Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tony Wroten, Washington

Had to dig deep to find ample footage on Tony Wroten.  Washington wasn’t even good enough to get in the big tourney, which you’d think would give Wroten a chance to shine in the NIT. Not so much. In fact, his NIT experience highlighted his strengths and glaring weaknesses dramatically. So dramatically, that he could be available at the end of the 1st round in the 2012 NBA Draft. For a guy with his physical stature, athleticism, and passing abilities, that’s pretty unusual.

Careful ladies, Tony Wroten is a screamer.
Let’s start off with his strengths. Wroten is 6’5, 200-205 lbs. He has excellent handles and head fakes, seems to get to the rim whenever he wanted to in college. He has a quick first step, which, along with his wide body for a primary ball-handler, allowed him to wall off perimeter defenders and get by them with ease. He invites contact, as seen by his 7.5 FTA, and finishes well in the paint, contact and all. His rebounding is a plus at either guard position, and he has the ability and potential to be a great NBA defender. He takes some risks to get steals and also challenges more layups and inside shots than you’d expect from a guard. Will surprise you every once in a while with a very athletic block. His passing ability on fast breaks is excellent, but his creating abilities in the halfcourt are still very much a work in progress. He’s very aware for a young guard, knows when a dunk or layup is the right move. Pretty solid at moving without the ball in the paint, but will have trouble getting away with that at the next level.

If you’ve seen him play at all, his weaknesses are just all too obvious. Wroten’s lack of a jump shot of any sort really limits his potential right now.  His form and release seem awkward, and aren’t very consistent. At least he is smart and aware enough not to try many jumpshots. Despite his quickness and strength, does not seem to have a great, explosive leap. He’ll likely have trouble with quality shot blockers in the NBA, as he likes to glide to the rim from several feet out. If you can neutralize his penetration, he’s almost completely harmless offensively. He’s not a NBA PG, he’s a SG that can drive and create at times. Tends to get caught in the air a lot, usually resulting in turnovers or broken plays. Defensively, can succumb to laziness, and tends to make exaggerated swipes when reaching-in, an easy foul call in the NBA.  Poor FT shooter for a guy who gets there as much as Wroten does. He’s  very much a rhythm player, which can work for or against a team.

Overall, you have a guy who’s getting a stock boost because pundits are trying to pass him off as a part time PG because he doesn’t have the scoring chops a legitimate SG would have. He has solid intangibles, but his overstated athleticism and size doesn’t really apply if he’s playing at SG. Could carve out a career as a successful 2nd-string guard, or potentially a defensive stopper/starting SG type. But until that jumper is fixed, he’s extremely limited as a player. Projects to be a 10-15 minute change of pace guard. Bump that to 15-20 minutes if he’s playing on a team that loves to use the fast break.

Eternal Optimist sees: Tyreke Evans
Negative Nancy sees: Reece Gaines
What I see:  Poor man’s Evan Turner
 Likely draft position: mid 20's to mid 30's

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