SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about Georgia swingman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
NAME: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
AGE ON DRAFT DAY: 20 years, four months.
POSITION: Shooting guard.
MEASUREMENTS: 6'5, 204 pounds, 6'8 wingspan, 8'4.5 standing reach.
|2012 - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||32||33.9||5.8||13.4||43.3||2.6||7.0||37.3||4.2||5.3||79.9||1.2||5.9||7.1||1.8||2.0||2.0||0.5||2.2||18.5|
RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: 19.7 defensive rebounding percentage. Not many shooting guards have the size and athleticism to be such a factor on the glass.
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 15.
NBA CEILING: Arron Afflalo.
NBA FLOOR: Shannon Brown.
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a McDonald's All-American who was a Top-15 recruit in the class of 2011, so he has been on NBA radars since high school. However, after not making the postseason in two years at Georgia, he is one of the most anonymous prospects in this year's draft.
He had an inconsistent freshman season, but returned as one of the best players in the SEC as a sophomore. Despite being the only consistent threat on the Bulldogs roster, Caldwell-Pope averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while shooting 44 percent from the field, 37 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line.
At 6'5 and 205 pounds with a 6'8 wingspan, Caldwell-Pope has prototypical size for a shooting guard. His max vertical of 34.5 inches was a little underwhelming at the 2013 NBA Draft Combine, but he was consistently one of the best athletes on the court in college, delivering more than his fair share of above-the-rim highlights.
Given the lack of talent around him in college, his offensive potential at the next level is a little unclear. He fell in love with his jumper at times, but there weren't many driving lanes to the rim, especially since defenses could mark him all over the court.
The good news is that he'll be more prepared defensively than most prospects, since Georgia couldn't afford to play lax on that end this season. When they were winning games, they were grinding out 55-50 rock fights.
Either way, his combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability makes him one of the safer picks in this year's draft. At worst, Caldwell-Pope should have a long career as a two-way shooting guard and secondary playmaker in a backcourt.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT
OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS
Like Paul George in the 2010 combine, Caldwell-Pope just looked like a prototypical shooting guard. On the surface, he fits the mold really well and when you look at his skills, it's transparent why. At Georgia, he was asked to do a lot and might have been stretched a little thin. But he is a good scorer and his one special skill that will translate well to the next level is his shooting. In the shooting drills, the ball came out of his hands quick and smooth, even after extending his range to the NBA 3-point line. It's hard to think he won't make an impact in the league.
I like KCP a lot but his shot distribution makes me a little uncomfortable. He fails to get to the rim and settles for jumpers far too often. In this sense he is the opposite prospect of [Victor] Oladipo and not in a flattering way. KCP can still be useful without being a major threat to attack the paint, but I think it puts a cap on his potential and may make him more dependent on pairing with a complimentary point guard.
The biggest issue that stands out to me with KCP is how weird his lack of media hype is. He is a high usage guard who averaged 18.5 points per game as a sophomore and was similarly prolific (though in fewer minutes) through the first half of his freshman season. His numbers and highlights tell the story of a physically dominant athlete who slams home dunks and makes impressive plays. In short... he is the type of player ESPN et al. usually drool over. What did the poor guy do to miss out on all of the media attention? I started asking this question earlier last season when KCP was performing better than the much more popular freshman shooting guards [Austin] Rivers, [Bradley] Beal and [Dion] Waiters, but he started missing shots and I shut up. This season KCP held strong throughout the entire season and still got minimal love. That may be changing as I see him slide up the mock drafts weekly, but I am still left baffled by his omission from the spotlight.
Prospects who are great athletes and good shooters off the dribble will always have a home in the NBA, and teams are constantly hankering for one in the first round. His combination of shooting and athleticism is rivaled by only two others at his position in this draft, which will surely do wonders for his draft stock up until draft night. Certainly there will be a team willing to take a flier on him for the sole purpose of finding out how much untapped potential really made it out of that train wreck of a situation down in Georgia.
I'm generally weary of players with low basketball IQ's that have a penchant for putting up shots without much deliberation, but Caldwell-Pope's situation is incredibly hard to read.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, better known to me as KCP, is one of the best shooters in the draft with deep range and a quick, tight shooting stroke. He's also athletic enough to get to the rim and finish, and grades out as a good defender by statistics or scouting. He doesn't have a great handle for a 2-guard and can't hurt defenses off the dribble as well as he can in catch-and-shoot situations.
For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.