66ers Draft Profile: Kennedy Chandler is a supremely athletic short PG originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Scout report on NBA draft nominee Kennedy Chandler:
Chandler was the Vols’ starting point guard with a 27-8 record from day one of his freshman year and won the SEC Tournament MVP.
For the season, Chandler averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He was devastated after Tennessee lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Michigan and consoled immediately after the game by Wolverine head coach Juwan Howard in A moment watched by millions.
One nugget from the excellent Chandler story written by Brendan Quinn of The Athletic: The Memphis native was the highest-ranking Tennessee recruit since Tobias Harris.
Chandler is comfortable in the pick-and-roll as both a driver and a passer. For a young point guard, he already seems to have a good feel for when to patiently explore the defense and when to attack downhill.
Chandler, the shortest player in this year’s draft. recorded the highest maximum vertical jump at 41.5 inches. He almost scratches the rim on his dunks. The speed of the 19-year-old rider in a straight line is also impressive.
Chandler created quite a few opportunities for outdoor fun; his interception percentage is 4.1 took fourth place in the conference. It’s also reassuring that these thefts weren’t just due to reckless gambling. Of course, Chandler likes to jump into the pass, but he was annoying, destructive and productive with the ball. And it doesn’t hurt that Chandler has a wingspan of 6-5.25, which partly compensates for the height he concedes and serves to increase his approach speed.
With time, space and balance, Chandler’s jumper looks decent. He shot 38.3 percent overall from three-point range and scored 1.28 points on a trap shot (89th percentile). according to NBA.com.
Chandler’s dribbling was nowhere near as positive. Per The Box and Adam Spinella of Onehe only made 8 out of 33 dribbles out of three.
Ideally, novice NBA handlers should have an effective means of countering any pick-and-roll cover that the defense might try. Deep range a la Trae Young and Damian Lillard is a valuable weapon, but making jump shots when opponents go under the screens or play in deep cover is extremely important. Chandler will need to be shown that he can do it.
Another must is to figure out how to hit free throws consistently. He finished the year with 60.6% free-line, 5-of-14 and 8-of-19 stretches, as well as told reporters in March that the problem was “all in my head”. This is the imagined worst outcome, but it would be a major problem if Chandler continued to struggle with free throws, became more unsure of contact, and over-relied on his bobber.
On defense, Chandler’s lack of size will inevitably limit his ability. Young, Isaiah Joe and Bones Hyland were only players in this year’s playoffs were lighter.
Chandler’s athleticism, playmaker, and defensive aggressiveness are qualities the Sixers would normally like to add. This is the case when he took 23rd place.
The sad reality for players of his size is that weaknesses tend to be exaggerated. All shots inside the arc count equally, but no coach likes the perception of inconsistency or sits back and accepts that someone is being targeted defensively. On a playoff-level team, Chandler probably wouldn’t have stayed on the floor for long if a bigger player had successfully thrown jumps over him or beat him on the floor. The 66ers need players who can stick well on both ends of the floor in the postseason, and even if his shot does well, one might wonder if Chandler could end up that way.