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UNLV’s Patrick McCaw declares for NBA draft

Patrick McCaw

UNLV guard Patrick McCaw (22) reacts after scoring a 3-pointer in the second half during an NCAA college basketball game against UCLA in the first round of the Maui Invitational Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Lahaina, Hawaii. UCLA won 77-75. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


UNLV’s exodus of players to the NBA draft continues.

First, Stephen Zimmerman. Now, Patrick McCaw:


Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

His mother, Teresa, said in a text message that McCaw hasn’t hired an agent, but he is in discussions with them.

Given the tone of his statement, I’d be surprised if McCaw doesn’t hire an agent. Hiring an agent would prevent McCaw from returning to play college basketball.

McCaw has a fairly wide draft range. He could climb into the middle of the first round, but the second round seems quite possible.*

*Fun fact: It’s been 25 years since a UNLV player went in the second round. Seven have since been drafted in the first round. That all-or-nothing outcome feels fittingly Vegas.

McCaw, a fairly unheralded recruit, put himself on the radar last season with a solid freshman year. He built on that this season, showing an arc of progression that should please NBA teams.

A lanky 6-foot-7 shooting guard, he uses his length well as a defensive ball-hawk. He’s also fast in transition. McCaw would work well on an up-tempo team.

He won’t let defenses ignore him beyond the arc in the halfcourt, but his ball-handling limits his ability to contribute when the pace slows. If he’s comfortable putting the ball on the floor, he’s a reasonable passer for an off guard.

McCaw seems most comfortable in a complementary role, which is what he’d likely play at the next level. Teams will gamble on higher-upside players early in the draft, but when it comes time to accept a lower ceiling, I like McCaw’s odds of fitting in the NBA.