The NBA Draft is in June, and Syracuse has two players that will potentially get drafted. Today, we take a look at Malachi Richardson, who was one of the top freshmen in the ACC. Richardson was second on the Orange in scoring (13.4 ppg), and also chipped in 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Here is The Juice Online’s scouting report on Richardson:
Strengths: Prototypical NBA shooting guard body with 6’6″ frame and 7’0″ wingspan… Can score in a variety of ways… Unafraid of going to the basket and drawing contact… Can finish with either hand… Knows how to use dribble to create separation… Smooth looking jumper, especially on a step-back shot… Has NBA range… Capable of catching fire from distance… Good offensive IQ… Can penetrate and dish… Length and athleticism make him a defensive asset… Knows how to play the passing lanes well… Does not lack for confidence.
Weaknesses: Was plagued by offensive inconsistency during freshman season… Shot just 37 percent from the floor… Needs to add weight to his frame to finish around the basket…. Often drives looking to draw contact instead of looking to finish, which causes turnovers… Though a rising sophomore, he’ll be close to 20 1/2 years old by the NBA Draft because he reclassified… Good, though not great athlete… Forces too many shots, and needs to improve shot selection.
NBA Comparison: JR Smith. The current Cleveland Cavalier has been known as a streaky shooter throughout his career. Smith can get to the basket and is also a capable defender, but at times tends to fall in love with his jumper.
- Birthdate: January 5, 1996
- Hometown: Trenton, NJ
- Position: Guard
- School: Syracuse ’20
- Height, 6’6″
- Weight, 200 lbs
- NBADraft.net: 1st round, 19th pick (Denver Nuggets)
- Draftexpress.com: 2nd round, 37th pick (Houston Rockets)
College Highlights: Richardson was an ACC All-Rookie Team selection. His best game of the season came during SU’s improbable comeback in the Elite 8 against Virginia. The freshman’s 23 points allowed Syracuse to become the first-ever 10 seed to reach the Final Four. Richardson also played well in two other NCAA games against Dayton (21 points) and North Carolina (17).
Overall: Richardson is one of the more interesting players in the NBA Draft. As you can see by the projections above, he could be a mid-first round pick, or he may slide into the middle of the second round. Both seem like reasonable projections. Similarly, Richardson could have a solid 10-year career in the NBA, or something significantly shorter. Both seem like reasonable possibilities.