Avery Bradley NBA Draft Profile and Scouting Report
Avery Bradley, Texas -- 2010 NBA Draft Profile
Position: Point Guard / Shooting Guard? | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 180
Class: Freshman | Age: 19 | Hometown: Tacoma, WA
2009 Stats: 11.6 points | 2.9 rebounds | 2.1 assists | Game Log
NBA Mock Draft Ranking: 26
Avery Bradley on Twitter: @Aabradley11 | Avery Bradley Video Highlights: YouTube
Avery Bradley Scouting Report
Strengths: The freshman entry is one of my favorite players in the draft, who in time can become a true lock-down defender and starting point guard at the NBA level. He is an awesome athlete with the long wingspan scouts desire from the lead guard spot. Bradley combines his great feet, strong hands, and ability to play the passing lanes as the full defensive package (both on and off the ball). Seldom do you see a 19-year-old kid who actually enjoys playing defense, which is why the attacking style of "D" he exerts makes him so intriguing. Offensively, he has found a nice spot in the 12-16 foot range, showing excellent lift on his mid-range pull-up with consistent results. Along with the fact that he has such a good burst and handles the ball well, he is a terrific candidate to become an elite playmaker out of the pick-and-roll setting (although he isn't one yet). Isolation wise, Bradley is adept at creating separation with his strong base and burst, either by use of jabs in either direction, step-backs or just a quick catch and go.
Weaknesses: The most glaring concern with Bradley is whether or not he is a true point guard. As alluded to, I think he is, but there is reasonable doubt to say he's not. Where Bradley struggles on the offensive end is a varied release point on his shooting release point, hence the 43.2 field goal percentage, and an affinity to fall in love with the dribble, often times, without purpose. His mentality as a playmaker is primarily focused on creating for himself -- not for others -- where he seems to drive with the sole intention of finding space for his own scoring.
The other fear with Bradley is at the free throw line (on two different levels). First, his 54.5 free throw percentage on the year is awful, especially if he's going to be your primary ball handler. Secondly, he only got to the line 66 times all season long, a painfully low average of 2.5 attempts per 40 minutes. And while he has good strength and a firm frame, Bradley is undersized for an NBA point guard. At 6-3, 180, he would be one of the shorter starting point guards in the league (heck, Steve Nash is 6-3, contrary to popular belief that he's much smaller). For a guy that doesn't get to the line or make his free throws and has difficulty creating for others, people have ample justification to wonder if he can hold up as a lead guard at this level.
Forecast: With just one year of college experience, Bradley still has plenty of room for growth. The fact that he's such a great athlete with so many intangibles, I don't see him lasting out of the teens in the draft. If he goes to a team that values defense and hard-nosed play, he should see the court sooner rather than later. Because he defends at such a high rate and can create his own offense, he is already ahead of most other guards. As a result, he should be able to slide over and play off the ball early in his career while he develops the missing components necessary to assume full point guard responsibilities. To maximize his immense potential, Bradley must learn how to initiate offensive sets and make his teammates better, as well as develop the ability to get all the way to the rim and finish with contact. He has his critics, but with his strength and athleticism, it'd be silly not to think he can get there.
Avery Bradley Articles:
12/22: Learning Curve Still High for Longhorns' Bradley
More Scouting Reports: DraftExpress | NBADraft.net