RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Iman Shumpert

Posted by rtmsf on May 16th, 2011

Over the course of the five weeks until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night.  There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.

Player Name: Iman Shumpert

School: Georgia Tech

Height/Weight: 6’5/210 lbs

NBA Position: PG/SG

Projected Draft Range: Early second round

Overview: Shumpert has dealt with a difficult time at Georgia Tech that eventually led to Paul Hewitt’s dismissal despite having several future NBA Draft picks over the past few seasons. While he lacks the definite NBA appeal of a Derrick Favors, he does possess a skill set (primarily size, athleticism, and solid defense) that a number of NBA teams will find intriguing. Shumpert has shown flashes of brilliance like his 30-point performance in a win against UNC or a 22-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist (with just one turnover) and 7-steal performance in a win against Virginia Tech, but that has been tempered by inconsistency and downright poor performances such as his 1-assist, 4-turnover performance in an embarassing loss against Kennesaw State. The junior has also struggled to find the balance between being a point guard and a scorer. By the end of his time at Georgia Tech he had emerged as more of a scorer (up to 17.3 points per game from ~10.0 in prior seasons) and less of a passer (down to 3.5 assists per game from 5.0 as a freshman) although it may reflect the drop in the talent of his supporting cast. At the college level he has shown the ability to get to the basket, but instead he often settles for jump shots, an ineffective area of his game (a career 30.5% shooter outside the arc, averaging almost four attempts per game). If he ever learns how to utilize his skills by going to the basket and focusing on becoming a lockdown defender Shumpert could eventually be a solid NBA player.

Shumpert Has the Physical Tools For the Next Level

Will Translate to the NBA: The best case scenario is that Shumpert becomes a sixth man on a good team where it can utilize his defense and athleticism filling in for a starting point or shooting guard for short bursts. It is more likely that Shumpert will struggle reining in his game to focus on his strengths (defense and athleticism) and minimizing his weaknesses (shooting from outside). Shumpert will probably be a player that teams will want to add at the trade deadline, but most likely won’t be the centerpiece of a team over the long run.

Needs Work: He either needs to work on his jump shot (his 80% FT% this year suggests he can shoot) or stop taking so many and focus on penetrating or distributing the ball. In college, Shumpert took way too many outside shots instead of attacking the basket and getting to the rim, which he could have done fairly regularly if he had put his mind to it. He is already a solid defender, but that will be put to the test in the NBA as he would probably be called upon to cover either a point guard or a quick shooting guard.

Comparison Players: Antonio Daniels is the name that gets thrown around the most when people try to find a NBA comparison as someone who was a solid defender, but was not much of a scorer. More recent comparisons include current Sacramento King, Marquis Daniels. We doubt that he will ever average 13.6 PPG like Daniels did in an injury-shortened 2008-09 season, but he could be a solid player who averages close to 10 points per season while playing excellent defense and occasionally creating for others.

Best Case Scenario: Shumpert gets selected by a team that would not need him to play significant minutes over the next two-three years and would only use him in situations where one of the starting guards needs a rest. In that setting he will be forced to refine his game so it revolves around his strengths rather than trying to establish himself as a scorer. This does not necessarily mean that he needs to end up in Miami or Chicago, but he would be better off if he started his career by playing on a team with some established guards to limit his minutes and make him work on his game (particularly shooting) before he saw the court regularly.

2014 Projection: In three years, Shumpert should be a solid rotation player for a contender. Obviously this would be made easier by being drafted by a contender, but if he learns to hone his game around slashing and defending there will be no shortage of powers that will look to add him at the trade deadline. In the end, Shumpert’s future depends on whether he can learn to limit his outside shooting and not fall victim to the hero mentality where he tries to take over games early in his career. The big guard will probably never become a star unless he develops a consistent jumper, but he could have a solid NBA career as a contributor on winning teams if he focuses on his strengths.

Best NBA Fit: We already said that Shumpert would be best served to wind up on a contender, but it should also be with a team with solid guards or at least enough perimeter scoring so that he wouldn’t be tempted to become a scorer early in his career. This means that a team like Portland would probably be out. It seems obvious, but the optimal situation for Shumpert would probably be a place like Miami where he could focus on being a defensive specialist and let LeBron James and Dwyane Wade handle the offensive load while he could learn how to get his offense when those two get their breaks. Chicago could also work, but Shumpert would probably struggle to get any playing time behind Derrick Rose and he doesn’t fill its need of an outside shooter to feed off Rose’s penetration, although he would be a massive upgrade on defense against Wade.

Scout’s Take (Chris Denker from Netscouts Basketball): “see Malcolm Lee… his team didn’t win… the question with him is whether he has the tools to become a starting point guard… he has the physical tools, but I don’t know if he can be a starter.” 

rtmsf (3954 Posts)

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