Spurs Prospect Watch: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 02: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #22 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives to the basket during the second half of the game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Harvard Crimson at Rupp Arena on December 2, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs are still in the midst of a pretty great season despite all of the injuries to guys like Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. They are on pace for another 50-plus win season and will likely be picking late in the first round yet again. That means we are once again at this week’s prospect watch.

This week we will take a look at Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The 6-foot-6, 180-pound combo guard has come on strong lately and is working his way up draft boards after it was thought he would probably not be a one-and-done for coach John Calipari.

Here are his stats:

  • 12.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.7 RPG, 2.1 SPG
  • 50.3 FG%, 47.6 3P%
  • 116.6 ORtg, 97.7 DRtg
    • Per-40 stats
      • 16.2 PPG, 5.8 APG, 4.8 RPG, 2.7 SPG

Gilgeous-Alexander has great size and length to be a difference-maker on defense, which will get him on the court fairly quick. It also allows him to finish well in traffic and at the rim. He’s a good scorer off the dribble and on the move in general thanks to that size. He can score over normal-sized point guards thanks to his height and length and he is quick enough to give those same guards a tough time when they guard him as he’s quick and pretty athletic.

The Canadian youngster is a little turnover-prone though and has had some problems in is decision making. That’s partly due to not being a true point guard, but that can be fixed under the tutelage of Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich. While Gilgeous-Alexander is a good driver and finisher, he is going to need to tweak his shooting mechanics at the next level. He gets his shot off slowly and it has a slight hitch in it. It’s not a broken shot by any means, but will likely take a rookie season and summer after to get it fixed properly.

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