Date of Birth: June 24, 1996
Position: Shooting Guard
College: Duke University
Measurements: 6’6, 202 lbs
Luke Kennard was one of the best college players this past season. Kennard shot just about 49% from the field, 44% from deep, and 86% from the line. Those are just phenomenal numbers for a sophomore. Kennard played like he was a 4 year senior and his maturity is something that teams love.
Luke is probably the 2nd best shooting guard and shooter in this draft, behind Malik Monk. Kennard has a great stroke and is able to create his own shot. Just about 25% of his made threes were unassisted which is one of the highest marks I have seen. Luke has great ball-handling skills for a shooting guard which made it possible for him to create his own shots.
The way Kennard was able to penetrate the lane in the video above was elite. He started it off with a great pump-fake and then utilized that spin move in the lane that he loves so much. Luke Kennard has a great and complete offensive game that should do wonders in the NBA as long as he continues to improve the way he did from his freshman year of college to his sophomore year.
We’ve talked a lot about Kennard’s offensive abilities, but now we need to talk about his defense. Kennard’s defensive advanced numbers are just about average at 1.6 DWS and 1.2 DBPM. Beyond that, you could tell that defense isn’t Luke’s calling from simply watching him play. He won’t be anything more than a below average defender on that end if he doesn’t change in a big way.
Offensively, as I’ve said, I’m not too worried about Kennard’s shot. We’ll see how great his percentages are affected since he’s going to have to be more of a set shooter in the league. Still, I don’t think that will be a problem. The problem on offense lies with his ability to penetrate the lane. Are his moves good enough for NBA talented defenders? We will see because if they are not, he’s going to have to get in the gym consistently before he can become a solid offensive force for a team.
At Duke, you didn’t see Luke Kennard run off of screens much. He had the ball in his hands most of the time and was awarded the opportunity to control the offense. He won’t be given that opportunity in the NBA. What teams are going to do is run him off of screens and have him as a catch and shoot wing. Teams will be taking the risk that he is going to be able to do that. We don’t know whether he’ll excel in that role, but we do know is that a team is going to take the risk that he will be.
Luke Kennard is the 1st player since Ray Allen in 1996 to have 185 REB, 85 3PM, 90 AST, and 210 FGM while shooting above 43% from 3-point range in a season.
This was a pretty obvious comparison that immediately came to my head. Both are lefties and great shooters. Mullin wasn’t afraid to take it to the rack and was able to because of his underrated handles. But even with his solid handles, there was no way that he would’ve been a point guard. Kennard is in the same situation. Luke is a great shooter and isn’t afraid to attack the basket. If he continues to bring that smooth stroke, great intensity on offense, and begins to work on his defensive impact, there should be no reason why Luke Kennard can’t become one of the great shooters in the league.
Between picks 12 and 18