The SEC Tournament’s MVP, an All-SEC and All-Freshman selection, and FIBA gold medalist Kennedy Chandler stood out as a freshman at Tennessee. On the year, Chandler averaged 14 PPG, 4.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, 2.2 SPG, and 2.5 TOPG on shooting splits of 46/38/61. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Kennedy Chandler
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’5/8’1
Hand size: 9.5
Pre-Draft team: Tennessee
Tools: Quickness, playmaking
- Incredible quickness
- Good spot up shooter
- Finds corner shooters with ease
- Thrives at drive & kick
- Good at probing defenses inside the arc to find open shooters/cutters
- Comfortable with both hands
- Quick to get his shot up at the rim
- Good athlete
- Intelligent defender who knows where to be at the right time
- Quick handles; can stop on a dime for jumpers
- Forces lots of turnovers
- Needs to add strength
- Needs a more consistent jumper, especially off the dribble; low free throw percentage
- Struggles to shoot over defenses
- Needs a more reliable floater
- Jump shot can often lose balance
- Unlikely to be a positive defender
- Forces passes in traffic at times
- Strictly a below the rim finisher
- Needs to be more consistent in using his left hand more
- Can’t contest jumpers without leaving his feet
Kennedy Chandler is a quick undersized playmaking point guard that has potential as a floor general, but he needs to overcome some limitations before doing so in the NBA.
Starting with the room for improvement, offensively Chandler struggles both as a shooter and finisher. As a shooter, Chandler struggles to shoot off the dribble, but thrives as a spot up shooter. The best area that Chandler uses his spot-up shooting is off hand-offs, especially out of give & go’s.
Chandler has a hard time consistently hitting and getting shots off against taller defenders, which limits his ability to manipulate mismatches against bigs in 1-on-1 situations. He also struggles to hit pull-up jump shots, and with an alarmingly low free throw percentage, there is a somewhat likely outcome where Chandler struggles to shoot in the NBA. If that happens, his finishing ability, which is a massive swing-skill, becomes key in determining his NBA success.
As a finisher, Chandler, as most players his size are, is strictly a below-the-rim finisher, so he must get better at using floaters (he shot 12/37 for the season on runners and floaters) to beat rim protectors. Chandler has good touch at the rim and knows how to use the high glass in traffic, but must get more consistent at making shots at the rim. With his quick first step and ambidexterity, finishing is Chandler’s biggest swing skill.
Kennedy Chandler’s high basketball IQ is shown on both ends, with playmaking on offense, and turnover-forcing on defense. As a playmaker, he thrives at the drive & kick, pick & roll, and overall at manipulating defenses to get cutters and shooters easy looks. Despite being undersized, Chandler has a great understanding of where teammates need to be and are on the floor at all times. Defensively, Chandler is a likely negative as an on-ball defender to physical traits such as size, wingspan, and strength. However, his off-ball defense and team defense abilities are strong, which makes him easy to hide on that end while still being able to play to his best strength of forcing steals.
Chandler is a tough evaluation because of multiple swing skills in shooting, finishing, and using his height to his advantage. Some team fits that complement Chandler’s game are Indiana, where Rick Carlisle can maximize yet another undersized point guard, as well as Washington, Milwaukee, and New York.
Similar to: Jeff Teague, Chucky Atkins, Isaiah Canaan, Tremont Waters
Projected draft range: 20-35
Expected role: Backup point guard that can create for others and scramble defenses as a floor general, while forcing turnovers on defense.
Unplayable if: Jump shooting and ability to expose mismatches are limited.
Exceeds expectations if: Low free throw percentage doesn’t cap his jump shooting, and his floater becomes a real weapon off of his quick first step.