NBA Draft Profile: UNLV C Brandon McCoy

Brandon McCoy

Position: Center

Height: 7-0

Philadelphia 76ers

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Weight: 250

School: UNLV

Brandon McCoy certainly looks the part. There's no doubt the seven-foot 19-year-old has the physical profile of an NBA center. Whether he can develop into one is another question. 

The Mountain West Freshman of the Year, McCoy decided to leave UNLV after one season. He probably would've boosted his draft stock with another year in school, but McCoy felt he was ready.

With performances like his 33-point, 10-rebound night on Dec. 12, 2017, against Arizona and likely No. 1 pick DeAndre Ayton, you can see why McCoy thinks he's cut out for the next level. And 16.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game is impressive overall production.

But McCoy, a well-rounded kid who can play five instruments, isn't close to Ayton as a prospect. He's not an elite athlete and realistically, his game still needs a good amount of work before he can help an NBA team.

Strengths
Along with his legit NBA size, McCoy's consistent production is a big plus. McCoy had 12 games with 20 or more points and 19 games with 10 or more rebounds, which suggests that his effort rarely wavered. He's not going to leap over people, but McCoy knows how to use his body to snag rebounds in his vicinity. He has soft touch around the rim, can knock down an open jumper and shot 72.5 percent from the foul line, all signs that point to him having a decent midrange game at the next level.  

Weaknesses
McCoy had 87 turnovers and 17 assists last season. Even for a center, that's an absurdly bad ratio, and it underlines his subpar feel for the game and inability to deal with double-teams. His lack of explosiveness is concerning when projecting his defensive future, especially given his below-average 7-2 wingspan. McCoy's shooting mechanics are somewhat clunky, as he flares out his left elbow at an odd angle. Finally, it's a relatively small thing, but McCoy doesn't set screens well. He often just sort of acts like he's going to set a screen and then slips before actually making any real contact.

NBA comparison
It's not easy to find a player exactly like McCoy in the modern NBA game - most seven-footers nowadays are either in the super-athletic, freakish-wingspan mold or they're blessed with a ton of offensive talent and the ability to knock down threes. Looking back a few years, Erick Dampier and Johan Petro are two comparisons that come to mind for McCoy. If McCoy is going to have a long career, he'll have to become the sort of reliable defensive presence in the middle that Dampier was. If McCoy isn't able to stick around at the next level, he may be something like Petro, a player with an NBA body, some midrange ability and potential who didn't have an intuitive feel for the game and couldn't figure out to make a positive defensive impact.  

How he'd fit with the Sixers
As a rookie, McCoy would likely spend a lot of time, if not the entire season, in Delaware with the 87ers. The Sixers' current backup center situation is somewhat uncertain, with Amir Johnson an unrestricted free agent and no official decision yet on Richaun Holmes' $1.6 million club option for next season. But, if the Sixers took McCoy, the goal would be for him to eventually be one of the guys backing up Joel Embiid.

Draft projection
McCoy will probably be selected in the second round, although it's possible a team could reach for him late in the first. However, his stock has been falling after an unimpressive combine performance. He'll likely be available when the Sixers pick at Nos. 38 and 39, maybe even at Nos. 56 and 60.

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