The 2018 NBA Draft is fast approaching, so with the Portland Trail Blazers holding the 24th selection we are looking at prospects expected to fall in that general range. Today we look at Landry Shamet, a lights-out shooter from Wichita State. While not expected to be drafted as high as 24, it has been reported that the Blazers are arranging a workout with him. Portland does not have a second round pick, so we don’t know if the Blazers might be considering reaching for him at 24, trading down, or perhaps they might think about acquiring a second round pick via trade if Shamet impresses.
Landry Shamet - Wichita State
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 180
- Wingspan: 7’0” (unofficial)
- Shoots: Right
- Position: PG/SG
- Age: 21
- Projected draft range: 27 to 40
2017-18 Statistics (32 games)
- PPG: 14.9 | Per 40: 18.8
- RPG: 3.2 | Per 40: 4.1
- APG: 5.2 | Per 40: 6.5
- STL: 0.7 | Per 40: .9
- BLK: 0.2 | Per 40: 0.2
- FG%: 48.9%
- FT%: 82.5%
- 3P%: 44.2 (25/71)
Jason Quick of NBCSports Northwest has reported on Portland’s desire to get a workout from Shamet, along with quotes from Shamet himself:
Shamet says much of his conversations with teams have been about the health of his feet. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in 2015, then suffered the same injury in his right foot in 2017, after which he had surgery to insert a screw.
“I know that two foot injuries are somewhat of a red flag, but I keep stressing how good I feel,’’ Shamet said. “I’m actually proud of how I overcame those injuries. My psyche, my approach … it reconstructed how I looked at things. There would be practices I could see teammates not wanting to go through, but I would have killed to be in that position. So it taught me not to take things for granted.’’
Shamet moves well without the ball, gets his teammates involved, can get to the basket around bigger players and is good in the pick and roll. The most eye-catching stat though is his three point percentage: 44.2% last year and 43.7% for his college career. His agent, Happy Walters, doesn’t mince words:
Landry Shamet, best shooter in this years @NBADraft !! pic.twitter.com/jcDIZfMRqq— Happy Walters (@Happywalters) May 15, 2018
Defense is certainly a concern. Shamet can be muscled off his spots and has trouble getting around solid picks. Quick reports that Shamet is spending the time before the draft working with Sacramento point guard De’Aaron Fox in an effort to work on his defensive deficiencies and allay concerns teams might have.
It is really hard to predict where a player like Shamet will get drafted. Will teams decide that his injury history and defense aren’t worth the risk, or will teams get wowed by his shooting ability, unselfishness and character he has shown in overcoming his injuries? He will almost certainly be drafted, but will it be at the tail end of the first round or could it be well into the second? Assuming he can demonstrate the same kind of 3-point shooting to his new team that he showed in college, he’s a good bet to be on an NBA roster come Fall. Whether he can find playing time will depend on whether he can improve his defense.
With the Blazers cash-strapped and Shabazz Napier a restricted free agent, it is certainly possible that the Blazers could be looking for a player in the draft that can play the point and knock down shots. It seems unlikely that the Blazers would pull the trigger at 24, but it wouldn’t be completely out of the question. If Napier is not re-signed the odds of the Blazers looking closely at Shamet rises significantly. There are also plenty of plausible trade scenarios that could involve the Blazers getting a high second round pick to use on draft night. If the cards fall a certain way, Portland could be a solid opportunity for Shamet, and Shamet could fit in well with the Blazers.