In advance of the 2020 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops is evaluating prospects with a look at what the Atlanta Hawks might be considering from now until the selection process occurs. Dozens of prospects will be profiled in this space and, today, we take a look at DePaul forward Paul Reed.
Paul Reed is an interesting power forward prospect out of DePaul. Standing 6’9 with a 7’2 wingspan, Reed possesses the mobility to inspire optimism about his potential fit within the modern game. His combination of wingspan and mobility could be enough for him to stick in the league. With a decent shooting projection and burst around the rim, he has a chance to be a really productive rotation player.
Offensively, he is essentially a big who can run the floor. Reed scored 95 points on 83 transition possessions last season, per Synergy Sports. He was extremely productive on put-backs, scoring 71 points on 64 of those possessions.
Reed was also an average spot up shooter at his position, providing some offensive versatility. He is not a great shooter at this stage, but he is certainly capable. On no-dribble spot ups, Reed scored 37 points on 36 possessions last season.
He is a career 33 percent three-point shooter, but upped his volume from 1 to 1.8 three-point attempts per game from his sophomore to junior season with DePaul. If he can continue that arch of increased volume into his NBA career, he has a chance to be something offensively.
Another strength of Reed’s offensive game is cutting. On 54 cuts, Reed scored 65 points this past season. This will be an important skill to bring to the next level as he will be an off-ball player. He makes himself available to the ball and is a problem for defenses when he gets going downhill. Reed also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and go past bigger forwards and centers.
A weird weakness of his offensive game is performing as a scorer as the ‘roll man.’ This past season, Reed scored just 43 points on 63 possessions as a roller, ranking all the way down in the 13th percentile at his position.
It is somewhat odd that this is a weakness because of Reed’s combination of athletic ability and touch. His explosiveness in transition, and his touch/relentlessness on the glass would lead you to believe he’s perform with more efficiency as a scoring roll man.
Reed’s shot blocking is what jumps off of the stat sheet defensively. He averaged 2.6 blocks as a junior, to go along with 1.6 steals. He is very active in help defense, as well as in the passing lanes.
Reed probably isn’t the best ‘small-ball center’ candidate, however. While in certain spots, if the opposing team goes super small, it may be profitable (especially offensively with how Reed crashes the offensive glass), but overall, he seems a bit too narrow at this stage to be holding down the anchor. He is perhaps better suited on the perimeter than in the paint defensively.
The junior held opponents to .78 points per post up possession on the defensive end, ranking only in the 59th percentile at his position. At this stage, Reed is a little thin to be banging inside at the NBA level, but his quickness provides optimism that he could guard wings at a high level.
In isolation possessions, Reed help opponents to .55 points per possession, ranking in the 79th percentile there. Defensive versatility might be his calling card if he’s going to stick in an NBA rotation. At DePaul, he showed the ability to switch out on to smaller players and give them trouble with his length.
ESPN ranks Reed as their No. 51 overall player, putting him in that late-second to Two Way range. He is an interesting target for the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 50 pick if he were to be available, as they don’t have another pure power forward on the roster outside of John Collins at the moment.
Sam Vecenie of The Athletic ranks Reed as his No. 49 overall prospect in his latest board. With two heavily sourced big boards that close on Reed, it seems very possible he goes in that mid 40s to mid 50s range on draft day.
Reed projects as a player who should possess defensive versatility, as his length and speed make him a nuisance for smaller opponents. He will need to hone in on his quickness to stay in front of the NBA’s elite perimeter players, but his length should make him at least switchable.
Shooting is probably Reed’s biggest swing skill. If he is able to turn himself into a solid three-point shooter, he could be a highly productive and useful rotation piece at the next level.