Photo by: Gamecock Central / Wikimedia Commons
The 2020 NBA Draft features a wide range of shooting guards. One of the consensus top prospects is a shooting guard, but this group also features a handful of guards with 3&D potential as well as high-level playmakers and freak athletes.
The top-end talent is very low, but there will be a good dosage of shooting guards from maybe the No. 1 overall pick to the back end of the second round. As the 110 Sports NBA Draft Guide continues, let’s take a look at the top 12 shooting guards in this year’s draft class.
12. Sam Merrill | Utah State | 6’5, 205lb
Merrill is one of the better shooters in this year’s draft. He shot 42% from beyond the arc over his four years at Utah State and 89.1% from the free throw line. The guy can really stroke it from deep. He had good size in college, which allowed him to expand his game but due to a lack of athleticism, it’s fair to be skeptical about translating any ball-on-the-floor abilities to the NBA. Additionally, he’s probably going to have to work on his body a little bit and turn into a guy like JJ Redick or, more recently, Duncan Robinson, for him to carve out a spot in the NBA.
He’s not a bad defender and he’s certainly willing, but again, his athleticism makes you question where NBA teams would be able to put him on the defensive end. He’s probably not quick enough to guard point guards or the quicker shooting guards and not big enough to guard small forwards. If anything, he is 6’5 so in very Kyle Korver fashion he can just be a guy to get in the way and then make up for it on the offensive end with his perimeter threat.
The biggest knock on Merrill, apart from the aforementioned holes in his game, is that he’s already 24 and will be 25 in May of 2021. He’s old, really old in the context of the NBA draft. That’s not in-and-of-itself a bad thing from a longevity prospective. Of course, he could still play 10 years in the NBA, especially with his skillset. But a late second round pick (where Merrill will probably go) is already a shot in the dark, so you might as well take a shot in the dark at a guy that you might see some potential in and can mold rather than take Merrill who is already exactly what he’ll be in the NBA.
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