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KU Draft Profile: Devonte Graham

Could Graham have a shot in the first round?

NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Villanova vs Kansas Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Devonte Graham quickly answered any questions as to how good he would be without Frank Mason last season. Graham posted double-digit scoring performances in all but two non-con games, including back-to-back 35 point shows against Toledo and Syracuse. By the end of the year, Graham was an All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year, shooting 40.6% from three, notching a 31.4% assist rate, and had added “slasher” to his resume, with a 49% free throw rate by season’s end.

How will those skills translate to the NBA? Many previous Kansas points guards like Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor and Frank Mason, were tasked more with scoring than distributing. While Graham grew into more of a pure scorer last year, his playmaking ability is a notch above those three, which could boost his chances of hanging around in the pros.

Graham stood just 6’1.5” in shoes at the combine, which won’t do him any favors, but that’s likely canceled out by his 6’6.25” wingspan, which can help him keep his man in front of him while disrupting passing lanes. Graham never posted a steal rate worse than 2.4% in college, so while it’s easy to hone in on his offense, he’s not a one-way player.

Graham has a beautiful outside shot, supported by his 40.8% three point shooting through his entire college career. His two point percentage fell to just 39.2% in his senior year, though much of that is likely due to him being asked to get into the lane and draw fouls, something he’s unlikely to be tasked with in the NBA. Graham’s first-step explosiveness probably isn’t enough to get him to the rim at the next level, but his shooting and passing may be enough to make him a solid second point guard option.

Most mocks put Graham in the first half of the second round, where Mason was drafted last year. Earlier this year I saw a couple had Golden State taking him at the end of the first, but he seems to have slipped just a bit since then. Graham seems likely to get a good shot at proving himself at the next level.