NBA Draft Scouting Report: Devonte' Graham


As we transition from the college basketball season to NBA Draft season I’ll be breaking down the scouting reports for various players across the country who are expected to be in the NBA Draft. We’ll focus on seniors and those with agents to start, with the hope of hitting all of the college guys in my top-60. If there is someone specific you want on here, please let me know @barstoolreags. All videos are courtesy of Synergy and the stats will come from Synergy and KenPom. 

Devonte’ Graham– Kansas

6’2”, 185 lbs, 23 years old

Projected: No. 42 (DraftExpress) No. 40 (

Background: Devonte’ Graham wasn’t supposed to go to Kansas. Everyone heard the story about how he was originally committed to App State before blowing up during his senior year and ending up at Kansas. From there he was always a key piece on the team, but never the guy until this past season. You can also attribute that to him playing more off the ball while he played next to Frank Mason before getting back to being the lead guard this past season. He was an All-American this past season as well as winning Big 12 Player of the Year and leading a Kansas team to a Final Four. One of the things he was always known as was a guy who could play forever. By that I mean he simply averaged about 38 minutes per game while being a really good defender.

One of the biggest strengths for Graham and something he can step in and do right away is be a spot up shooter. Thanks to Kansas offensive system with the four guards, one big look and the fact he played off ball for three years, Graham is an excellent spot up shooter. This season he scored 1.12 points per possession on spot up shots while shooting 40% from three. What also helps is the fact that he can catch and shoot in guarded and unguarded situations. Per Synergy, Graham scored 1.125 points per possession on guarded shots while 1.867 on unguarded shots. Graham has always been an excellent 3-point shooter as he shot over 40% for three out of four seasons at Kansas and shot 41.4% from three for his career from three. He does have good range as well as he doesn’t have to toe the line to shoot. Part of that is due to his lower body strength. He does an excellent job with his legs and by that I mean he gets good lift off his shot and really stays compact. Here’s sort of what I’m talking about:

Notice how low he is and how far out his knees are. That’s actually good form, especially from where he’s shooting this from. Oh, he also made the shot, so this isn’t just a random picture. But, along with this he still is able to have a quick release. He stays up and down and lands where he should on the majority of his jumpers. The fact that he has this sort of lift helps with him being listed at 6’2″.

Kansas also ran a lot of ball screens, something that will help Graham at the next level. Again, playing in this system of four out and one in, mimics what NBA teams want to run to a degree and getting high ball screens with space to operate is something that is valuable at the next level. He ran 464 ball screens this year where he was the ball handler. Kansas scored 1.091 points per possession on those sets, which ranks in the 93rd percentile nationally. Part of that was Graham’s ability to shoot off the dribble and drive and kick to excellent shooters. In what’s a little bit of a weird stat, he actually made nearly double the amount of passes to a spot up shooter than he did to the roll man.

I remember watching this play against Villanova and writing it down – because I’m a huge nerd who does things like that. It’s something that looks simple, but a move that will carry some weight at the NBA. Kansas is in their typical set with the four outside wings and Azubuike coming high to set the ball screen. Watch how Graham sets Booth up for the screen. He hits him with a head and shoulders fake, assuming he’s going to cross and the moment he gets Booth leaning he does an inside out dribble to use the screen. Most importantly, he uses the screen once Doke is set, which gets Booth stuck and Graham takes a rhythm dribble. From there it’s over. He gets his feet set, takes a look at where Booth is and then calmly goes up. It’s actually a beautiful move against a really good defender in Booth.

Again, staying in the high PnR, but this time focusing on Graham setting up others. You see the wide floor to start the set again. This is important, because remember, at the NBA level you have 4 extra feet in terms of length to play with as the NBA court is longer. The ball screen happens even higher in this set and again Graham sets it up with a little hesitation dribble instead of a cross. From there he gets a couple of steps to go 1v1 with Angel Delgado, setting him up finally with the cross back to the right. Immediately off the screen, Desi Rodriguez is forced to cheat in and help on Graham’s drive assuming that Delgado is going to get beat here. Graham notices that and on the cross he also sets up his vision to a wide open Vick in the corner. This is again, an NBA play.


Weaknesses: Part of the problem with Graham is the fact that he does struggle in ISO play. That’s not necessarily a huge deal, but my question is more can he consistently beat his guy without the help of a screen? At the NBA level, getting an ISO set and taking advantage of that is a key part to the game, especially due to the spacing we see now. Being able to break your guy down in an ISO set does a couple of things. 1) It sets up an easy basket for yourself or 2) it causes someone to rotate over leaving a shooter or a lob. We know Graham can make that pass, but can he get in position for the breakdown? The other place that Graham actually struggles is at the rim. He’s not super athletic so he’s not going to finish over someone, but he also scored just .83 points per possession on shots at the rim this past season. That will have to improve. 
Draft Stock/Projection: Graham falls into that category with Carter/Brunson/Shamet, etc of a guy that I think will be a backup point guard for 10 years at the NBA level. According to KenPom his comparison is Delly, which I don’t think is a terrible one. He can step in and be in the rotation due to his defense right away while also hitting shots. Remember, Delly was a 38% shooter coming out of college and Graham is 3 percentage points better. That said, he is 23, which is a bit of a downside to him as teams will more likely take the younger guy to work with instead of Graham. But, he can fit in somewhere in the early to mid 2nd round. I think a team like the Sixers (depending what they do in the first) or Nuggets could make a lot of sense here for him. I do like his game quite a bit and think his time at Kansas will help him in the sense of playing on/off ball and the spread offense. 
Other scouting reports:

Jalen Brunson
Zhaire Smith
Jevon Carter
Aaron Holiday