Melvin Frazier NBA Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Orlando Magic's Pick

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJune 22, 2018

Tulane’s Melvin Frazier in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The Orlando Magic selected Melvin Frazier in the 2018 NBA draft with the No. 35 overall pick.

Relatively unknown entering the season, the Tulane product made notable improvements that put him on the radar of NBA scouts. He became far more efficient offensively, both inside the arc and behind it. As a result, it became easier to envision Frazier developing into a three-and-D role player at the next level.

   

Quick hitters

Size: 6'6"

Weight: 198.2 pounds

Wingspan: 7'1¾"

Reach: 8'9"

Pro-player comparison: Josh Richardson

   

Offensive strengths

Frazier has strong size, length and athleticism for a small forward. The key development was his newfound shooting stroke. After shooting a combined 27.2 percent from deep over his first two seasons at Tulane, Frazier raised his three-point mark to 38.5 percent. He was also highly effective driving to the basket, converting 24-of-35 slashing attempts. His 1.312 points per possession in transition ranked in the 89th percentile. And though post-ups only accounted for 7.5 percent of his offense and cutting represented 6.2 percent, he finished in the 97th percentile in both areas.

   

Offensive weaknesses

Frazier can catch-and-shoot and attack in straight lines, but he struggles to create off the dribble. He totaled six points in isolation all season, and he ranked in the 26th percentile in pick-and-roll ball-handling. Despite his improved shooting, he made only eight total jump shots off the dribble and three floaters all year.

   

Defensive outlook

Frazier' defensive outlook is bright, thanks to his quick feet, long arms and aggressive nature. He racked up 2.2 steals per game this past season. He anticipates where his man is going and does a great job of staying in front of him and often poking the ball loose. Frazier excels in his ball-screen defense and closeouts, and he demonstrates a high amount of alertness level off the ball. He'll be able to guard at least three positions, plus the occasional small-ball 4.

   

Rookie year projection

Frazier is still relatively limited offensively, so he may not be used often as a rookie. He'll likely be sent to the G League to build up his skill and confidence. At some point, he'll get his chance to show what he can do defensively. His job on offense will be to space the floor, make open shots and attack lanes than open up.

   

Projected role: Three-and-D role player

Frazier turns 22 in August, so expecting him to evolve into an exciting NBA scorer seems unreasonable after he averaged a pedestrian 18.5 points per 40 minutes as a junior. Instead, his best-case scenario is becoming a strong three-and-D role player who's valued for his shooting, defensive versatility and ability to score as an opportunistic driver and transition weapon.

   

Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports and Sports Reference. Measurements courtesy of NBA.com.

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