Duke Basketball: Is Seth Curry a Pro Prospect?

Dantzler SmithContributor IIINovember 18, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 13:  Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2012 State Farm Champions Classic at Georgia Dome on November 13, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let me begin by saying that when it comes to both basketball and football, I prefer college over the pros. At least with football, I do watch the NFL. The NBA, however, is barely on my radar.

So you may ask yourself, why am I, of all people, thinking about whether or not Seth Curry is a potential NBA player?

Two reasons. One, there’s not a lot of interesting things to talk about prior to a game against Florida Gulf Coast. And, two, I honestly think this is a question that Seth Curry has asked himself.

Dell Curry, Seth’s father, was selected 15th overall by the Utah Jazz after he finished his college career. Seth’s older brother, Stephen Curry, left college after his junior year and was drafted 7th overall by Golden State. So, for Seth, the NBA is sort of the family business.

However, as it stands, most NBA draft predictions don’t have Seth Curry going in either the first or second round (for example, Draft Express and NBA Draft.net). The knock against Seth Curry, presumably, is that he’s a one-dimensional guard who is a good three-point shooter, but not so good that he’s a highly desirable prospect.

This is strange to me. And I can’t help but wonder if it doesn’t also seem strange to Seth Curry. For instance, last year, as a junior, Seth Curry shot 38.3 percent from three. In Stephen’s junior season, he shot 38.7 percent.

Now, of course, Stephen was getting doubled-teamed due to the fact that Davidson’s offense revolved entirely around him. Meanwhile, Curry has the benefit of playing on a team with numerous options and, therefore, defenses can’t solely key on one player. But the competition Duke faces is much stiffer than the Southern Conference teams that Davidson played. Surely that’s something NBA scouts should factor in.

My point is that I don’t think the gulf between Stephen and his younger brother, Seth, is so vast that one could be coveted so highly as to be selected 7th and the other would go undrafted.

And yet, I’m inclined to believe that, barring a brilliant senior year, Seth Curry probably will go undrafted. My reasoning behind this belief can be summed up in two words: Jon Scheyer.

Seth Curry’s game is strikingly similar to Jon Scheyer’s. Both Scheyer and Seth Curry came to Duke as outside shooters, but developed into combo guards capable of playing either shooting or point guard.

Curry obviously hasn’t played his full senior season yet, but at this point I think you’d have to say that Seth Curry would have to improve upon his game to reach the higher level of play that Jon Scheyer demonstrated during his tenure with the Blue Devils.

By his senior season, Scheyer developed an outstanding ability to curl off screens, roll into the paint and put up awkward-looking floaters that seemed to always go down.

Seth Curry would do well to add that mid-range floater to his game. But even if he does show signs of improvement and plays as well as Jon Scheyer did for a team that won the National Championship, the pro prospects for Seth Curry remain dim.

For all his accomplishments and for all his quality, Jon Scheyer wasn’t drafted. He did attempt to play his way onto the Miami Heat through the Summer League, but an eye injury waylaid his efforts. Currently Jon Scheyer plays in Israel.

It’s possible that Seth Curry could find himself overseas as well. Despite his pedigree and even if he plays the entire season at the high level of play he showed against Kentucky, NBA teams notoriously undervalue spot-up shooters.

So the questions stands, is Seth Curry a pro? And the answer is an unsatisfying, yes, but in all likelihood he’ll either have to go overseas or go through the back channels of Summer League or the D-League to make it to the NBA.

A secondary question might be, as a Duke fan, should I care? And to that the answer is probably no (although obviously Duke fans wish former players success in their post-Duke careers).

Kentucky and the one-and-done rule can turn most of college basketball into nothing more than a minor league for the NBA. But, as a Duke fan, I’ll be enjoying players that I’ve seen develop over a full college career.

And if NBA executives can’t appreciate a player with Seth Curry’s talent, hard work and immeasurable intangibles, it’s their loss.