DraftAmerica is pleased to welcome Adam Hayes to the team. Adam’s first piece for DA is an in-depth look at NBA prospect Grayson Allen of Duke University. For more on Adam, read his bio here.
Grayson Allen was named CBS Sports Preseason Player of the Year in November 2016. However, that doesn’t mean that he is going to be a lottery pick, or that he will even have a solid career in the NBA. Even without the baggage that comes with his multiple tripping incidents, there are doubts by scouts and other observers about his ability to play effectively at the next level.
Will Grayson Allen Even Be Drafted?
According to this projection from NBADraft.net, he will not be among the 60 players who will have their names called in the 2017 Draft. This is despite the fact that four other Duke players are projected to be picked in the first round, with another expected to go in the second round. However, this may merely be a reaction to the fact that Allen was indefinitely suspended by Duke after tripping an Elon player during a December 21st game in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Flaws in Allen’s Game Were Already Evident
Many scouts and observers believe that Allen doesn’t have the ball handling skills needed to be an inside scorer in the NBA. He also doesn’t have the skills to make plays while driving to the basket. Instead, he relies more on his athleticism and ability to dominate smaller players to create shots. This will be a problem in the NBA as almost everyone will be as big if not bigger than he is. Therefore, he may have been a mid-first round pick at best even if it wasn’t for his unsportsmanlike antics on the court.
His Personal Baggage Doesn’t Help
It could be unfair to single out Allen as a dirty player when guys like Draymond Green have built a reputation for kicking or stomping opponents during games. However, the difference between Green and Allen is that Green has established himself as a valuable cog on a championship team, whereas Allen hasn’t shown that he can be any sort of a leader. While there is still time for him to overcome his maturity issues, it doesn’t seem like he has learned from his previous mistakes yet.
An Indefinite Suspension Keeps Him Off the Court
When a team drafts a player, they want to know that they are getting. If he hasn’t been on the court much over the course of his last college season, it’s hard to know if he has improved enough both physically and emotionally to handle the rigors of being a professional. Unless a team projects a player who is rough around the edges to be an eventual franchise player, that team may pass in favor of a known commodity. Therefore, Allen’s draft status could be negatively impacted if he is suspended for the rest of the season.
Could Grayson Allen be among the first 10 picks of the 2017 NBA draft? While it only takes one team to fall in love with a player’s potential, it is unlikely that a team will invest an early pick into a player who needs time to develop both his mind and his game.