One of the most improved players in college basketball this season, Paul Reed is garnering the attention of many NBA scouts. From a former under-looked three-star prospect, the DePaul big man now has a chance to get drafted in the first round.
With limitless potential and a high ceiling for growth, Reed is a tantalizing prospect that oozes future potential in the NBA.
Paul Reed 2020 NBA Draft Profile
Reed, again, is a prime example of a player putting in the work on his game and improving each year. He is a player who just keeps getting better and better.
Check out his year-to-year progression:
Freshman Season: 3.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in 9.9 minutes per game. He shot 51.8 percent from the field, 21.4 percent from three-point range and 57.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Sophomore Season: 12.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks in 26.9 minutes per game. He shot 56.2 percent from the field, 40.5 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the free-throw line. For his efforts, the Big East named him the 2018-19 Most Improved Player of the Year.
Junior Season: 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 2.6 blocks in 31.7 minutes per game. He shot 51.6 percent from the field, 30.8 percent from three-point range and 73.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Big East named him to all-Second Team at the end of the season. Reed likely would have been first-team if not for the fact that his team finished in last place.
Reed is the perfect epitome of a player using the college basketball experience to enhance his profile.
It’s just too bad his team was merely mediocre in his three years at DePaul. After a promising start to the season, this season unraveled in conference play.
The best DePaul ever did was to advance to the CBI last season—granted, it advanced to the finals.
Reed has tremendous length and wingspan. He is great at using his long arms to snatch many rebounds. He routinely outworks much bigger players with his length and wingspan.
Agility is another Reed calling card. He has good footwork and can move up and down the court with ease. With his ability to play in half or full-court settings, Reed can be a match-up problem.
While not as strong as he could be, Reed has a great technique for boxing out. Plus, his natural instincts are something you just can’t teach.
While Reed can sometimes be careless with the ball, he’s good catching the ball and then decisive when making his next move.
Reed also possesses plus-athleticism. While not super athletic, Reed is above average in this respect. He can attack the basket with ease and run the floor with aplomb.
Tenacity is another big strength of Reed. He simply gets after it. Reed has a motor that on most nights that won’t quit. While they ran few plays for him at DePaul, that was mostly by design as he inserts himself into the mix by hook or crook.
With good lateral quickness, Reed is also a good one-on-one defender. He is good at keeping his man in front of him. And with good recovering ability, he is good at closing out on shooters.
Reed is an excellent shot-blocker as well. While not particularly tall—at least by NBA standards—with his length and big hands, Reed is great at blocking shots. His shot-blocking presence is effective in the paint or on the perimeter. Only Seton Hall’s 7’2” center Romaro Gill was ahead of Reed in the Big East in blocks.
In an ever-evolving game predicated on being able to space the floor and shoot from beyond the arc, Reed is sorely lacking in the perimeter-shooting department. He has an unorthodox release that will surely need some fine-tuning.
Reed has been known to zone out mentally. On many occasions, Reed zoned out when the tough got going. In a season where a lot went wrong for his team, Reed sometimes zoned out when hit with some adversity.
Strength may be a big issue for Reed. Can he hold up to rigors of the NBA? Simply put, Reed needs to bulk up. He is not a beanpole, but he could stand to gain 10-25 more pounds of muscle. While he got work done in the post in college, acclimating to the rigors of the NBA will prove tough.
While Reed has nice hands, he can be careless with the ball. Although he can make some flashy finishes at the hoop, he is also prone to turning it over while trying to do too much.
Reed could also be a better passer. He is not poor in this regard, per se, but it’s an area where he has room to improve.
NBA Player Comparison
Reed at this moment is a poor man’s Pascal Siakam.
They are very similar in body frame (Reed is 6’9”, 220 pounds, while Siakam is 6’9”, 230 pounds) and they have both showed the best is yet to come. It took a good amount of time for Siakam to get to all-star status.
He, like Reed, also has some Most Improved hardware.
They are both long, lanky forwards who could crash the glass and get out on the break and finish. Reed at this moment can’t shoot well beyond the arc.
Remember, in Siakam’s first two years in the NBA he shot no better than 22 percent from three-point range. Expect Reed to struggle in the early from long distance, just the same way Siakam did.
Another apt comparison is Orlando Magic forward, Jonathan Isaac.
NBA Draft Projection
Late first-round to early second-round is where you should see Reed get drafted given if he declares for the draft.
A lot of mock drafts had Reed going in the first round, but amid a bad stretch of basketball for the DePaul program and with Reed missing the last three regular-season games with a hip pointer injury, his stock was falling.
However, Reed returned to the court for the Big East Tournament and he played in one of the last games of the college basketball season before everything was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In DePaul’s upset win over Xavier, Reed was phenomenal en route to scoring 23 points (6-9 from the field), while pulling down 12 rebounds.
Maybe that last game could boost his NBA draft stock.