6’9 – 220 lbs
Paul Reed has flown under the radar for a while, but after winning the Big East Most Improved Player Award in March, he finds himself on various Draft boards among media outlets.
A big, lean, power forward, Reed has good size and plus athleticism. He’s bouncy off one or two feet and has a decent second-jump when rebounding and dunking. He gets out in transition quickly, runs the floor really well, and is a solid finisher around the rim.
Offensively, we run into a bit of an issue as he shot a mere 34.4% on non-rim two pointers. In order to excel at the next level, his shooting touch and percentages will need to improve. I say this, but then think about his 40.5% three-point percentage last season. While it is a really small sample size, it proves that the ability and touch is there. If an NBA team sees value in him as a “modern NBA big” who only catches lobs and steps out for pick-and-pop threes, he could be an excellent fit somewhere.
He shoots with decent balance, although his landing spot does vary quite often. His length and release point, however, make his shot tough to defend. I appreciate that even though he doesn’t attempt them often, he’s decisive and steps into these shots with conviction.
While he’s powerful around the rim, that isn’t his only strength. He has deceptively good touch on finishes and has a great feel inside the lane. Reed maneuvers well and uses his length to get around his man.
Defensively, I really enjoy his activity. He averaged 2.6 stocks (STL+BLK) in 2018, and through 4 games this season he’s averaging 4.0 stocks, two steals and blocks each.
Reed anticipates really well and understands how to use his length, not only on shot contests, but also when denying passing lanes. He’s a difficult player to score on across the entire floor due to his athleticism and quick verticality.
He also shows flashes of switchability which projects decently well to the next level. Reed’s feet aren’t elite right now, but his hips are fluid and if he’s beaten, he recovers in a timely fashion.
Here are highlights from his most recent game against Iowa, in which he posted a 25/12/4/2 line:
Paul Reed was not on my initial 60-man Big Board, but I can’t ignore his size and athleticism paired with his strong ability to finish both inside and outside (granted, in a small sample size, 5-of-7 from three in 4 games).He checks in at #59 today; while I don’t know if he’ll make it into Round 1, he shows some real upside and value as a possible 2nd Round pick.
If he can extend his offensive game to the perimeter with consistency, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Big East once again.
I will definitely be following up on Reed as we continue into 2020.