Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander enters the NBA after one season at Kentucky. 

By Will McCollister
June 21, 2018

The Hornets selected shooting guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the No. 11 pick of the 2018 NBA draft, but they traded him to the Clippers. 

Gilgeous-Alexander is another in the long line of highly-touted prospects from the University of Kentucky, where John Calipari continuously pumps out NBA talent. 

The rangy shooting guard was an athletic scorer with good court vision, giving him the ability to stuff the stat sheet, as he averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. 

SI.com's Jeremy Woo graded the pick below. 

This pick will go to the Clippers, who will add Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 11 while giving up future second rounders, according to reports. L.A. has been high on Gilgeous-Alexander all along, and worked him out privately in Los Angeles before the draft. They chose to move aggressively here for their guy, and get a player who many teams coveted and had a case as the top point guard prospect in the draft. Gilgeous-Alexander transformed into a terrific player by the end of his one year at Kentucky, and can help anchor the Los Angeles backcourt in the long-term. Grade: A

 

SI.com's Chris Johnson broke down Gilgeous-Alexander's strengths and weaknesses. 

Strengths

• Favorable physical tools for a perimeter player. Measured with a 7-foot wingspan. Has great hands and feet.

• Makes good use of length and agility on defense. Hounds ball handlers at the point of attack. Does a good job swiping at the ball and getting into passing lanes.

• Savvy ball handler who uses stop-start dribbles and hesitation moves to wrong-foot defenders.

• Shows good craft around the rim. Able to navigate shot-blockers in the paint and finish.

• Has potential to develop into a long-range threat. Converted at a 40.4% clip from three on a limited number of attempts at Kentucky but also shot well from the free throw line (82.2%).

Weaknesses

• Lacks playmaking polish. Sometimes looks like he’s attacking set defenses without a plan. Can get stuck in no man’s land and end up picking up his dribble.

• Tends to get loose with the ball. Turned it over on about 20% of his possessions last season.

• Not clear that he will be an above-average long-range shooter at the next level. Only attempted 1.5 threes per game.

• Needs to add mass to his lean frame in order to hold up against bigger athletes. Won’t have as much value switching on defense if he doesn’t get stronger.

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