With the No. 29 pick of the 2013 NBA draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Archie Goodwin from the University of Kentucky and subsequently traded him to the Phoenix Suns via the Golden State Warriors.
Archie Goodwin committed to Kentucky with hopes of shining under the spotlight on the national stage, but it just didn't work out that way.
Despite averaging 14.1 points, most of his production was driven from his physical tools instead of a refined basketball skill set. He's a raw offensive player, which is rare these days for a guard. Usually it's the big men who are the longer-term projects.
Goodwin's draft stock took a hit during his one year at Kentucky, and he'll be entering the 2013 draft in hopes of landing a first-round promise.
Just about all of Goodwin's strengths stem from his physical tools. He's an exceptional athlete with a solid 6'9.5'' wingspan, measuring in at 6'5.25'' in sneakers. He's got the size of an off-guard with the speed and quickness of a point guard.
Goodwin is explosive with room in front of him and is capable of climbing the ladder and throwing down above the rim.
Goodwin's most glowing offensive strength is his ability to attack the basket. He's got the agility to shake defenders on the ground and elude them in the air.
But he's also quick off the bounce, capable of shaking defenders with the dribble and getting into the lane. Once Goodwin's momentum takes him into the heart of the defense, he's shown he can finish in traffic or set up a teammate.
The first play below shows Goodwin beat his man off the dribble and finish strong with his left hand:
Here's Goodwin using his quick first step to get into the lane, draw the help defender and set up Nerlens Noel for an easy finish at the rim:
Attacking from Angles
Goodwin is at his best attacking the basket from the wing. He uses the angle to shield his defender, his quickness to turn the corner and his athleticism to finish.
Here's an example of Goodwin working on the left wing, only to attack the angle with his right hand and get to the rack:
Same play, same game, different half:
Same play, different game, just a tougher finish:
Weaknesses and Challenges
Goodwin had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio, with an average of 2.7 assists and 3.1 turnovers. His decision-making at times was brutal. Goodwin develops tunnel-vision all too often, making up his mind without showing the willingness or ability to adjust.
Goodwin's shot selection has also been under fire.
Without the ability to create easy shots for himself, many of his attempts come off balance. Goodwin needs to refine his offensive repertoire, tighten up his handle and show better poise and balance as a shot-creator on the perimeter.
All of this will become easier once his jumper becomes a threat. He shot it just 26.6 percent from downtown at Kentucky, showing little-to-no range throughout the year.
At one point, Goodwin went 11 straight games without making a three. He made just 17 of them all season. At the pro level, the arc only gets deeper.
Goodwin's jumper appears to be a few years away, as he'll first have to develop a reliable pull-up game before mastering the long-ball.
Draft Breakdown and NBA Outlook
Had John Calipari not recruited the greatest class in history for 2014, chances are Goodwin would have been back as a sophomore.
He's nowhere near NBA-ready at the moment being the youngest American prospect in the field. Another year in school would have allowed him to grow physically, mentally and fundamentally and given him a much better shot at a first-round promise.
Now, he'll be fighting for a guaranteed contract instead of a spot in the lottery.
Goodwin projects as a Tyreke Evans-like guard who can handle the ball from the wing. These guys excel at attacking the basket and struggle to connect from the perimeter. Chances are Goodwin finds an NBA rotation a few years down the road when he becomes more reliable as a shooter and decision-maker.
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