CHICAGO – The Trail Blazers are working with the agent of Landry Shamet to arrange a predraft workout with the Wichita State guard, and when it happens it might feature the best shooter in this year’s NBA Draft.
On the eve of the NBA Combine in Chicago, agent Happy Walters tweeted a video of Shamet, proclaiming him the best shooter in the draft.
Shamet, who averaged 14.9 points last season for the Shockers while shooting 56 percent from the field and a whopping 44.2 percent from three-point range, won’t argue.
“I feel confident about that; I will shoot with anybody,’’ Shamet said. “I feel confident in my jump shot.’’
Is he the best?
“That’s for other people to decide, whether they think I am, but I know where I think I am,’’ he said, before pausing. “Um, yeah.’’
The 6-foot-4 Shamet says he likens his game to a blend of Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, Cleveland’s George Hill, Golden State’s Klay Thompson and Portland’s CJ McCollum.
“My thing is I take bits and pieces from guys who do things really well,’’ Shamet said. “I feel like I’m a cerebral player. I’m not going to wow you with crossing people up, or doing things that a lot of guys in the limelight do. But I feel like I’m a solid player, pretty steady across the board.’’
There are two questions about Shamet: Each of his feet have been broken, and there are concerns whether he can defend at the NBA level.
Shamet says much of his conversations with teams have been about the health of his feet. He broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in 2015, then suffered the same injury in his right foot in 2017, after which he had surgery to insert a screw.
“I know that two foot injuries are somewhat of a red flag, but I keep stressing how good I feel,’’ Shamet said. “I’m actually proud of how I overcame those injuries. My psyche, my approach … it reconstructed how I looked at things. There would be practices I could see teammates not wanting to go through, but I would have killed to be in that position. So it taught me not to take things for granted.’’
As far as his defense, he is spending the weeks leading up to the June 21 draft training with Sacramento point guard De’Aaron Fox.
“He is as quick as they come,’’ Shamet said of Fox. “Defense has been the biggest thing for me. I want to erase those question marks on that end that people might have.’’
But the one question people shouldn’t have, Shamet insists, is about his shooting. His AAU coach, Darin Mason, has crafted his jump shot since he was in high school.
“He’s like my golf swing coach,’’ Shamet joked. “He’s the only voice I will listen to; I don’t want to hear it from anybody else. It’s kind of our thing.’’
He says he hasn’t quite perfected his shot but he says he is confident about it being NBA ready.
“I feel it’s something I can bring to the table immediately,’’ Shamet said. “Three-point shooting is needed everywhere. It’s a threat you have to honor, and that’s me. But I don’t want to come in and be a volume scorer or take crazy shots and stuff like that. But (three-point shooting) is the biggest thing I can contribute.’’