Luke Kennard-SG-Duke
Size: 6’6 202lbs

Luke Kennard

Strengths:

  • Pure scorer
  • High basketball IQ
  • Height
  • Moves well without the ball
  • Leadership improved at Duke

Analysis: Luke Kennard is a pure scorer, which translates to any level of basketball. He is an outstanding jump shooter and has the potential to be one of the best shooters in the NBA the second he steps on the court. He is a crafty lefty with an ability to score from anywhere on the floor. Big time development from his freshman to sophomore campaign. Extremely fluid player on the offensive end. He’s doesn’t have an overly quick first step but defenses must respect his ability to knock down shots with limited space so it helps him get defenders off-balance. He converted a sky-high 44% of his 3-pointers this past season, with many of them coming on very high degree of difficulty attempts. He moves off the ball intelligently, constantly relocating based on where the ball is and how the defense is reacting, and only needs an instant to get his shot off thanks to his super quick release and excellent shot preparation. Far more than a spot-up shooter, Kennard is excellent coming off screens, and is also lethal pulling up off the dribble. He has very good footwork and timing attacking closeouts, using head-fakes, pump-fakes and terrific body control to shed his initial defender. He will not hesitate to use side-steps to quickly relocate behind the arc, or take one dribble inside the arc and pull-up for a mid-range step-back, often throwing in a slight fade for good measure.

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks explosiveness
  • Wingspan
  • Lacks defensive ability
  • Scouts have questioned energy level on defensive end

Analysis: Shooting may not be a concern for NBA teams in regards to Kennard’s value, but there are deficiency’s in his game that will be picked apart leading up to draft night. He struggles to finish over length due to his underwhelming explosiveness and extension around the rim, and he couldn’t always turn the corner against quicker players in college. Some of the moves in his arsenal, for example killing his dribble and using reverse pivot moves inside the paint, may simply not translate against bigger, stronger, longer and more athletic defenders. How sustainable his 53% 2P% and high free throw rate this season will be in the NBA is a real question mark, and how well he’ll adapt his game in turn will be very important. The offensive skill-set Kennard can learn, but his biggest weakness is his defense. He has an unappealing combination of short arms, average lateral quickness, and a just-decent frame that already puts him at a significant disadvantage right off the bat. He compounded that this past season by demonstrating a distinctly low energy level, playing with very little urgency and getting lost off the ball frequently, although some of those issues plagued the entire Duke team as a whole. Regardless, there are real concerns about whether Kennard is the type of player a NBA team will need to hide on that end of the floor, as he’s probably not quick enough to defend most guards, and seemingly lacks the length to contain bigger wing players.

NBA Comparison: JJ Reddick

Draft Projection: Top 15

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