2016 NBA Draft: Tyler Ulis scouting report
Tyler Ulis 2016 NBA Draft scouting report
Tyler Ulis scouting report
Tyler Ulis would be a top five pick -- maybe the top pick -- if he were about five inches taller. But at 5-foot-9, the Kentucky sophomore’s upside is limited despite having absolutely everything you look for in a point guard.
Click through the slides for Ulis' strengths, weaknesses, and his fit on the Celtics.
Ulis is like a Bugatti -- he speeds by the competition, stays in control, and looks good while doing it. He’s at the top of his class as a playmaker, ball handler, and leader.
With a tight handle and masterful court vision, Ulis can create against a set defense with ease. He’s also a threat to drain shots from all over the court off the dribble. He’s clutch, too, as he proved countless times in his two years at Kentucky.
Unfortunately for Ulis, he’s only 5-foot-9 and 148 pounds. It won’t be easy for him in the NBA. Most of the other tiny point guards that have found success are at least built like a small NFL cornerback. Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson, for example, are brick houses.
But Ulis is not and that hurts him as a defender and at-rim finisher. He might’ve won SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016, but let’s be real: the NBA is a different kind of monster where feistiness only gets you so far. At the rim he struggled to score amongst the trees. To take the next step he must master the art of craftiness.
Thomas has obviously found immense success, so the Celtics have proven they can make it work with a small point guard. But Thomas does make Ulis redundant, since few teams have one undersized guard -- never mind two.
Plus, the Celtics already have Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier on the roster, so unless they’re considering an all-guard lineup, Ulis would be a surprising pick.
Unless a team falls in love with Ulis and snatches him in the lottery -- that’s highly unlikely considering the poor track record for tiny guards succeeding in the NBA -- then he’ll be available at No. 16 and maybe No. 23.
Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.