One of the fastest risers on my board, Wendell Carter Jr has had a strong showing in his freshman season. Carter has continued to produce at the same level in conference play as he did against easier opponents and during out-of-conference play. Here is my scouting report on Wendell Carter Jr:
Main tools: Frame, athleticism
- NBA ready body
- Excellent athleticism; runs the floor well, long strides
- Improving jump shooter
- Excellent rebounder
- Can put the ball on the floor. Playmaking upside
- Has perimeter defense skills- quick reaction time and able to stay with guys on the drive. Here is an example
- Pass first out of the post
- Has shown promise going vertical since conference play
- Relies too much on strength at times
- Inconsistent shooter. Must continue polishing jumper
- Needs to play above the rim more often
Overall: Wendell Carter Jr has shown unicorn potential in his game with very few flaws. He can do it all, and with some polish in his jumper, such as speeding up his release, he can become a consistent threat from deep. He’s shown promise as a rim protector with the ability to go vertical, which is a huge key in becoming an effective rim protector. However, he may not be able to be a full time rim protector, as he plays both a power forward and center. Carter can step out on the perimeter and defend wings or slower guards. Carter is strong and long, giving him an edge in his development for his age.
His ability to create and succeed offensively raises his ceiling to potential star status. He can put the ball on the floor and has shown to be a willing passer, especially out of the post. He plays with his head up and has great vision because of it. He should be able to earn minutes in an NBA rotation from game 1. Carter’s game is a great fit with the modern NBA, due to his passing ability, 3 point shooting, and rim protection.
NBA Comparison: Floor- more athletic Tony Battie; ceiling- Al Horford
Projected draft range: Top 10
How he would fit with the Mavs:
Carter would fit very well with Dallas, due to the hole that will be created this summer with most of the big men on the Mavericks set to become free agents. Carter also brings much needed top-level athleticism in the front court, which can help in the P&R on both ends. The Mavs have desperately needed a center that can disrupt alley-oops since Tyson Chandler departed, and adding another aerial threat to the big man rotation can only be positive. Wendell Carter would also fit well because of his passing abilities. As mentioned in previous posts, Carlisle loved DeJuan Blair’s passing abilities when he was on the roster. Carter’s passing ability should give Carlisle more reason to trust Carter with the ball in his hands, allowing for Carter to more easily reach his ceiling. Wendell Carter Jr does everything the Mavs have sought from a center since Dirk entered the league. The only other top big man I see as a better fit with the Mavericks is DeAndre Ayton.