2020 NBA Draft Profile: Syracuse forward Elijah Hughes

Hughes UNC
Feb. 29, 2020; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes (33) shoots over North Carolina Tar Heels guard Brandon Robinson (4) during a 92-79 loss. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

The NBA Draft is in November, and Syracuse forward Elijah Hughes is an early entrant for the draft.

Here is The Juice Online’s scouting report on Hughes:

Strengths: Versatile three-level scorer with ability to finish above the rim… Can score in isolation or in catch and shoot… Ability to finish with both hands around the rim… Possesses NBA range with a quick release on his perimeter shot… Involved teammates (3.4 apg) despite being top scorer… Ball handling improved significantly in redshirt junior season… Proved to be decent rebounder (4.9 rpg) and help side shot blocker (0.8 bpg) in SU’s 2-3 zone.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite athleticism… Lacks NBA explosiveness and first step to consistently get to the rim… A bit small at 6’6″ for an NBA small forward… 3-point shooting percentage dipped from 36.9 to 34.1 when he became team’s top offensive option… Limited upside as a 22-year old.

NBA Comparison: Jeremy Lamb. Lamb lacks the elite athleticism of some of his contemporaries, but carved out rotation spots in Oklahoma City, Charlotte and Indiana by being a solid 3-point shooter (33.9 percent) and defender. He’s been a starter the last three seasons, and he’s showed the ability to create for his teammates when needed (2.2 apg in the last three years) while also averaging over 4 rebounds during that time.

Vitals:

  • Birthdate: March 10, 1998
  • Hometown: Beacon, NY
  • Position: Guard/Forward
  • School: Syracuse ’21
  • Height, 6’6″
  • Weight, 215 lbs

» Related: Syracuse basketball and ACC likely to compact schedule

Projection: Late first round to mid second round.

College Highlights: Hughes was a first team All-ACC Selection after leading the conference in scoring (19.0 ppg) and minutes played. His 33 points against Georgia Tech were a career high, and he finished his career with a 27-point effort in an ACC Tournament win over North Carolina.

Overall: Hughes doesn’t possess a plus-plus NBA skill. He’s a decent shooter, possesses good athleticism, and has some solid defensive traits. Drafted into the right system, Hughes can be a long-term contributor as a bench player, but he might spend his first few seasons proving himself in the G League.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2590 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.