SB Nation is posting scouting reports of each prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. Learn more about California shooting guard Allen Crabbe.
NAME: Allen Crabbe
AGE ON DRAFT NIGHT: 21 years, 2 months
POSITION: Shooting guard
MEASUREMENTS: 6'6, 197 pounds, 6'11.25 wingspan, 8'7.5 standing reach
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RELEVANT ADVANCED STATS: 56.8 percent true shooting percentage this season. Could Crabbe be a more efficient shooter at the next level when he's no longer the focus of opposing defenses?
SB NATION BIG BOARD POSITION: No. 14.
NBA CEILING: Rip Hamilton
NBA FLOOR: Marco Belinelli
JONATHAN TJARKS' ANALYSIS
When he went to college, Allen Crabbe was merely a pure shooter. Over the last three seasons, he has gradually expanded his game to become a fairly complete player. Cal's first option almost by default, he rarely got open looks at the basket. Instead, he had to learn how to use the threat of his jumper to open up the game for himself and his teammates.
This season, Crabbe was the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game on 45-percent shooting from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the free throw line. Without another legitimate NBA prospect on his team, he carried the Bears to a Round of 32 appearance in the NCAA tournament.
At 6'6 and 200 pounds with a 6'11 wingspan, Crabbe has exceptional length for a guard. With a release point of nearly 7'0, he can shoot over the top of almost anyone defending him. That length will make him at least passable defensively while also letting him slide down to the three on occasion.
Where he really separates himself from other shooting guard prospects is his ability to play off the ball. Most of Cal's offense came from the defensive attention Crabbe demanded coming off screens. He knows how to curl off picks and attack the basket, and he can find the open man when he draws help.
At the next level, when Crabbe will no longer be the focus of defenses, he could be an even more efficient player. He's not a guard you isolate at the top of the key and expect to draw a double team, but he would be an excellent backcourt partner for a ball-dominant point guard.
DRAFT EXPRESS SCOUTING REPORT
OTHER SB NATION SCOUTING REPORTS:
Allen Crabbe will and should go pro. Unfortunately, I don't see him developing much with one more year in college, so I think he should go and get credit for his "potential." I do think he will be a solid NBA rotation player for a few years, as he provides good shooting and rebounding, along with average (at worst) defense. Things holding him back for the next level: ball-handling, post-up game, and passing. He's a pure 2 guard so I'm not expecting him to handle the ball full time, but it would be great to see him attack off the dribble more. In addition, he could have compensated for his lack of ball handling by posting up more, using his length/height. Shame he didn't develop that part of his game.
Crabbe has the elusive "elite skill" that so many people harp on with draft prospects. Clearly, his increased role as the primary option at Cal got the better of him on a number of occasions, but as his role abridges in the NBA, we'll begin to see Crabbe carve out a niche on a playoff team within the next two or three years. There will be a learning curve immediately and he may not see much playing time as a rookie due to his defensive frailties, so it's important to stay patient with him as he gets acclimated.
Maybe Crabbe becomes a "poor man's" Klay Thompson? I really dislike that kind of analysis. First, there's the obvious point that there is no player in the NBA named "Poor Man's Klay Thompson," so instead of doing the hard work and telling me what a player is this instead tells me what a player isn't (namely, Klay Thompson). Secondly, I am not entirely sure what a poor man's version of a 12.7 PER player looks like, but that is not exactly a ringing endorsement. Maybe Chase Budinger is the better comparison. Their junior year numbers are very similar, though Budinger's are a little better almost across the board. That's a solid player.
A final note about scoring styles. Crabbe is notable for being a Rip Hamilton style of shooter, someone who attacks defenses by running around screens all day. Something I realized this year: you have to be amazing at that style of scoring to make it worthwhile. Otherwise it just chews up way too much time and energy every possession trying to get the guy open for what is often one of the least efficient shots in the game (mid-range jumper).
Cal Golden Blogs (different author):
I've heard chatter that some scouts are downgrading Crabbe for his body language. I think that's overblown. Yes, he does get down on himself when things aren't going well. And, he will lose focus defensively at times. But that doesn't make him a bad teammate or a player who isn't trying to help his team win. There's also a knock on him for being too passive or letting other teams take him out of the game. I see it more that he's an unselfish player who generally plays within himself. He's not good at taking people off the dribble or trying to create his own shot. Being "aggressive" and forcing up bad shots just to shoot it isn't his game. I can respect that he doesn't chase numbers by trying to play hero ball.
Crabbe is primarily a catch and shoot jump shooter, and a very good one at that, but he has worked this year to develop more off the dribble, and even getting to the line with some regularity now. He's not particularly great creating off the dribble, but he's improved just enough that he's able to make defenders pay with overaggressive close-outs. With solid length, strength, and defense, he's somebody to potentially target early in the second round.
For more coverage, visit SB Nation's NBA Draft 2013 section.