Rawle Alkins was a dynamic scorer during his time at Arizona, forming a one-two punch combination with fellow guard Allonzo Trier. Together with future No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, the three formed the core of the Wildcats’ offensive attack.
The Brooklyn native put together a solid sophomore season, with averages of 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, helping the Wildcats win the Pac-12 outright, as well as the Pac-12 Tournament. While he didn’t necessarily live up to preseason expectations, Alkins’ stock has more or less remained the same throughout the course of the season, with many different sites have him pegged as a second round pick.
So what could Rawle bring to the table for the Grizzlies?
- Solid ball-handler
Alkins is definitely a scorer first and foremost. More than capable of hitting his shot from anywhere on the floor, he excels at driving into the lane and using his powerful frame to bully his way down low. Alkins is also an adequate three point shooter, although his percentage from deep was down slightly from his freshman season. He excels at scoring off the dribble and plays an attacking style that excels at putting pressure on the defense.
Another strength of his game is defense. Alkins was a pretty solid defender in college, which isn’t something that many players coming into the NBA can’t claim. He is a good athlete with quick feet and does a good job at staying in front of his man. Consistency and more coaching at the next level could turn him from a good defender into a great one.
- Shot selection
While Rawle has a solid overall game, there are issues that need to be addressed. The biggest problem he needs to work on is his consistency. He sometimes gets complacent on both sides of the ball and doesn’t always seem to give 100% effort, which some coaches interpret as a lack of passion for the game. Giving his all should dispel any notion of that.
Alkins also needs to improve his shot selection. He tends to force the issue if his shot isn’t falling which can get him into trouble. He struggled through a shooting slump after returning from his foot injury and it took him a while to break out of it. He could also stand to do more to get his teammates involved if he can’t make his shots in order to still impact the game.
Fit for the Grizzlies
Alkins would be a good fit for Memphis and figures to be available when the Grizzlies pick at number 32, but his presence could create a logjam. If Memphis succeeds in bringing back Tyreke Evans, that would leave Evans, Dillon Brooks, Wayne Selden, Ben McLemore, Andrew Harrison and Alkins all capable of playing the 2 guard. He could find a spot in the rotation if Reke plays point forward more and if Ben McLemore continues to stay glued to bench.
Alkins’ scoring mentality would be something Memphis could really use. The pro comparison I hear/read about most often for Alkins is a Gerald Henderson-type and I believe it fits pretty well. He’s a good athlete who can score from anywhere and has the tools to be a player who can impact both sides of the court.