It’s still unclear what is happening with the NBA Draft, but there have been talks about moving the date back to August. That gives us more time to take a look at some prospects and hopefully gives teams time to meet with those players either in-person or via calls. That brings us to this week’s prospect to watch in LSU forward Trendon Watford.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound freshman has declared for this year’s draft and should be a good second-rounder to keep an eye on whenever the draft happens. He’s got the size and length to play at the forward position at the NBA level. He may not be great at any one thing, but that is a Swiss army knife the Spurs would be willing to work with should they draft him. Here are his stats from his lone season in Baton Rouge:
- 13.6 PPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.9 SPG, 1.7 APG, 7.2 RPG, 2.6 TOPG
- 48.9 FG%, 26.9 3P%, 67.4 FT%
- 106.7 ORtg, 103.4 DRtg
Just from his stats, there are a few glaring issues with Watford’s game. But of course, those issues are fixable. He struggles to shoot the ball from deep and hasn’t been all too willing to shoot from there (just over two attempts a game). His mechanics are fine, they are just slow and so he can’t get his shot off as quickly as he probably should. He also tends to turn the ball a bit, but that comes with how often he was dribbling and his 23 usage percentage. He wouldn’t be initiating the offense or handling the ball all that much for the Spurs should they draft him.
His free throw shooting is also concerning as it is usually a barometer for how his three-point shooting might look at the next level. Watching his mechanics, there doesn’t seem to be anything terribly wrong. He is off-balance at times, but his actual shot and follow-through seem fine. It may be a mental issue for him, but that remains a mystery as of now.
However, Watford has plenty of good things about his game that we should discuss as well. He absorbs contact well and also has a nice spin moves he uses to get around defenders to the hoop. He also finishes well with both hands and can post up smaller defenders fairly efficiently. Watford is an unselfish player despite what his assist numbers might look like as he is looking for cutters and vacated shooters when he drives.
The All-SEC Freshman has some nice tools and could be a molded into a good player, but he has plenty to work on in his game. He needs to find his motor as it isn’t consistent right now and he could stand to be less passive on offense. He will likely find himself getting drafted in the second round this year as he just doesn’t pop like some of the other players in this draft, but could turn out to be a solid pick up for a team that knows how to best utilize his current abilities.