Height/Weight: 6'4", 206 lbs
Age: 22 years old
Projected NBA Position: Shooting guard
Pro Comparison: Anthony Morrow
Twitter Handle: @
Andre Dawkins has come a long way since he left high school.
Once a top recruit, he's failed to live up to the expectations, but he's also had to prove his character by overcoming tragedy.
His sister passed away in a car accident as she was coming to see him play during his freshman season, and while he would continue to suit up for the Duke Blue Devils, he had to do so with a heavy heart. Nonetheless, Dawkins became a leader and a popular figure in Durham, never missing a single game as he overcame the trials and tribulations while surprising with his impressive play.
But when time passed, he lost the hero status. He was booed for poor performances during his junior season, leading to a complete loss of confidence and love for the game. A redshirt was granted by Duke for the 2012-13 season, and he took time off.
Then, he returned for 2014-15, and reinserted himself in both the Duke lineup and the minds of NBA scouts. You can read the full story here in a fantastic profile by SB Nation's Brandon Snead.
Though Dawkins still didn't stand out due to a lack of intensity, out-of-shape play and a limited role, he reinforced the perception of his three-point shooting, the one skill that could carry him into the Association.
|Statistics at Duke|
Dawkins isn't a very impressive physical specimen, though his height and athleticism are by no means severe liabilities at the sport's highest level.
At the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, as relayed by DraftExpress.com, the 2-guard measured in at 6'3.5" without shoes. That's decent size for an NBA shooting guard, as is his 6'8.5" wingspan.
In both areas, he stands out neither negatively nor positively.
The same can be said about his athleticism.
Does he have an impressive vertical? No, though he's capable of throwing down the occasional slam and hanging with leapers when competing for a rebound. Is he quick? No, but his shiftiness makes up for it on offense, and his defensive intelligence helps compensate for the lack of foot speed.
He's just pretty average.
If there's one thing that will help Dawkins earn a spot on an NBA squad, it's his ability to stroke the ball from the perimeter.
"Dawkins played one of the most narrowly confined roles of any player at this tournament in college, as an astounding 78 percent of his offense came off spot-up jumpers, screens, or hand-offs—which he absolutely excelled at, making 42 percent of his three-pointers on the season," notes DraftExpress.com's Jonathan Givony.
This is what Dawkins is best at, as you can see by looking at his performance from downtown throughout his collegiate career:
From the time he arrived at Durham through the time he left, this 2-guard could find the bottom of the net when letting fly from the perimeter. He has near-perfect form when he rises and fires, and he's particularly adept at finding space off the ball and releasing his shot quickly.
Dawkins is also such a dangerous shooter that he prevents defenses from collapsing around him.
He's automatic when left unguarded, putting on some of the most impressive pregame shooting displays you'll ever see, and that makes it awfully difficult for defenders to help off him.
Sorry, it's worth mentioning again.
Intelligence on Defense
Dawkins is not a great defender.
That much is clear after a four-year career in which he rarely managed to stand out on the less glamorous end of the court. But it's not necessary to stand out when trying to avoid becoming a liability.
Because of the Duke product's ability to play intelligent defense, rarely finding himself out of position or gambling excessively, he's not a negative player on this end. Plus, he sometimes settles down into that defensive stance and plays with toughness, though those possessions aren't coming nearly as often as one would like.
Maybe this changes in the NBA, especially when he's tasked with even less responsibility. But even if he's almost never a plus-defender, at least he's not going to be a liability.
If Dawkins' shot isn't falling, he won't be able to contribute in any other manner.
The rest of the facets of NBA basketball are essentially a laundry list of things that this former Blue Devil can't do.
He's not a great ball-handler. He can't create his own shots. He isn't a particularly special facilitator. His transition game and slashing abilities are limited by his lackluster athleticism. His defensive presence is far from a game-changing one. Rebounds are fairly unexpected contributions.
The list goes on.
Basically, the biggest concern is that he's a player with only one aspect to his game.
Regardless of where—or if—he's taken during the June 26 proceedings, Dawkins is capable of contributing right away.
He's not going to be a player who earns a big role, but he can come in whenever his team needs an offensive presence who can fire away from beyond the arc. Especially in a league that's relying more and more on shots from downtown, there will always be room for a three-point specialist—so long as he's hitting those looks.
Dawkins won't make an All-Rookie team or come anywhere close, but he'll find himself knocking down shots in the Association sooner rather than later.
Nothing is going to change throughout Dawkins' career.
He doesn't have any marketable skills outside of his three-point shooting, so he'll keep filling that niche role off the bench as long as he keeps draining the shots he's given. This is a cutthroat league, and even one bad season could lead to him giving way to a younger shooter who's just as talented.
However, if he proves to be a consistent performer, there's no reason he can't have a lengthy career as a shooting specialist. Plenty have done exactly that before him.