Avery Bradley (Texas, Freshman)
6'3, 180 lbs., SG, 19 years old
Avery Bradley came to Texas as a heralded scorer and did not disappoint. His first year, he surprised many with his nonstop motor and his tenacious defense. Actually, his offense was surprisingly inconsistent given his repuation, but overall he had a great season.
Offensively, Bradley shoots off of picks using his quick release. He dominated games when his shot was falling, but he disappeared for long stretches when it wasn't. The problem with Bradley is his limited ball handling ability, typically only using a couple dribbles before taking a pull up jumper. He plays like a ball dominant shooting guard while likely shorter than his listed 6'3 height.
He does not have the mindset or passing ability of a point guard, and is locked in as being a shooting guard. He compounds his problems by showing little ability to go left. In essence, NBA defenders will easily take away his strengths until he improves upon his play making, ball handling, and left hand.
Defensively, Bradley can really get after it. Despite being undersized, his stays with opposing guards using his long wingspan and quickness. He disrupts the passing lanes and can stop dribble penetration. Unfortunately, in the NBA opposing shooting guards will be able to shoot over him despite his efforts. Bradley would thrive next to a dominant ball handling shooting guard where he could defend opposing PGs and play off the ball as a shooter.
How does his game translate to the NBA?
Right now, Bradley enters the draft with a lot of question marks. While he possess some positive traits, athleticism, a great motor, and promise on both ends of the floor, he is limited right now due to his weaknesses. NBA teams probably would have liked to see Bradley go back to school for another year so they'd have a better idea of what they're getting and see if he could improve his ball handling and point guard skills.
Even though Bradley had a promising season with the Longhorns, he did not show much of an overall game and is still somewhat of a mystery. With his athleticism, he's the type of player who could improve his status in individual workouts. One good thing about Bradley is desire to be better, so at least you do not have to worry about him working on his game.
To me, his game resembles an off the bench, scoring, but undersized shooting guard. I think he has high potential to be a bust based on his size if he does not expand his game. He can be a player in the mold of a Shannon Brown if he can improve his handles or be paired with a Shooting Guard that handles the ball a lot. He will be drafted from mid-first to late-first based on potential however.
How does he fit with the Bulls?
Right now, I believe he is a bad fit next to Derrick Rose. The Bulls do not need another undersized shooting guard, and even though he will put in effort, I feel the Bulls can address other needs before drafting Bradley. If there were to get another pick in early second and he is still there, I would not mind drafting him.