Mike Scott Draft Profile

Does Mike Scott's ability to hit the outside shot make him an NBA prospect?

Most UVA fans were ecstatic when Mike Scott announced he was coming back for a 5th year. But not everybody. My former colleague Ben (@rmj_equals_hero) didn't think coming back would help Mike's NBA chances. I sort of agreed at the time. But, maybe things have changed. Mike had a great senior season, and let the Hoos to the NCAA tournament for the first time in his career.

Last week, Brian (@TheUVAFool) took a look at what various NBA mock drafts are saying about Mike Scott. While there isn't a definitive answer, it seems like a lot of people expect Mike to go in the middle to late 2nd round. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at Mike's scouting report and some draft predictions.

Scouting Report

The biggest knock on Mike Scott is his age. He is almost 24 years old. Frankly, 24 year olds are supposed to dominate college basketball. So, his play this year shouldn't really have come as a surprise to anybody. NBA teams largely draft on potential. How much can we expect Scott to improve from here on?

At 6'8" and 235 lbs, Scott is also a bit undersized for an NBA power forward. And he isn't near quick enough to consistently guard NBA small forwards. That is the other knock on him, and frankly might be even more important. He's what NBA scouts call a "tweener". There are a handful of successful players in that category in the NBA right now, most of them were either undrafted or were 2nd round picks. Below is a list of the some of the top undersized PFs in the NBA right now, along with their size and draft position.

Player

Draft Position

Size

Dejaun Blair

2nd round 37th

6-7 265

Carlos Boozer

2nd round 34th

6-9 258

Udonis Haslem

undrafted

6-8 230

Carl Landry

2nd round 31st

6-9 248

Jason Maxiell

1st round 26th

6-7 260

Paul Milsap

2nd round 47th

6-8 245

David West

1st round 18th

6-9 240

Scott physical profile fits pretty well into that group. The closest match is Udonis Haslem, who wasn't drafted. Haslem is also the only player on this list to win an NBA ring, with the Heat in 2006. The highest draftee on this list is David West, who is bigger than Mike, but shares several things in common with him. West was also old coming out of college, due to spending a year of postgrad at Hargrave Military Academy. Scott did the same thing. The difference is West was a much better college player throughout his career. West was a beast from day 1, and ended up with over 2000 points and 1000 rebounds, one of only 105 players ever to reach those totals. Scott finished his college career with 1500 points and just shy of 1000 boards. Scott, of course, played an extra handful of games during his aborted 4th year.

Mike's biggest strength is his rebounding. He is a tremendous rebounder. His defensive rebound rate was among the best in the nation this year, and his offensive rebound rate is pretty solid, considering our team philosophy often requires him to eschew offensive rebound opportunities in order to get back on defense.

As a defender, Mike's metrics are subpar. This is another strike against him. He is a solid position defender, but his block rate and steal rate aren't great. Again, some of this is due to team philosophy. Defensive stats are usually a good measure of athleticism, and these show that Mike isn't exactly off the charts as an athlete. As a comparison, West had twice as many steals and 4 times as many blocks are Scott. Haslem also beats Scott handily in both categories.

So, where does this leave us? Mike is old, he is undersized, and he isn't super-athletic. However, he is a tremendous rebounder with a great motor, and he is an above average jump-shooter, with potential 3 point range.

As Brian pointed out, it looks like most people see Scott as a mid 2nd round pick. Some of that is due to this draft being top-heavy at the PF position. Guys like Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson are going in the top 5, but behind them there isn't much. Scott is really competing with the likes of Andres Nicholson from St Bonaventure for looks in the 2nd round.

There are enough similarities between Scott and Haslem/West/etc to possibly overcome his weaknesses. Scott isn't ever going to be a difference maker in the NBA, but he can certainly help a team as a backup PF. Interested teams should have strong scorers off the bench, but lack a guy to come off the bench, grab some boards and play with a high energy level.

Brian noted one prediction that had Scott going to the Wizards. While I'm sure he would love the opportunity to play so close to home, the Wizards are dysfunctional, and already have several similar players in James Singleton and Trevor Booker.

Brian also noted that some Spurs fans think Scott could be a big pickup for them. The Spurs have DeJuan Blair backing up superstar PF Tim Duncan. Blair is a similar player to Scott, so on the surface it looks like they do not need Blair. But, maybe they think Blair is ready to move on for a bigger payday after a few successful seasons (he has a team option for next season). Maybe they think Scott can provide a lot of what Blair does, and at a much lower cost. This seems like the kind of thinking that has kept the Spurs near the top of the NBA for the past 15 years. Scott could also be insurance behind Blair, who has had multiple knee injuries in his career.

Another possibility, from my perspective, is the Portland Trailblazers. They have very little at PF behind LaMarcus Aldridge, and Scott could help provide their 2nd team with rebounding and jump-shooting.

There are, of course, other possibilities. The Pistons and the Raptors both have needs at PF. If they were to look elsewhere in the first round, both could end up looking at Scott with their second round pick. Scott could possibly garner significant minutes with those teams, because they are bad.

Last year, I really didn't think Scott was NBA material, and I'm still not sold. If I had to guess, I'd say that Scott goes undrafted.

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