A review of Duke’s “other” big man star
The Duke Blue Devils were a very exciting team to watch this past season with NBA prospects such as Marvin Bagley III, Grayson Allen, Gary Trent Jr, and Trevon Duval. All of these flashy NBA prospects might have taken the fans’ eyes off of the 6’10, 263 pound Wendell Carter Jr. who is also a lottery projected pick in Thursday’s draft.
While Carter wasn’t shooting 40% from 3 point range like fellow teammate Marvin Bagley III, he did make a solid 56% of his shots on the season while averaging 13.5 points per game. Carter excelled at the collegiate level putting his back to the basket, posting up taller defenders, and knocking down turn around jump shots.
Under the rim he was able to pull down 9 rebounds per game and block over 2 shots per game with that 7’4.5″ wingspan, being able to keep defenders out of the paint. His power, strength, and quick first-step gives him all the tools needed to become an all-star big man in today’s small ball NBA.
Although Carter is a very athletic big man, he does lack the explosiveness teams look for in a modern day power forward/ center and he isn’t the best at defending the perimeter. The team who selects the Carter will look to improve his all-around footwork to make him an even better defender.
Wendell Carter Jr, will most likely fall between picks 7-10 on draft night, a guy the Hawks could target if they add an extra top 10 pick via trade. His play around the basket can contribute to any team, and would make a nice pairing with John Collins in Atlanta’s frontcourt. Carter would be able to improve his defense under first year head coach, Lloyd Pierce, who is a defensive minded coach.
Many have thought of Al Horford when trying to compare Carter Jr. to an NBA player, which Hawks fans wouldn’t mind having at all. While he is also trying to improve and expand his game beyond the arc, he is a nice project for young teams and a great lottery pick with a very high ceiling in the 2018 draft.
Ryan Andrews – @Ry_And1
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