Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 Draft Scouting: Spencer Dinwiddie

When Spencer Dinwiddie suffered a torn ACL against the University of Washington in January, most expected that the injury would take him out of the running for this year's draft.  Nonetheless, he decided to put his name in this year's pool and the move appears to be a good one.  After successful surgery and an accelerated recovery program, Dinwiddie finds himself on the fringe of the first round, with little doubt that he'll be 100% by the time the NBA opens shop in the fall.  Dinwiddie made an appearance at the draft combine in May, measuring but not participating in any drills.  He showed up in excellent shape, at 6'6 (in shoes), 205 with 5.4% body fat and an adequate if not impressive 6'8.25" wingspan.  Having played two and a half seasons at Colorado, there is plenty of tape for scouts to go off of, which should minimize the damage done by not being able to participate in the combine.

The aforementioned game tape suggests Dinwiddie has plenty of skill to bring with him to the NBA.  He shows an ability to get into the paint off the dribble, find open shooters and that he can create open looks for himself off the bounce.  He impresses with a large amount of versatility to his offensive game; which allowed him to shoot over 50% on two-point field goals and over 40% from three-point range in the 17 games he played in his junior season before getting hurt.  Dinwiddie has first round talent, and I think he would've been a first round lock if he had not gotten hurt.  6'6 point guards that post a 66.7 TS% aren't always easy to find.

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Dinwiddie flashes a large amount of potential on the offensive end of the floor.  He played PG for the Buffaloes, but has the size and shooting ability to play SG in the NBA.  There were already some questions about his quickness before the knee injury, so having the fallback option of moving off the ball will be a nice insurance policy.  He has sound shooting fundamentals with good posture and follow-through, which make for a deadly combination when combined with his quick release off of the dribble and in catch-and-shoot situations.  He's also a very skilled ball-handler, and is able to get the job done going left or right off of the dribble with a strong crossover and quick first step.  When effectively managing his turnovers, Dinwiddie has good value as a passer as well.  He has good court vision and is a strong passer both in the halfcourt and in transition.  Offensively, there aren't a whole lot of challenges for Dinwiddie, outside of finishing above or around bigger defenders and moving off of the ball.

On the defensive end of the floor things are less promising for Dinwiddie.  He won't be quick enough to stay in front of most NBA point guards, which could force him to spend more time off the ball.  Regardless of what position he's guarding, Dinwiddie will have to put in more effort, as scouts have noticed a lack of intensity from him on defense.  This quote from Kyle Nelson of DraftExpress.com suggests that sentiment:
"His size and solid fundamentals suggest that he could, at the very least, be an average defender at the next level. On the other hand, his intensity level wavers quite a bit here, and there are question marks about whether he's quick enough to stay in front of NBA point guards"
While questions about a player's intensity level don't always turn out to be true (See: Drummond, Andre), it will be a cause for concern until he has a chance to prove that statement false.   From my own viewing (Live games here and there, full tape of Baylor-Colorado from this season), it just seems that Dinwiddie tends to relax when the ball isn't in his hands.  Fixing that will be a must if he can't stick as a point guard and has to play off the ball.

The Pistons are in no position to turn down someone with Dinwiddie's level of talent, and I think if he were to be the choice at #38 he would have a chance at a role immediately.  Will Bynum's general mediocrity makes him a candidate for replacement by a younger player with more upside, and Rodney Stuckey's departure opens up a large amount of minutes at SG.  Dinwiddie's versatility and ability to play both positions could make him a more enticing candidate in Stan Van Gundy's eyes.  Dinwiddie's value on offense would also provide a nice "platoon" option with KCP's defensive ability at SG.  Assuming he's fully healthy, Dinwiddie seems to be a fairly low risk option.  If he can't produce at PG, they can slide him to SG and let him spot up in the corner.  There's a varying range of opinion on Dinwiddie in the popular mock drafts that go into the 2nd round.  NBADraft.net has him going 32nd to the 76ers, while DraftExpress.com has him going 39th to the 76ers (h/t to the anonymous comment below).  I see Dinwiddie going in the same range, and would say there's roughly a 50/50 chance he's still on the board when Detroit picks.  Assuming he's still around, he could make for an intriguing pick for the Pistons.

2 comments:

  1. DraftExpress.com had Dinwiddie at 39 going to the 76ers, not 46, going to the Wizards. Dinwiddie will not be on the board at 46.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up, no clue where I got 46th from.

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