Jeremy Lamb is a free agent this summer. Now that Kemba Walker is eligible for a super-max contract, it makes it less likely that the Charlotte Hornets are able to retain the services of Lamb. With Lamb’s future with the team in flux, the Hornets could elect to bolster their wing depth with Romeo Langford.
Height: 6’4.5” without shoes, 6’6” in shoes
Standing reach: 8’7”
Strengths: Physical tools, slashing ability/finishing at the basket, playmaking potential, defensive potential
Romeo Langford passed up on most of the combine testing, but he wisely let NBA executives get his height and wingspan. He’s the perfect size for a wing, standing 6’6” in shoes with a long wingspan and tall standing reach.
He uses that length and slithery athleticism to get to the rim at will. According to Mike Schmitz in his combine interview with Langford, the Indiana freshman converted 64% of his attempts at the rim in the halfcourt, making him one of the best finishers in the draft. He has fantastic touch around the basket, utilizing a variety of scoop shots, runners, and acrobatic finishes with both hands. He also gets to the free throw line at an impressive rate.
Langford didn’t put up huge assist numbers, but he’s a willing passer. He doesn’t hesitate to throw the ball ahead in transition and makes basic reads against help defense.
He’s not always locked in on the defensive end, but he has the agility and length to bother ball handlers on the perimeter. He has to be more consistent here, but the foundation is there.
Question marks: Outside shooting consistency, defensive motor, explosiveness, impact on winning
Langford did not shoot the ball well at Indiana, and that’s probably the biggest red flag on his profile. He converted just 27.2% of his 3-point attempts and shot a mediocre 72.2% from the free throw line. He hurt the thumb on his non-shooting hand early in the season and elected to wait until after the season for surgery. That could have had an effect on his release, but he was never a prolific shooter prior to college either. His form is inconsistent and he doesn’t shoot with great balance, but it’s nothing good coaching couldn’t improve.
When Langford sat down with ESPN’s crew at the combine, draft analyst Mike Schmitz told Langford that his defensive intensity was the main thing he needed to improve at the next level (starts at 30 seconds in the below video).
Langford averaged just 0.9 steals per 40 minutes in his lone season at Indiana, and college steal rate is one of the better indicators of NBA success.
There is also reason to question whether or not Langford’s craft finishing in college will translate against the bigger and faster competition in the NBA. While he’s smooth with the ball in hands, Langford isn’t particularly explosive and almost always finishes below the rim. He has the length to offset this concern to an extent, but it’s worth pointing out.
Langford was one of a handful of lottery prospects that didn’t play in the NCAA tournament. He joined Indiana as a top 5 recruit out of high school but was unable to lift the team to an NCAA Tournament berth. His .147 win shares per 40 minutes and +5.9 box plus/minus are both considered red flags in Tankathon’s player profile.
Romeo Langford fits the mold of a slashing, scoring wing at the next level and profiles very similarly to Jeremy Lamb. The Hornets could view him as a Lamb replacement should they let the veteran walk in free agency. However, there are questions about how well Langford will be able to shoot the ball and whether or not he can contribute in enough areas to help the team win.
Credit to Tobias Berger Go-To-Guys on YouTube for the clips.