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, in this installment, we take a glance at Seton Hall guard Myles Powell.
Myles Powell will be one of the more recognizable names in the 2020 NBA Draft thanks to the four productive years he put in at Seton Hall. Powell operated as a starter for the Pirates for three seasons and he evolved into an elite scorer by the end of his tenure.
Powell recently garnered the 2019-20 Big East Player of the Year award while being named as a consensus first-team All-American. The guard also won the Big East Most Improved Player award earlier in his career but, as he returned for a final run, Powell wanted to do something special at Seton Hall. So, naturally, when this season was cut short due to the COVID-19, it was devastating for the senior guard, especially with the reality that he could have began his professional career last season but opted to return for a final run at the national title.
The 6’2, 195-pound guard did not make huge strides in his 2019-20 campaign, but still profiles to be an NBA player once all is said and done. Powell was at his best as a junior back in 2018-19 when he put together a season average of 23.1 points per game, four rebounds and nearly three assists to go along with two steals per game. At this time Powell was at the top of his game particularly in the three-point shooting department as he shot 36-percent on almost nine attempts per game.
Powell’s senior season dip can really be attributed in a minutes regression as his playing time decreased by an average of around five minutes per game. There isn’t too much to be startled about besides possibly a lack of advancement in the efficiency department. Powell’s FG% took a dip this season from 44.7% in 2018-19 to 39.8% in 2019-20. His three-point percentage is the most concerning point as he shot just 30.6% from deep this year on over nine attempts per. However, there should be enough solid historical data to suggest that these percentages are only outliers and that his actual ability is somewhere around 35-37% from three and 42-44% from the field overall.
Powell has some decent attributes going for him. He is a 6’2” point guard that can stand taller on defense when he needs to, but he also comes with some drawbacks. Since he decided to return to college instead of taking his talents to the NBA in one of his younger seasons, he is going to be 23 years old when drafted and that is really going to hurt his stock as an NBA rookie.
One of his biggest strengths, though, is his ability to make difficult shots. It probably isn’t an asset that we can expect will translate to the NBA where the competition is just slightly better than it is in the Big East. However, Powell is a guy that can just be handed the ball and will somehow end up with points in the end. He is also good at shooting off ball screens, curls and pin-downs. This is the skill that he will need to hone the most at the next level if he wants to be successful in the NBA. Right now, he is used to being the main option for Seton Hall, but he will be lucky to make it as a role player in the NBA and his ability to shoot from deep so well coming off of picks is a tool he should embrace wholeheartedly.
Some of the things that are going to hinder Powell include his lack of athleticism and what seems to be a lingering ankle problem. Of course, his style of playing below the rim could be exacerbated by the ankle problem which is an even bigger concern. These are issues as well as the aforementioned old age as a rookie.
It is going to be a challenge for Powell, but there definitely is a path to him becoming a rotation player in the NBA. He is going to have to make some changes in shot selection and really learn to specialize in his shooting ability, while also making significant strides as a defender. Powell seems to be a guy that could be slated for a mid-to-late second round pick, but if a team fell in love with his scoring ability, he could possibly go in the early second round.