Zach LaVine’s departure from UCLA after his freshman season was thought of as a mistake by some. He didn’t start for UCLA and rarely collected big minutes, let alone put up huge numbers. However, his abilities and potential were very evident.
After the NBA draft combine, LaVine proved he may have made the correct decision. His athleticism, measurables and touch were all fantastic. Although whether or not he makes it into the lottery is still up in the air, the main question regarding his game is actually not about anything he does or doesn’t do. It’s about what he is.
Chad Ford from ESPN spoke with a few scouts and general managers of the topic of LaVine and what position he will be at the next level.
“I don’t understand why everyone’s trying to make him a 1. He’s got the size and skill set of an NBA 2-guard. Just let him be. I think that’s what he is. Why are we trying to convert him into a point [guard]? He doesn’t need to be to be an attractive pick,” Ford quoted an NBA source as saying.
Of course, another scout had a differing opinion. Although he admitted LaVine will never be a pass-first guy, there are current NBA point guards with the same knock against them, and they manage just fine for themselves. The second scout compared him to a better version of young Jamal Crawford when he was point for the Bulls.
The decision on what position LaVine is meant for may be more important than they’d like to admit though. If a certain teams feels he cannot play the one, that will surely effect their decision to draft him or not. Likewise, if teams believe he can play both spots effectively, it could vault him higher in the lottery than previously expected.