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2019 NBA Draft Profile: Jarrett Culver


Vitals: 6-5, 195 pounds, shooting guard
Birthdate: Feb. 20, 1999
College: Texas Tech (2 years)
Stats: 18.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.5 spg, 46.1% FG, 70.7% FT consensus mock draft: Sixth pick to Phoenix

Stock watch: Fluctuating in top half of lottery

There seems to be significant agreement that Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett will be the first three picks June 20, which is why you’re likely to hear the axiom that “this draft starts at No. 4.” Indeed, Culver and names like Darius Garland and De’Andre Hunter have flip-flopped a few times on mock drafts somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6. Expect things to change again between now and draft night.

Strengths’s listed player comparison for Culver is former Orlando guard Nick Anderson, but during ESPN’s coverage of the draft combine in mid-May, the network likened Culver to San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan. During an interview in Chicago with ESPN, Culver agreed with that comp, saying that he’s watched film specifically of DeRozan, picking up one-on-one moves and footwork from the high scorer and mid-range maestro. “After playing a supportive role at Texas Tech as a freshman, Culver has quickly shot up draft boards as a sophomore by displaying a great all-around floor game,” assessed. “He displays the size to play both the two and three spots at the next level, and with solid athletic ability and length.”

Areas of improvement

Oddly, the native of Lubbock, Texas, shot three-pointers much better as a freshman (38.2 percent) than he did as a sophomore (30.4, including slumping from the arc later in ’18-19). As pointed out, spot-up shooting is often crucial for a rookie guard, because most NBA teams are hesitant to run isolation plays for a first-year pro or let him dominate the ball. “Inconsistent shooter who overhauled his mechanics between his freshman and sophomore seasons,” noted. “Much more comfortable off the dribble than the catch. Turns down open spots for contested pull-ups. How effective will he be playing off the ball early in his career if he goes into a shooting slump? Will the team that drafts him be willing to hand over the ball and allow him to generate offense as a rookie?”

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