Mitch Kupchak has run two drafts since taking over as the General Manager of the Charlotte Hornets. In those drafts, he’s used picks in the thirties to select Devonte’ Graham and Cody Martin. Both were older prospects that showed the ability to do a little bit of everything in the college game. Both picks look to be hits so far, so it wouldn’t be surprising for Kupchak a similar prospect in 2020. TCU guard Desmond Bane fits that mold.
Weight: 215 pounds
Strengths: Perimeter shooting, overall team play
Desmond Bane’s 3-point shooting should immediately translate to the NBA. He hit them at a high rate on a high volume throughout his college career, finishing with a career 3-point percentage of 43.3% on 5.4 attempts per 40 minutes. In his senior season, he upped those numbers to 44.2% on 7.2 attempts per 40. His form isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s quick, compact, and repeatable. He hit bunches of shots from 30 feet or more and showed the ability to shoot off the dribble. He has the potential to be a dangerous pull-up shooter in pick and rolls and should open up the offense with his presence on the floor.
Bane fits very well within the team concept on both ends of the floor, which is a trait the Hornets value. He has a non-stop motor and can be a menace off the ball on defense. He’s an unselfish player on offense and makes the right reads with the ball in his hands. He shows flashes of advanced playmaking for others, but he mostly makes simple plays and finds the open shooter. He won’t lead the team in any area on either end of the floor, but he should fit seamlessly as a role player assuming he can mitigate his weak points as a player.
Weaknesses: Athleticism, ball handling
Bane doesn’t have much pop as an athlete. His first step is slow and clunky, and he struggles to get past the initial defender from a standstill. Even if he has an advantage against a player closing out, he isn’t able to attack the opening very quickly, leaving defenses time to recover. On defense, he can struggle against quicker players, as he doesn’t have the quickest feet or best lateral agility.
On the offensive end, his lack of burst is accentuated by his subpar ball handling. He struggles getting to the rim, as evidenced by his incredibly low .131 free throw rate. He’s often forced to settle for floaters and fading layups that are relatively far away from the rim. He has a high dribble and does not change directions with the ball, which prevents him from being a primary creator.
You like your draft picks to have a clearly defined NBA skill. Bane’s outside shooting is that skill. His high IQ and motor allow him to help the team in other ways as well. However, his lack of dynamism as an athlete and ball handler will likely relegate him to role player status.