3D wing

Malachi Richardson Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

Richardson went under the radar for most of the season as a first year player on a team that didn’t impress a whole lot and ended up the 10th seed in the tournament.

Then Syracuse made the Final Four, Richardson applied for the draft to take advantage of the new rules that allowed him to get feedback from the league before make a final decision and now he’s expected to be drafted midway through the first round.

He’s a similar player to Luwawu-Cabarrot, alternating flashes of extremely appealing play with stretches of behavior that is not conducive to team success.

In his best moments, Richardson displayed the ability to maintain his balance through contact and finish against size at the rim, use his seven-foot wingspan to contest shots and shut down passing lanes, nail catch-and-shoot three-point shots in rhythm and make the pocket pass out of the pick-and-roll.

But he was far more prone to taking terrible pull-ups early in the shot clock and playing lazy defense within a system that already didn’t prepare him particularly well for the pros. Despite having a nice shooting stroke, Richardson hit just 35.3% of his 224 three-point shots and 22.5% of his 102 mid-range jumpers – according to hoop-math, consequences of his discouraging shot selection. And Syracuse allowed fewer points per 100 possessions without him on the floor, according to our stats database.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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