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NBA Draft Profile: Deshaun Thomas

DESHAUN THOMAS

6-7, 225 lbs.

School: Ohio State

Class: Junior

 

Elise Amendola/AP

Elise Amendola/AP

STRENGTHS: Thomas became the best player on the Buckeyes in last season’s NCAA Tournament, when he burst onto the scene and helped lead Ohio State to the Final Four. (That’s not a knock on Jared Sullinger–Thomas was that good.) He was a prolific scorer in college, putting up 19.8 points per game. He’s a good jump shooter, and has great balance and form. He can knock down the 3 consistently, and has good range. But perhaps the most impressive thing about Thomas is the way he balances a deadly jump shot with a sophisticated post game. He was a 4 in college and had the size and frame to play on the block. But he’s agile down low, and uses a variety of moves to score from inside.

WEAKNESSES: He’s a classic tweener with the look of a power forward but the size of a small forward. The problem is that Thomas plays more like a 3 but doesn’t have the speed or athleticism to be successful at that position in the NBA. At his size, he could be an effective hustle player who defends, chases down rebounds and steps out to knock down the jumper and space the floor. His offensive game needs some work, but it’s refined enough to be effective in the league. It’s just his body type doesn’t fit his game, and that won’t work in the NBA.

BOTTOM LINE: Here’s a comparison no one has yet made: Deshaun Thomas plays a little like DeMarcus Cousins, only without the size and daily temper tantrums. He’s a good jump shooter with effective post moves and a knack for scoring the ball. The problem is, he’s not big enough to be a no-brainer power forward and not quick enough to play the 3. If this draft were based purely on college basketball accomplishments, Thomas would be among the first players chosen. But unfortunately, his game does not translate as well to the NBA.

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