Scouting Report: Melvin Frazier

Photo credit: Justin Ford- USA Today Sports

Every year there’s a late riser that is discovered after the NCAA Tournament. Last year it was Donovan Mitchell, and this year it may be Melvin Frazier. Frazier averaged 16 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG, and 2.6 TOPG on 55.6% shooting from the field, 38.5% from 3, and 71% from the free throw line as a junior in 2017-18. Frazier was the star of the 14-17 Tulane Green Wave and had to carry a large load on both ends of the floor. Here’s the scouting report on Frazier:

Name: Melvin Frazier

Height/Weight: 6’6/ 198

Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’2/ 8’9

Hand size: 9.5

Position: Forward

College/ country: Tulane

Tools: Athleticism, frame

Pros:

  • Explosive athlete
  • Great frame- NBA body
  • High motor
  • Elite defender- quick hands, quick reflexes, quick feet, quick recovery
  • Excellent in transition
  • Easily coachable/ solid intangibles and high IQ
  • Good finisher at the rim- quick driving moves to go along with great touch at the rim

Cons:

  • Needs to tweak shot mechanics- will likely struggle as a shooter early on
  • Shot mechanics are inconsistent. Sometimes shoots with wide stance, sometimes with narrow stance
  • Only average ball handler
  • Awkward passer at times- significantly less comfortable making a left-handed pass
  • Should seek adding a floater to his arsenal

Overall: Frazier is going to have a long NBA career due to his elite defensive traits and high understanding of the game. Frazier is limited on offense to being a slasher. Defensively, he’s difficult to beat off the dribble due to elite recovery time, quick reflexes, great effort, an NBA ready body, and lateral quickness. Frazier checks off every box defensively: skillset, understanding, and versatility. Frazier’s weaknesses mostly lie within offensive skill: jump shooting and playmaking. Frazier has an awkward hitch in his jump shot and he often does not jump or land properly in his jump shot. His overall jump shooting form needs an overhaul- don’t expect Frazier to take many threes early in his NBA career.

As for playmaking, Frazier is a mixed bag. On one hand, he’s got great vision and knows how to use his vision as a slasher. However, his passing mechanics are somewhat awkward- he often uses one handed passes and releases the ball at an awkward arm slot, similar to a sidearm, which is unorthodox. Additionally, his left handed passing is often inaccurate and inconsistent.

NBA Comparison: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Projected draft range: 18-25

Fit with Mavericks:

Frazier would be a perfect fit for what the Mavericks’ roster construction is set up to be. Not only do the Mavs need a defensive stalwart on the wing for the long term, but they also need someone that can play multiple positions and adapt to multiple roles. Frazier checks both of those boxes, and he was easily coachable at Tulane under Mike Dunleavy. His high IQ and high motor are great complementary skills, especially when playing under Rick Carlisle. I’ve been campaigning for a trade of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from Charlotte (which will be discussed further in another article), and Frazier could play a similar role on both ends to that of Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte. However, in order to acquire Frazier, the Mavs would need to trade back into the first round, likely just a few picks outside of the lottery.

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