Editor's Note: GBB's Andrew Ford posted these notes to his Twitter detailing the game of Wade Baldwin IV, the Memphis Grizzlies' first round selection, last night. They were tremendous. If you do not already follow Andrew @AndrewFord22 you should immediately.
Wade Baldwin IV Scouting Notes
1. Shot best percentage from beyond the arc at the top of the key (45%). Confirms further for me that he should be used in high pick-and-rolls in that area. Allow him to pull up if his man goes under the screen. If his man fights over, he can read the play and hit the roll man or split the defense and explode into the lane with his physicality. Making the game easier for young players is never a bad thing. Coach Fizdale knows this after many years under Erik Spoelstra.
2. Not great driving to his left. He always tries to get back to his right hand. Defenders will sit on his right hip and force him to beat them going left.
3. Could be an above-average defender right out of the gate. Can slide between guarding ones and twos with ease, but I think he has enough strength and height to guard some threes a bit like Tony Allen. He's tenacious, projects to be a guy who's going to fight ball screens and disrupt offensive flow.
4. Smart player. Sometimes gets himself in trouble with the ball in his hands because he's thinking two or three steps in the future. Needs to slow down and focus on making the quick reads at hand sometimes, but he's very coachable because of his sharp offensive mind.
5. Can make incredibly difficult passes look easy. Swing passes? No problem. Pocket passes into tight spaces? Sure. He's aware of his ability though, and sometimes his confidence gets him in trouble when a simple pass is necessary.
6. His big men didn't help him turn the corner on ball screens. They often set screens too flat, allowing Baldwin's defender to squeeze by and maintain good position. For all of Damian Jones' physical talents, he's not a polished screen-and-roll guy. Luke Kornet was a guy heavily involved in screens, but he's more of a pick-and-slip or pick-and-pop guy who's not looking to free the point guard as much as a traditional roll man. Playing with a guy like Marc Gasol could do wonders for Baldwin's ability to get to the rim and create better shots for himself in that area. He didn't finish particularly well at the rim, oddly not utilizing his athleticism as much as he should to finish above the rim.
7. Unbelievable in transition. Had a monster dunk against Florida last season where took the ball coast-to-coast in about 2.5 seconds and exploded over a defender for a jam. He looks to push 9 times out of 10, and a change of pace guard could be just what the doctor ordered for a Grizzlies team in need of creating easier offense.
8. Where Baldwin makes up for some of his finishing deficiencies at the rim is by getting to the free throw line. His physicality pushes defenders back, leaving their hands flailing for a steal or an off-balance block. Imagine when he fully understands how to utilize his body to bump defenders off around the rim. He could stand to take some finesse lessons from Mike Conley. Learn how to shoot floaters, use the glass in certain situations, dummy dribble underneath the rim and come out the other side to trick the defense, etc. There are a lot of tricks to the point guard trade that Baldwin hasn't learned yet.
9. Defers too much offensively at times. Very unselfish, always looking to involve teammates even when the shot should be his to take.
Impressive floor general on both ends. Coach on the floor for Vandy, going as far as tugging on teammates' jerseys directing them into proper spots. Seems to understand schematically what needs to unfold, putting him on another mental level for his age.