A two-time all-Big Ten conference player and the 2018 NIT MVP, Lamar Stevens had one of the best careers in Penn State history. As a senior, he averaged 17.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.2 BPG, and 2.5 TOPG on shooting splits of 42/26/72. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Lamar Stevens
Height/Weight: 6’8/ 225
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’9/ 8’5
Hand size: 9.75
College: Penn State
Tools: Athleticism, slashing, defense
- Long strides- above average first step
- Good slasher
- Capable of creating space off the dribble
- Good vision and finds shooters well
- Great athleticism from a standstill
- Excellent at initiating contact and drawing fouls
- Strong defender that can guard multiple positions
- NBA ready body
- Outstanding recovery ability on defense
- Jump shoot needs total revamp; guide hand slightly interferes with release
- Averages more turnovers than assists
- Needs to become more consistent finishing at the rim
Lamar Stevens is a versatile forward with an outstanding physical profile. With an NBA ready body at 6’8 with an almost 7’0 wingspan, Stevens also has explosive athleticism that helps him thrive as both a slasher on offense, and a modern defender on defense. With Stevens, it comes down to how well he can neutralize his lack of a jump shot while maximizing his strengths as a slasher, cutter, defender, and passer.
With Stevens’ maturity, physically, mentally, and in terms of well-rounded skills, whichever team takes him on will be able to focus solely on refining his jump shot. Stevens shot many mid range shots at Penn State, but was a hesitant, and often unsuccessful, shooter. It’s safe to say that his jump shot is unlikely to be a weapon in the NBA for at least a couple of years, so NBA teams must be patient if they are willing to take him on. His touch is lacking, which may be a hurdle that cannot be cleared, but his form also needs to be refined, mostly with smoothness from the guide-hand.
Defensively, Stevens is capable of switching onto guards and comfortably guarding forwards and post-minded big men. His combination of strength, size, and mobility make him hard to blow by, and hard to separate from. Stevens has capably guarded multiple NBA prospects throughout the year, including Kira Lewis. Stevens should be a solid all-around defender at the next level, capable of playing strong off-ball defense, while also having the physical tools to stay with his man on-ball. Defense is likely Stevens’ calling card as he goes pro.
NBA Comparison: Floor: Stanley Johnson; ceiling: Portland Gerald Wallace
Projected draft range: 50-undrafted
Fit with Mavs:
As Dallas continues to search for lockdown defenders, Lamar Stevens may be worth taking a gamble on as an undrafted free agent in some fashion, whether it be a training camp invite or two-way contract. If the Mavs take a chance on Stevens, it would be the second year in a row taking a high-level defender from Penn State. If Stevens does end up on Dallas, look for him to be a spot-minutes guy, needing to come in to stop defensive bleeding and running the floor in transition. Whichever team takes a chance on Stevens will have to either live with the fact that Stevens will likely never be an effective shooter, or completely re-work his jump shot. Stevens is likely to be worth the gamble.