Peachtree Hoops continues its 2021 NBA Draft scouting report series continues with a closer look at Miles McBrige, a guard out of West Virginia.
Miles McBride played point guard at West Virginia but it’s hard to imagine him playing that position at the next level apart from him being put into a situation built around a creator at another position, ideally being a center or power forward through which most of the offense runs.
He’s not a high-level passer and doesn’t do much with the pick and roll opportunities he gets. He’s very secure with the basketball but a part of his pleasing assist-to-turnover ratio (140 assists, 53 turnovers last season) is simply a result of him being enormously under control with the basketball and trying few passes beyond the basic ones.
There are almost no skip passes with McBride. Not a ton of hit ahead passes. The assists he generates almost always come as a result of a pass to a teammate one simple pass away from him that happens to generate a made shot.
He will show a bit more as a passer out of the post now and then:
But teams that are built around volume pick and roll through their leads guards are unlikely to see McBride as a fit.
He’s very good shooting off of the dribble, especially in the mid-range. He’s measured and confident lifting into dribble-handoff opportunities and using screens, in general, that allow him to relocate toward the top of the offensive half court with a bit of leverage.
Imaging him working with the Denver Nuggets in a Jamaal Murray type role (at an obviously lower volume and impact) or in Miami with Bam Adebayo, maybe even in Philadelphia being groomed to work with Joel Embiid. These are the kinds of fit situations that would be best suited for him.
Each of those teams are trying to win now so McBride would need to put in some significant developmental time. But Duncan Robinson had to do that and he wasn’t even drafted.
Some of the Murray template can be seen on this play:
McBride would offer defensive value from the start, unlike a player like Robinson who is still a tough fit on that end of the court in some ways.
It’s important to note that McBride missed out on a decent amount of developmental opportunities as a younger player due to injuries and football being a significant priority for him. Taking that into consideration, the twenty-year-old could have some catch up development ahead of him.
NBA teams will be aware that McBride will need to take a drastically different offensive approach considering that he was one of the highest volume pull up shooters in the NCAA last season. He managed a sub-50% effective field goal percentage albeit on a pretty tough shot profile.
He’s comfortable and confident getting to a pull up even beyond the three-point line:
But when a 41% three-point shooter can’t get to the 50% threshold on relative efficiency from floor, under-performance has to exist elsewhere in his shooting profile.
For McBride that comes in his inability to score at and near the rim. He has impressive core strength, especially for a player his size (6’1, 195) and should be able to deal with some amount of contact when working on the interior.
But the craft is lacking:
McBride struggles to get all the way to the rim in many cases:
This might impact his chances to work on the basketball at the next level as much as his passing limitations do.
However, McBride is competent and loves to use his dribble package to get to step back jumpers in the midrange:
And his work is pretty dynamic at times:
He’s going to need to accept leaning more on catch and shoot opportunities, at least until he might be able to develop some chances to work into some primary action likely to be on the weak side of the offensive floor.
The defensive value should be there early on. McBride is an active, impactful defender that shows up all over the court:
He’s going to be able to defend point guards likely as well as any rookie guard in the draft class:
And he’s a reliable and invested team defender:
He is exceptional at working over screens and staying attached to the ball handler:
His ability to break into a legitimate NBA rotation is likely to ride on whether or not he can use his size and strength to defend up a position or two on the wing.
McBride’s track record of consistently playing hard and doing the nuanced things that contribute to winning basketball in conjunction with his intriguing baseline skill set is likely to get him drafted ahead of number of players perceived to have a higher upside.
Most outlets project him to be drafted toward the latter part of the first round, which could land him on a team that doesn’t need him to play right away and, as such, offer him the developmental time he needs to adjust his offensive game a bit for the next level.