Paul Reed: Forward, DePaul
6’9”, 220 lbs, 20 years old, from Orlando, FL
Three seasons at DePaul; junior year: 31.7 minutes per game, 15.1 points per game on 51.6% percent shooting (30.8% from three, 73.8% from the free throw line) 10.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.9 steal, 1.6 assist
THREE ADVANCED STATS OF STRENGTH: (per Tankathon.com): Defensive Rating (88.8), Defensive Win Share (.100), Defensive Box Plus Minus (8.2)
THREE ADVANCED STATS TO IMPROVE: Free Throw Attempt Rate (22.7%), Offensive Rating (109.6), Offensive Win Shares (.096)
ACCOLADES: 2019 Big East Most Improved Player, 2019-2020 Second-team All-Big East
CURRENT BIG BOARD PLACEMENTS: 15th overall (Tankathon) 29th overall (NBADraft.net) 51st overall (ESPN) 34th overall (CBS Sports)
Paul Reed has the tools to be the best defensive player in this draft class. It’s looking less and less likely he will be there for the Grizzlies on draft night, but if he is on the board with the 40th pick for the Grizzlies (or they trade up) he could end up as a Brandon Clarke-level steal. Reed has an NBA ready body, great instincts, and the defensive versatilty to be able to stay on the court as a rookie. He would be able to contribute to the Grizzlies right now, even if he spends some time in Southaven.
This draft may lack star power but there will be quality role players in the second round and Paul Reed could absolutely fill that role and his celiing might even be higher than that.
What He Does Well
Like Ja Morant and John Konchar, Paul Reed was asked to do almost everything for the Blue Demons with mixed results. DePaul was not a great basketball team last year, going 16-16 and finishing 10th in the Big East while dropping eight straght conference games. Even so, the one constant for DePaul was Paul Reed brought it defensively every night. Reed has all the physical tools to be good defensively; long limbs, strength, and the size and lateral quickness to guard every position. Where he really shines is his instincts which will allow him to thrive immediately in the NBA. His steal rate is at the absolute top of this class and not just forwards - he boasts a higher steal rate than even the elite gaurds in this draft. Even if he only tops out as a role player, he has first team all defense potential and will compete for a roster spot immediately for whichever team lands him on draft night.
What He Needs to Improve
Reed struggles when he has to intiate the offense. He shot 30% from three and his free throw percentage was a decent but not great 73%. He certainly might become a three point threat but it’s not something to count on. Reed also had issues drawing contact, and his touch is not quite where it needs to be a true offensive threat. He will thrive in a system that asks him to cut and rebound rather than be a primary option. If Reed can improve his shot, his ceiling jumps from elite role player to quality starter.
The Grizzlies front court is pretty much set, and a lot of Reed’s skill set is duplicated by Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. He could potentially be successful as a small forward but his ideal fit is as at the four and he won’t get minutes over Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies should still take the best player on the board and even if he has trouble cracking the rotation to start, Reed may quickly make it undeniable that he deserves minutes.
The Grizzlies should be thrilled to get Reed with the 40th pick. Even with a crowded front court he arguably has the most upside of any second rounder should he fall that far. He is exactly the type of role player champinship franchises thrive on.
His defensive potential is the highest of any prospect in this draft and if he develops a more consistent three point shot he is a top five player in this draft.
Stats Courtesy Basketball-Reference.com and Tankathon.com