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Why Vassell would be perfect fit for Kings in NBA draft

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  • This is the sixth installment of a series breaking down the potential selections for the Sacramento Kings with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

We now have hit the home stretch. Nov. 18 will be here before you know it and with it comes the 2020 NBA Draft and the all-important first selection for new Kings general manager Monte McNair.

Will McNair be active during his first draft? Will he try to move up the board or down the board in search of the right player? What will he do with all of those second-round selections and how does he rate the team’s biggest needs?

There is a lot that still needs to be decided, but with the Kings selecting at No. 12, they should be able to land a solid player with upside. They have a need at the wing, potentially at center and maybe even some backcourt depth, depending on how trades and free agency goes.

We’ve already looked at forwards like Aaron Nesmith, Patrick Williams and Saddiq Bey. While he might not fall all the way to the Kings selection, Florida State wing Devin Vassell is another player Sacramento should have high on their list.

Here is a look at how Vassell grades out as a prospect and some thoughts on whether he would work for the Kings when the draft rolls around next month.

Stats

Stats: 12.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 49% FG, 41.5% 3-point FG

Age: 20 Height: 6-foot-7 Weight: 195 Wingspan: Estimated 6-foot-10 to 7-foot

 

Vassell is a long, athletic wing with a high motor and 3-and-D skill set.

While he didn’t post huge offensive numbers, it was more due to the system he played in under head coach Leonard Hamilton at Florida State.

His best scoring output came against Virginia Tech on Feb. 1, when he dropped 27 points on 8-of-10 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from long range. On Jan. 18, he scored 23 points against Miami and set new career-highs in rebounds with 11 and assists with five.

NBA measurements could help him dramatically in the draft process.

Strengths

Vassell isn’t a finished product, but he brings a refined skill set to the NBA that translates to almost any roster. He’s versatile enough to play the two or the three at the pro level and he should be able to defend plenty of point guards as well.

He shot 41.5 percent from 3-point range on 3.5 attempts per game and he can hit the triple from every spot on the floor. He has a high release and is very good as a catch-and-shoot floor spacer.

Vassell has a soft touch with a floater and he can get up and down the court in a hurry. He also can create space with a step-back and there is a strong possibility that he has more offensive game than what he was allowed to show in his two seasons at Florida State.

In addition to his shooting ability, Vassell has strong passing skills and he turned the ball over just 0.8 times per game in his final NCAA season.

Known for his hustle on the defensive end, Vassell also shows good energy on the offensive side of the ball. He cuts with purpose, works hard to get open off of screens and he even hits the offensive glass on occasion.

Where Vassell makes an immediate impact on a team is on the defensive end. He projects as both a very good on-ball and team defender. His length and quickness allow him to stick with his man and he doesn’t give up on plays.

On the perimeter, Vassell closes out well and he competes to get through screens despite his slight frame. He communicates well, plays the passing lanes and even blocks shots.

RELATED: 2020 NBA mock draft 17.0

Weaknesses

Vassell has a slightly limited offensive game. He’s solid from long range, has a floater and can get out in transition, but at the NBA level he’ll be more of a catch-and-shoot player who gets a few opportunities in transition and off of cuts.

He doesn’t have a strong face up or post game. He can hit a mid-range jumper, but he often settles for tough shots and rarely gets all the way to the rim.

While he rarely turns the ball over, he also isn’t a player you can necessarily run the ball through as a secondary distributor. He makes the right pass, which is commendable, and his role at Florida State might have limited his ability to show off additional skills.

 

He isn’t someone who draws a lot of contact and he went to the line just 2.2 times per game in his sophomore season. Not only does he not get to the line at a high clip, but he shot just 73.8 percent from the stripe.

Vassell needs to get stronger and a professional training staff likely would help him refine his body overall. He’s always going to be a wiry player, but there is plenty of room for growth.

He’s more feisty than physical on both ends of the court, although he knows his role and plays to his strengths.

Fit with Kings

As a 20-year-old, Vassell might be able to step in and start from Day 1 for a team like Sacramento. He’s a high basketball IQ player with a big motor who focuses on the defensive end.

He’ll start out his career as primarily a third or fourth option on the offensive side of the ball, but his ability to shoot lights out from the perimeter would space the floor for De’Aaron Fox and give coach Luke Walton one more deep threat.

On the defensive side of the ball, his length and ability to defend the one, two and three would help Sacramento tremendously. He could mask some of the defensive deficiencies of both Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic at the two and take some of the pressure off of Fox for stints as well.

In addition to providing the Kings with depth at the three, he also would allow Walton to move Harrison Barnes to the stretch-four for longer stretches and also give the team another option if they can’t retain Bogdanovic and/or Kent Bazemore in free agency.

There is a group of players the Kings should be focused on at this point in the draft. Of the group, Vassell might have the most balanced game of the options and his upside is tremendous. He also might not make it to the Kings at No. 12.

Player Comparison

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