One of the nation’s best scorers, Markus Howard had one of the strongest scoring careers in recent NCAA history. As a senior, Howard averaged 27.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 3.4 TOPG on shooting splits of 42/41/85. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Markus Howard
Height/Weight: 5’11/ 180
Wingspan/ standing reach: N/A
Hand size: N/A
Tools: Scoring ability, vision, shot creation
- Great shot off the dribble
- Great floater
- Excellent shooting touch
- Draws many fouls and is comfortable drawing contact
- Excellent in transition both as a playmaker and scorer
- Great vision on the drive
- Shifty with the ball and able to comfortably split defenses
- Undersized & must add strength
- Poor finisher at the rim
- Can be turnover prone at times
Markus Howard is one of the most electric players in the draft. He has range on his jump shot that can extend to near the half-court line, he has a crafty handle, and can make difficult passes from difficult angles. His quick handle allows him to split defenses, create separation, and drive to the basket. While he is about the level of a finisher you’d expect a 5’11 player to be, his greatest threat at the rim is dishing the ball out to the corner. Howard thrives in the drive & kick, which is largely in part to his excellent vision and his ability to bait defenders into leaving their assignments, which allows for open looks.
The area that stands out to me the most is his separation ability. He can often be at his best when he needs to score in a hurry, which makes me optimistic in his game translating early in his career. Thus, transition and up-tempo possessions were usually Howard’s best possessions in his four years at Marquette. He makes advanced reads, allowing him to find the open cutter or shooter, or create for himself by either utilizing his limitless range, or throwing the defender off by using his quick change of speed to get to the rim. While not a great finisher at the rim, particularly in the half-court, Howard is comfortable taking excess contact in order to be rewarded with free throws.
Defensively, Howard is at a significant disadvantage. While he is quick enough to stay with defenders one-on-one, he lacks both strength and size to stay with ball-handlers step-for-step. He has difficulty shutting down a player, and will likely have to be hidden off-ball, allowing him to play the passing lanes.
NBA Comparison: Floor: Carsen Edwards; ceiling: Devonte’ Graham
Projected draft range: 40-undrafted
- Orlando Magic (45): Howard could be an instant spark plug, and given how well Steve Clifford has hidden DJ Augustin on defense, Howard should be able to provide much-needed offense to the Magic bench while remaining a positive player.
- Milwaukee Bucks (UDFA): Keeping Howard local, the Bucks can gamble on an undersized playmaker coming in to create instant offense off the bench. He likely wouldn’t receive consistent playing time, but when he plays, he’d be effective surrounded by Milwaukee’s roster.
- Sacramento Kings (43 or 52): Sacramento needs a scoring-oriented guard off the bench behind De’Aaron Fox, and Howard’s ability to space the floor and play up-tempo should fit well in Sacramento, assuming they go back to a quicker pace of play in 2021.
- San Antonio Spurs (41): The Spurs are one of Howard’s best fits, simply because of the genius ability of Greg Popovich to hide negative, undersized defenders. With Bryn Forbes expiring, Howard could easily fill that role, and possible give more creation ability than Forbes offers.
- Utah Jazz (UDFA): The Jazz have a limited roster in terms of scoring, which could allow for them to pursue Howard in undrafted free agency. Like many of the other teams listed above, he could provide spark plug value when the offense is stagnant.