RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Doron LambPosted by KDoyle on June 5th, 2012
The 2012 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, in New York City. As we have done for the last several years, RTC’s team of writers (including Andrew Murawa, Kevin Doyle, Evan Jacoby, Matt Patton, and Danny Spewak) will provide comprehensive breakdowns of each of the 35 collegians most likely to hear his name called by David Stern in the first round on draft night. We’ll work backwards, starting with players who are projected near the end of the first round before getting into the lottery as June progresses. As an added bonus, we’ll also bring you a scouting take from NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith at the bottom of each player evaluation.
Note: Click here for all published 2012 NBA Draft profiles.
Player Name: Doron Lamb
Height/Weight: 6’4” / 210 lbs.
NBA Position: Guard
Projected Draft Range: Late First Round
Overview: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, and Darius Miller — it is easy to see why Lamb may be slightly overlooked entering the NBA Draft. Not overlooked by the experts and general managers, mind you, but a tad overlooked by the fans. Just how much individual attention can be given to a roster where at least five players project as first round selections? Doron Lamb proved to be Kentucky’s most reliable outside threat throughout last season averaging nearly 14 points and shooting a scorching 46.6% from beyond the arc. Despite having a good handle and being a smart decision-maker with the basketball, Lamb is a natural two guard at the next level, and would complement any established point guard very nicely. Surrounded by a roster full of future NBA players, Lamb was forced to simply become another piece in the offense rather than the focal point; at about 340 other schools in America, Lamb would have taken on the role of “go-to scorer.” As such, Lamb will have a more natural transition to the next level as he already is accustomed to playing within himself and the flow of the offense.
Will Translate to the NBA: Make no mistake, Lamb is first and foremost a shooter. He was Kentucky’s most consistent and best threat from the outside, and will be asked to play a similar role in the NBA. Lamb is not just an exceptional shooter, but he is also a clutch shooter — there is a big difference between the two. Some players simply have the knack for a big shot, and Lamb appears to be one of these guys. Throughout Kentucky’s six games in the NCAA Tournament, Lamb averaged 16.5 points and led all Wildcat scorers in the championship game as he poured in 22 points. Lamb handles the ball quite well and makes good decisions with it, which will pay dividends if he is asked to log a few spot duty minutes at the point. However, Lamb is the classic off-the-ball kind of guard, and is much better suited for that position.
Needs Work: Lamb is not an elite athlete and will struggle matching up with some of the quicker guards in the NBA. Fortunately, he is a heady player who can make up for his lack of foot speed, but he would do well during the offseason to work on increasing his lateral quickness and first step. Furthermore, in order to earn maximum minutes during his early years in the League, it would behoove him to continue to develop his skills at point guard. Being able to transition back and forth between the two and point certainly increases his overall value as a player.
Comparison Players: A spot-up shooter, exceptional passer, and quality teammate, Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks is an apt comparison for Doron Lamb. Terry has made his living as a scorer first and a distributor second. This is not to say that Lamb will not be expected to put his teammates in a position to score, but most teams will expect him to look for his shot from downtown and carve up defenses that way, rather than as a penetrator and drive-and-kick kind of guard.
Best Case Scenario: For Lamb to succeed right away, playing alongside a point guard who is a strong scorer himself to take some of the pressure off him would be beneficial. While playing for Calipari at Kentucky, Lamb never needed to drop in 20 points a night for the Wildcats to succeed. At some point in his NBA career Lamb may very well develop into one of the game’s better scoring guards, but he is best suited to complement an already established scoring point guard at this juncture.
Best NBA Fit: All signs are pointing to the Cleveland Cavaliers selection at #24 to take Lamb. Kyrie Irving desperately needs a running mate to take some of the scoring load in the backcourt off his shoulders — Anthony Parker and Manny Harris averaged 14 points between them — and Lamb would fill this void.
Scout’s Take (from NBADraft.net): “When Kentucky needed a big shot, they always had comfort knowing Lamb was there to make big shots for them. On top of that, Lamb is a tremendous defender and even has the ability to play PG that he wasn’t able to fully display at UK, backing up Knight in a limited basis as a freshman.”
*This post was contributed by RTC’s Kevin Doyle. He can be found on Twitter @KLDoyle11.