Forward, 6’11″, 228 lbs., Senior, Duke University, 22 years old
28.9 minutes, 12.9 points, 45.3% field goal percentage, 42.2% three-point percentage, 81.2% free throw percentage, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 blocks
Ryan Kelly is one of the best jump shooters in the draft, and considering his size, he’ll find himself a spot in the NBA. He’s the prototypical stretch four for an NBA team and with the direction teams in the league are taking, he’s a bit of a desired asset. He improved his range on a year to year basis, shooting a deadly 42.2% from three last year, assuring he has NBA range.
Kelly also has a very high basketball IQ, which makes up for his lack of athleticism both offensively and defensively. He doesn’t have the foot speed to beat a player off the dribble, but has great handles, good court vision, and great passing. Defensively, while he isn’t strong nor quick, he’s smart and has great instincts, which makes him surprisingly good on the defensive end.
He suffered a broken foot halfway through his senior season that sidelined him for half the year. While his first game back saw him score 36 points and shoot lights out from three, he averaged just 8.4 points a game after that. Given his size, he’s also a poor rebounder, averaging just over five rebounds a game last year. He’s also going to struggle with more athletic big men defensively as he lacks foot speed to keep up with them. He could afford to also put on a few pounds to bulk up, despite adding nearly 30 pounds to his frame while at Duke.
Where he fits with the Lakers
If Mike D’Antoni is committed to making his system work with this team, Kelly is exactly the type of four man he’s looking for. Kelly can stretch the floor at the four position for Dwight (if he stays) or Pau (if Dwight leaves). And with a hole at the stretch four position – Earl Clark is the only guy who can play there – Kelly would fill a need for the Lakers. With Antawn Jamison likely leaving, Kelly is basically a better defensive, slightly worse offensive version of Jamison.
Jacob Rude – I think Kelly would be a perfect fit. The Lakers lacked consistent shooting from the bench last year, with Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark going through long stretches of inefficiency. No big man in the draft has the shooting touch he does, and with Jamison likely gone and Clark a free agent, Kelly could step into their roles and contribute to the team.
Caleb Cottrell - I think Kelly fits, but there is another stretch four who will be in the Lakers range that goes by the name of Erik Murphy. Murphy is a little bigger, stronger, faster, better rebounder, and can shoot better (surprising). If Murphy is picked before the Lakers, I’m all for the taking a flier on Kelly. I could see him becoming a player like Ryan Anderson, which I would gladly take on the Lakers.