Wade Baldwin IV
In a time when organizations are desperate to find the next great floor general, all point guards are getting an extra look from NBA front offices as the draft approaches. Wade Baldwin IV is a the beneficiary of that increased attention, but that has more to do with his all-around potential than any team's specific needs.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
In two years at Vanderbilt, Baldwin more than left his mark. After taking over the starting PG reigns in the middle of his freshman season, Baldwin made a leap in production as a sophomore. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in 2015-16 to help lead the Commodores to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons.
With the size, shooting and defensive tools to be a terror for opponents on a nightly basis, Baldwin will have plenty of franchises waiting for a chance to snag him at the next level.
One of the biggest positives for Baldwin is his size. I know, you're thinking that 6-4 isn't exactly an eye-popping height for a point guard. However, he boasts an impressive 6-10 wingspan. That helps Baldwin harass ball handlers and clog up passing lanes on defense. On the flip side, he can keep defenders at bay when dribbling himself and find extra room to make passes to teammates.
Speaking of passing, Baldwin has no problem setting up teammates. After all, he had plenty of practice feeding Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns when the two played together at Saint Joseph High School in New Jersey. But Baldwin can provide his own offense too, particularly from long distance. The 20-year-old shot better than 40.0 percent from three-point range in each of his two seasons at Vandy.
While Baldwin can consistently knock down outside shots and get in the paint, he lacks the in-between game that truly makes a point guard elite. He doesn't currently have the instincts or nuances of how to attack "in the yard" as Doug Collins likes to say (space between three-point line and the paint), whether that is off the pick-and-roll or on a midrange jumper.
Plus, while Baldwin can use his length and solid strength to get inside, he doesn't always finish when he gets there. Per Synergy Sports Technology, Baldwin connected on just 38.0 percent of his halfcourt shots at the rim. He needs to develop a floater or scoop shot to be more effective when venturing in among the trees in the NBA game.
At 6-4, Baldwin also remains very upright when dribbling, which isn't the best recipe for a guy who's handle could use some work and is about to battle against ball-hawking PGs every night.
How he'd fit with Sixers
Pretty well. Like I mentioned earlier, Baldwin wouldn't have an issue distributing to the Sixers' big men after playing with Towns growing up. Throw in the fact that he's a knock-down shooter for a team in severe need of outside scoring, and Baldwin would appear to be a strong match.
I'll go with George Hill. Much like the Indiana point guard, Baldwin has solid size for the position and can shoot from deep. They both may not wow you at any point in a game, but you'll look at the box score at the end of the night and see they filled it up pretty well.
Late-lottery to late-teens. Baldwin will have some competition to be the second point guard to come off the board (assuming Kris Dunn goes first) in Demetrius Jackson and perhaps Tyler Ulis, but there are enough teams in the teens needing guard help that he shouldn't last too long.