite all of the negative remarks about his physical build, Kennard is an exceptional shooter. His footwork and body control is above the norm. His ability to get to certain spots and nail down the shot is a great reason why he’s a first round prediction. He’s not lacking confidence in the crunch time and came up repeatedly for Coach Mike Krazyzewski.
Kennard is a deep threat with the ball. He shot 44 percent from three-point range his sophomore season. He was 12th in major conference rankings. His ability to move without the ball puts himself position for optimal shot attempts. He reads defenses well and is a quick shot, ala Anthony Morrow. He comes off screens and knows how to pull up off the dribble. He knows how to read defenses well and attack closeouts. He’s attune to stepping back and getting behind the three-point line when being attacked on a shot attempted.
While he’s an exceptional shooter, Kennard has parts of his game that has forced him so far down the draft boards. He struggles against length and as we said, does not have a lot of explosiveness to get by defenders. His short arms and very average lateral quickness can cause him some offensive issues against bigger, quicker defenders. He often plays with a low energy level and when he’s not mentally in the game, he gets lost off the ball.
Defensively, he has big question marks. His size and lack of lateral movement give players with real explosiveness an advantage. Kennard might have to be hidden on the floor against lesser offensive players. Kennard has put a lot of time into his offensive game but forgot to work on his defense.
Kennard is not a player who is going to become an all-star. However, he’s going to become a quality rotational player with some work to adjust his game to the NBA level. Will Oklahoma City make Kennard their pick? That’s unknown but he provides a deep threat Oklahoma City really lacked this season.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!