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NBA draft 2015: Frank Kaminsky scouting report

Frank Kaminsky could be a lottery pick in tonight's NBA draft. What kind of player will the team that drafts him get?

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers are on the cusp of having two first-round draft picks for the first time in school history: Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker.

Kaminsky, the first-team All American and recipient of every player of the year award in college basketball, projects to land in the mid-to-late lottery. Despite his array of collegiate accolades, Kaminsky maybe still lacks the upside of some early lottery picks... but his quote after working out with the Indiana Pacers last Sunday was pure gold.

"I may not have as high a ceiling as some people, but I think my floor is a lot higher than theirs. That's the way I approach it."

Here's a look at how Kaminsky profiles heading into the draft.



Anybody that watched the gangly Kaminsky dominate top competition for the Badgers probably asked themselves how he did it. His footwork on the low block is one of the most impressive parts of his game. He's extremely crafty and patient. One of the more memorable instances of this came late in Wisconsin's Final Four contest against Kentucky. With under 30 seconds left and the shot clock sitting in single digits, Kaminsky caught the ball at the three-point line against Willie Cauley-Stein, the top defender in this year's draft. He dribbled to his left and then, with seemingly no space, planted his left foot to quickly drop-step and spin back to his right, beating Cauley-Stein and drawing a foul.


Kaminsky shot 41 percent from three-point range last season with Wisconsin. USA Today called him one of the five best perimeter shooters in the draft. As we saw time and time again -- especially against Arizona and, once again, Kentucky's bigs -- he draws the opponent's frontcourt out onto the perimeter. Just the threat of his jumper gives his pump-fake extra lethality and allows him a window to beat his defender off the dribble. Kaminsky projects as a stretch-4 in the NBA, but at 7'1, can also play center.


Kaminsky is a nightmare matchup for big men, whether at the college level with Wisconsin or in the NBA. He's more agile and athletic than most NBA frontcourt players. He can also shoot much better than most. That kind of versatility is hard to come by and increasingly valuable as NBA teams continue to emphasize spreading the floor with athleticism on offense.

Touch & feel

In the post, Kaminsky's finesse game was the dread of opponents all season. He has a good feel for where the weak-side help is to go with an impeccable touch near the rim with both hands. One of Kaminsky's strengths is his ability to slash and finish from a wide range of angles near the rim. He possesses a great feel for the game and where he needs to be spacing-wise. A Bo Ryan offense will do that to you.



Pretty simple analysis here: Kaminsky is a 7-footer. His wingspan is 6'11. That leads to questions about finishing ability and shot-blocking at the NBA level, but he's added three inches to his vertical leap, which helps out for the lack of reach.


I'll go on record as saying Kaminsky's defense isn't as much of a liability as it's made out to be. His plan of attack seems to be to avoid foul trouble. He showed than he can hold his own against some of the top centers in college hoops. Where Kaminsky gets into trouble is off the dribble against quicker guards. In the switch-happy defenses of the NBA, that is teams' biggest worry with him defensively.

Most likely destinations

Detroit (No. 8) would be the highest I could see Kaminsky going, unless he made the Sacramento Kings drool over him in his workout with the team on Monday. From there, it's incredibly plausible he lands with any of the next five teams (Charlotte, Miami, Indiana, Utah and Phoenix).

Indiana is the most likely of those teams to draft Kaminsky due to the Pacers' aging frontcourt of David West and Roy Hibbert. I don't think there's any chance of the Phoenix Suns passing on Kaminsky at No. 13, should he be available.

Best fits

The Pacers may be Kaminsky's best fit, and team president Larry Bird sung the big man's praises.

Phoenix, Charlotte and Utah would tie as the second-best fits. With the Suns, Kaminsky would provide a dimension their current big men don't possess as they try to make a playoff push next year. His game draws comparisons to a better version of Channing Frye, who found success in the desert. The Hornets need both shooting and an NBA-ready big man. How convenient.  Utah's roster is young and promising throughout, but could use a big that can shoot, a la Kaminsky.

Mock draft roundup

Chad Ford, Phoenix Suns, No. 13

Chris Mannix, Charlotte Hornets, No. 9

Ricky O'Donnell, Utah Jazz, No. 12 Utah Jazz, No. 12

Gary Parrish, Charlotte Hornets, No. 9 Milwaukee Bucks, No. 17

Scott Howard-Cooper, Phoenix Suns, No. 13