Pro team: ASVEL (France)
The “other” French point guard in the 2020 draft, Maledon may not be quite as highly ranked as his countryman Killian Hayes, but he’s an enticing prospect in his own right.
Maledon held his own in the EuroLeague as an 18-year-old, averaging 7.4 points and 3.1 assists while shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range That’s very impressive production for a player that age in the second-best league in the world. He’s grown up around basketball, with both parents being former professional players, and his feel for the game stands out when you watch him. His name is pronounced TAY-o MAL-uh-don.
Maledon can go left or right on the drive and has a knack for finishing in traffic against bigger defenders. He keeps his head up when he has the ball, allowing him to find open teammates, and is a jet in the open floor. His shot looks smooth, both off the dribble and on the catch. He’s excellent at driving and dishing and making the right decision in those situations. He also has pretty good size for a point guard, with more room to add muscle to his frame.
He does a lot of things very well, but I’m not sure Maledon has that singular NBA skill that teams would love. He’s a good passer, good shooter and decent on-ball defender, but doesn’t appear elite in any of those areas.
It’s also hard to know if he can become a big-time scorer in the NBA because he hasn’t shown it yet, averaging under eight points in the French LNB and the EuroLeague. But his lack of playing time has to be factored into any calculations about his future potential.
In the EuroLeague, Maledon averaged 15.1 points and 6.4 assists per 36 minutes. Those numbers may be more indicative of his NBA potential.
Maledon is a high-floor, high-ceiling prospect. His production at such a young age proves he can play the game. This season, he led all EuroLeague players age 22 or younger in points and assists per game. And his per-36-minute numbers demonstrate that he could become an impact player down the road.
He’s used to having the ball in his hands, so playing with Ben Simmons would be an adjustment. But Maledon would give the Sixers a young backup point guard with a ton of potential. His shooting ability may allow him to play off the ball as well. And when Simmons posts up, Maledon would give the Sixers another option to run the offense.
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