San Antonio Spurs Prospect Watch: Vernon Carey Jr.

Photo by Sujal Manohar | Duke Chronicle

The San Antonio Spurs seem to be creeping their way out of the lottery. That means their potential NBA Draft pick is moving back in order as well. As things stand now, the Spurs look like they would have the last pick in the lottery at 14. There is still some good talent to be had there and that leads us to this week’s prospect to watch in Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr.

The big man is officially listed at 6-foot-10 and 270 pounds. However, it is very possible he could have cut his weight down (for those concerned with that number) as he has been in a real weight room all season.

He’s a smooth athlete for his size but also knows how to use it as he can be physical when the game calls for it. Here are his stats for the season so far:

  • 17.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.2 BPG
  • 61.3 FG%, 62.5 FT%
  • 126 ORtg, 79.3 DRtg

Carey is an excellent low post scorer who is impossible to move down low when he has his position. He has a bevy of moves that he uses with a surprisingly quick first step. He can spin, play bully ball, throw up a baby hook and he has a nice step-through move.

If he wants to operate out of the post at the next level, he will have to add a bit more to his post game, but that shouldn’t be a huge concern.

The Blue Devil has a solid shooting stroke right now with the caveat that it needs to be sped up and straightened out just a bit. He looks incredibly comfortable shooting in the mid-range and he has hit 4 of the 7 triples he’s attempted this season so the potential to step out and shoot it from there more often is there.

His mechanics don’t translate at the free-throw line right now, but that should change at the next level when he starts working with a proper shooting coach.

One aspect of his game that Spurs fans will like is his ability to find open spots off the pick-and-roll. He almost always ends up open, sets great screens for his guards and always scores when he gets the mismatch on a smaller player. He can also take bigger defenders off the dribble and has a pretty good handle for someone of his size.

Carey will have to likely slim down a bit and show some improvement on his shot if he wants to stay in the lottery as a prospect. However, should the Spurs continue to improve their record, then him dropping may not be the worst thing to happen. He would be a nice addition for a team looking to get younger and athletic like the Spurs will be doing in the offseason.



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