KHYRI THOMAS 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 210 POUNDS
POSITION: SHOOTING GUARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: ANYWHERE FROM PICK # 20 TO END OF FIRST ROUND (STOCK HAS BEEN RISING)
In the NBA, “three-and-D” players are highly coveted, which means that even though Creighton University guard Khyrie Thomas won’t “wow” anyone with his measurables, most NBA teams will likely be willing to overlook that, given his style of play and the intangibles he will bring to his future employer.
Thomas is the guy that every coach and player wants to have in his locker room. Coming to Creighton, he was only a three-star recruit, and ranked outside the top 300 basketball players in the nation by some recruiting services. Yet, from the minute he got to campus, Creighton head coach Greg McDermott saw Thomas’ length and athleticism, and immediately put him in the starting lineup. Almost three years later, McDermott absolutely gushes when talking about Thomas, lauding the player’s intensity, attention to detail, competitive fire, and overall consistency. He describes him as the player who’s constantly working on himself when nobody is looking, so that he’s at his best when everyone is looking.
Right from the get go, Thomas appears to be a player who could come right into the NBA and contribute as an on-ball defender, especially given how he’s seen as one of the best on-ball defenders in the entire country. He won his second-straight Big East defensive player of the year in 2018, after sharing the award with two other guys last year. This year, it’s all his. Only 10 players in Big East history, including Thomas, have won the award more than once; among those 10 players are Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, and Allen Iverson.
In an age where everyone cares about their stats and the box score, Thomas takes pride in being the guy who energizes the team with his own boundless energy, knowing that it will translate into more opportunities for both him and his teammates on the offensive end. Thomas’ teammates have come to expect Thomas to be the guy who’s always going to do the right thing on defense, whether that’s cutting off a player’s driving lane, deftly moving around screens, or getting to a spot in the post before a player can establish himself there. Creighton students have created their own hashtag for when Thomas’ locks down opposing offensive players, referring to it as “#Khyrifense.”
And as far as the “three” part, he’s currently shooting over 42% from long distance, and averages over 40% shooting from three over the course of his time at Creighton. He’s a reliable spot up shooter, and can consistently knock down shots when his feet are set and he has a little bit of room. In other words, if he’s on the court with another slash-and-kick guard, he can be a very valuable asset. He’s also reliable from the charity stripe, hitting 83% of his free throws this season. The big flaw in his offensive game is that he’s not really a good shot creator, or nearly as effective a shooter while on the move. And even though he does weigh 210lbs, there are some questions as to whether he’s strong enough to truly bang among the big guys in the paint.
Standing 6’3 but boasting a 6’10 wingspan, Thomas’ upside is something between a rich man’s Tony Allen and a poor man’s Victor Oladipo; anyone who watches Thomas can see that his game definitely shows shades of both pro’s. It will be interesting to watch what Thomas does after the NCAA tournament. He can go through pre-draft workouts and return to school if he doesn’t hire an agent. His stock is really on the rise at this moment. If Khyri Thomas hires an agent and enters the 2018 NBA Draft, he will get drafted. His individual workouts with NBA teams will be a major factor where he lands.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF KHYRI THOMAS
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