NBA Position: SG
Hometown: Gurnee, IL
High School: Warren
Ceiling: Jamal Crawford
Basement: Shannon Brown
- Aggressive Penetrator
- Good Shooter
- NBA 3PT Range
- Shot Selection
Scoring in bunches is a skill and a need for teams when looking at their bench units. One of the better players at scoring points in bunches at the college level has been Brandon Paul of Illinois.
Those types of scorers present a quality amount of risk verse reward with their style, but scoring is a premium that is coveted at the NBA level. Paul can catch fire scoring all over the court which allows him to take a game over in a matter of minutes. The downfall is that he can shoot an offense out of rhythm effectively doing the opposite on nights his shot is not falling.
Over the course of his first three years in college Paul was not able to show the required consistency to be a first round NBA draft pick. He could score, but it was erratic in nature at best.
Through three years, 102 games, Paul scored 20+ points in back-to-back games twice. He shot the ball 50% or higher with 10+ points only once in that span as well.
For comparison sakes Shabazz Muhammad as a freshman shot 50% or higher with 10+ points in back-to-back games three times this past year. Shooting consistency is not one of Paul’s strengths, but he improves as a senior shooting the ball over 40+ on the year and becoming the consistent scorer that he was not for his first three years.
During his first three years at Illinois there was no timeframe where Paul was the man or the leader on the team. He was a gunner scorer. As a senior his role expanded to being the primary scorer, ball-handler, and the teams’ leader. That showed with an increase in assists, filed goal percentage, scoring, and a decrease in turnovers.
Paul has the athleticism and physical build to be a consistent scorer at any level. He is listed at 6-4 with a sturdy, strong frame to absorb contact in the paint.
His quickness and ball-handling allow him to get past the first layer of defense into the paint. The ability is there, but the action was not over last year as Paul got to the free-throw line 10+ times seven total times and attempted 4> a total of 18 times. He has not shown a consistent or general ability to use his athleticism and NBA frame to get in the lane to generate easy points.
Last season the ball was in Paul’s hands as a play-maker roughly 50% of the time through isolations or pick-and-roll situations as the ball-handler. He scored 281 points with a 0.88 points per possession with the ball in his hands.
At the next level Paul can be effective as a secondary ball-handler within the offense used to attack and score. He is not a play-maker for others on a consistent level, but has above average vision with size to see over the defense. Paul is a good shooter, but in spot-up stand alone jump shooting scenarios he shot only 33.3% from the field. While Paul is a good shooter he, like many other scoring guards, is better off the bounce to create a rhythm for himself with the ball in his hands.
The one thing that Paul has more than his peers at the scoring guard position are NBA moves on the offensive end. He as an array of scoring moves in his repertoire from baseline fade-a-ways, to pull up jumpers, to step-back jumpers that will allow him to transition to the next level smoother than his peers. His offensive game is better suited for the open nature of the NBA game.
Offensively Paul has the athleticism and NBA frame to be a good scorer inside and out, but is the most effective as a gunner that can score in bunches with a leash.
With his knack for offense Paul is not known as a defender. Mechanically Paul is not a great defender, but over the course of four years in college he has developed into a pretty serviceable defensive player against wings at the college level. The length and physical tools he uses on the offensive serve him on the defensive end as well against pick-and-rolls, off the ball in close outs, and using his strength to keep his man out of scoring position. In the four primary defensive categories that he will see at the NBA level Paul allowed 34% shooting against the pick-and-roll, isolation, spot-up, and defending opponents off of screens.
While not an elite defender his maturity and strength will allow Paul to serve as an adequate option on the defensive end at the next level.
His role will likely be that of a 6th Man off the bench used to score the ball in bunches. The physical and athletic profile Paul has will allow him to play multiple positions and score the ball with consistency as long as he can find his own efficiency.