Grayson Allen averaged 15.5 points in his senior season with Duke. He's on his way to Utah. 

By Julia Poe
June 21, 2018

The Jazz selected Duke guard Grayson Allen with the No. 21 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

Considered the No. 6 guard in his recruiting class, Allen played for four years under Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He exploded on the scene as a freshman during the NCAA tournament, earning All-Tournament honors and knocking down 16 points coming off the bench in the team's victory in the national championship game. After his freshman performance, Allen averaged 21.6 points in his sophomore season, but a shooting drought and a series of suspensions due to tripping fouls marred his junior year.

As a senior, Allen improved slightly to average 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists. Duke missed the Final Four in Allen's final season with the Blue Devils after the senior missed the game-winning shot with three seconds left in a tied game against Kansas. The game went into overtime, and Duke lost 85-81, ending Allen's promising run at Duke on a sour note.

SI.com's Jeremy Woo broke down Allen as a prospect and graded Utah's pick. 

Utah was looking for a shooter at this spot to help compliment Donovan Mitchell, and they get one here with Allen, who has deep range, plays hard, and can operate on or off the ball. That’s a pretty clean backcourt fit, and he should be able to settle into the back of the Jazz rotation immediately. It’s a very defensible move and fits a need. Grade: B

 

Strengths

• Capable of making difficult, body-control jump shots from long range. Career 38% shooter from three. Will be a threat to score on the perimeter.

• Some comfort level playing both guard spots. Good size for a combo. Good passer and can make plays in the pick-and-roll. Attacks closeouts well enough to keep defenses honest.

• Explosive leaper with a strong build. Projectable NBA-caliber athleticism should help him cut it on the defensive end, particularly knowing the effort will always be there.

• Good intangibles. Relentless approach to the game can be contagious. Has been in a wide variety of on-court situations and gotten better at channeling his emotions.

Weaknesses

• Not a creative scorer off the dribble. Relies on pull-up game and straight drives. Best when paired with a playmaker.

• On-ball defense is average at best. Has some issues getting around screens. Fine team defender with a good mentality but not the most quick laterally.

• How much can his skill set expand? Upside is probably capped given his age. For better or worse, you know what you’re getting.

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