JEVON CARTER 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
COLLEGE: WEST VIRGINIA
WEIGHT: 205 POUNDS
POSITION: POINT GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: MID SECOND ROUND
As the saying goes: never judge a size of the dog in the fight, because you never know the size of the fight in the dog.
Remember that saying when examining West Virginia guard Jevon Carter. At 6’2 and 205lbs, the biggest knock on Carter from NBA teams is going to be his lack of size, and whether that will be a hindrance for him in the NBA.
While it’s true that it often does take a requisite amount of size to have a chance at remaining in the NBA, when you have a player who demonstrates the motor, tenacity, and particular skills of Carter, those intangibles can make up for his lack of tangibles.
We’ll start with the fact that Carter was the first major conference player in college basketball to finish with 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, and 300 steals over the course of his career in West Virginia. Over the last two seasons in Morgantown, Carter even shot over 38% from three, making him a solid contributor on offense.
But all of that is really about showing how well-rounded Carter really is, because the true calling card of Carter’s game is his suffocating on-ball defense. Many people believe Carter was the best on-ball defender over the last two years, showing an ability to simply shut down the other guy with the ball thanks to his hand work and footwork. Guys who had the misfortune of having Carter checking them must have felt like they were playing rugby instead of basketball; Carter played opponents as physically as anyone in college basketball, hand-checking, bodying, and bumping opponents all the way down the court. And he knew how to get away with it as well; he averaged less than 40 fouls per 40 minutes in college.
It’s not just about Carter beating up his guy all the way down the court, either. As a switch defender, he shows incredible dexterity on his feet, being able to stay in front of guys as they drive to the hoop. And when switching on defense — a growing “must have” ability in the NBA — Carter knows how to get in position quickly enough to where an offense simply cannot force him to get stuck running through screens. And if there’s an errant dribble or pass in his way, considered it gone; Carter’s steal rate of 4.8% last year was the 6th best in the country.
The question remains: with his particular skill-set, does Carter warrant a high enough pick for a starter in the NBA? Or will a team be comfortable using a late first round pick on someone who is a defensive specialist, by and large? That remains to be seen, especially since teams really need options who can score as well as they can defend.
But in a league where guys like Avery Bradley, Tony Allen, and Ish Smith were able to carve out long careers, there is definitely a place in a rotation for Carter in the NBA, especially if he can continue to develop his long-distance shooting.
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