"Undervalued" part 1
Catch and Shooters
Part 1 of my Undervalued Series is dedicated to four 2020 prospects who are strong catch & shooters. Each of these players have their own strengths + weaknesses, but for the sake of this exercise I'll only really discuss this particular skill, for which I think they are underrated.
6-6, Duke SF
Stanley is an incredible athlete at 6-6 and jumping a reported 46.5" vertical. Some view him as an athletic defensive, presence who may only score around the rim, and I don't fault anyone for seeing that because most of his highlights are of rim rocking dunks. What a lot of people seem to miss is that he's a 93rd percentile catch & shooter, averaging 1.312 PPP.
He hit 36.0% of his threes this season, 100% (!!) of which were assisted, according to HoopMath. Stanley needs to work on his pull up jumpers + isn't a big proponent of running off screens and shooting off movement often, but he could be a viable drive-and-kick target at the NBA level.
Babcock Hoops: #18
Sam Vecenie: #40
6-1, Michigan State PG
Winston is a player I go back-and-forth on a lot as far as draft value. His size + athleticism are cause for serious questions about his ability to hang at the NBA level, but he's also one of the smartest + highest basketball IQ guards we've seen in a long time.
Winston shot 43.2% of his threes this season, with 56.2% being assisted (per HoopMath). He ranked in the 97th percentile in catch-and-shoot, with a 50% score rate on FGs. Another fascinating part of his shooting ability is that he can hit a C&S look both from deep, and the mid range. To be 6-1 and rank 87th percentile in FGs 17" to the 3PT line is really impressive.
There are very few shots on the floor that Winston can't hit.
Babcock Hoops: #48
Sam Vecenie: #41
6-5, Utah State SG
I consider Merrill underrated in this exercise even though shooting is primarily what he's known for. I simply feel that he's not discussed as a potential next level player as much as he deserves.
Although he's not an elite athlete, Merrill is really smart + has great feel for the game. He ranked 92nd percentile in the catch-and-shoot this season, averaging 1.284 PPP. He sank 41.0% of his threes, of which 68.5% were assisted. His 3PT assisted% dropped 15% from last season, suggesting that he's improving as a playmaker.
On Draft day Merrill will be 24 years old so I'm unsure that he'll be selected, but there is value in a 6-5, high IQ shooter who can score multiple ways. Hopefully we'll see him get a chance in the G-League and someday the NBA.
Sam Vecenie: #71
6-6, San Diego State SF
Mitchell buried 39.3% of his threes this season, while being assisted on 93.2% of them, per HoopMath. He ranked 93rd percentile as a catch-and-shooter, scoring 1.316 points-per-possession. Although he isn't incredibly active running off screens + his delivery can be slow/methodical, he's got a smooth, consistent release and could be a stretch contributor at the next level.
Mitchell has flown under the radar for quite some time, but he's a physical, powerful athlete who can score on multiple levels. He was voted to the All-Mountain West First Team and will likely return to school, but may someday get a shot in the NBA.
Sam Vecenie: #82