Stop the Grumbles: Taking a Stand for Rashad

Rashad Vaughn was the pick I wanted.  “Who needs Bobby Portis when you got yourself a little Jabari Parker!” said Reido nine months ago.  Back to back years in my Milwaukee Bucks fandom they selected the guy I wanted, these owners are killing it. They didn’t even take Sam Dekker for fan morale!  Joy oh joy.  Our biggest need was shooting from the wing position, and we addressed it.  Rashad may not be the fix immediately, but as we’ve seen talented 19 year olds take some time. Khris Middleton at 19 is not the Khris Middleton we know today.

Going into his freshman year at UNLV, Rashad was considered one of the top, if not the top, shooting guard in his class.  He had offers from some of the usual high power teams across the country, but he chose to go to UNLV where he’d have to showcase himself and carry the load.  He was forced to create his own shot most of his time with the Rebels.  His efficiency may have been the worse for it, which is asking for your draft stock to fall in today’s NBA, but it tells you something about the kid.  He likes the spotlight and believes in himself.  While a Rebel, he showed an expanded skill set making him a threat from anywhere on the floor.  He could take you off the dribble, jump into your silly-ass, “enforcer” teammate, adjust his shot and finish off the glass.  He could avoid the “enforcer” completely by stopping on a dime for a floater, or maybe he’d pull up from three in your face.  Nothing worse than a guy pulling up from deep, when you’re in good defensive position and hitting it.  He showed the ability to hit contested shots, something that bodes well for the all parties involved.  And when Shad wasn’t looking for his shot, he showed a soft touch and good vision in the play-making department.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

So far in the NBA, he’s been reduced to a spot-up shooter.  I have to fight the urge to yell at him for not shooting whenever he has enough space to put one up.  It’s not fair to judge him as a prospect based on how many threes he hits this year.  He’s much more than a spot up shooter, so when he does get the ball he wants to make a good basketball play, not just chuck it.  I honestly think the coaching staff has given him the OK to just pull up, but he seems to want to show he can do more than just spot up.  His skill set just outweighs his role right now.

The most important thing Vaughn brings to the table is his potential.  He has good size for the position at 6’6”, mixed with above average athleticism.  It’s not hard to envision him as a starting shooting guard in the league; he may not be on Andrew Wiggins level, but he has the talent to be a borderline All-Star in the years to come.  My biggest concern with him is on the defensive end.  I’m not sure he’s ever bought into that end of the floor in his basketball life, and much like MCW will probably never figure his shot out beyond the age of 24, Rashad is running out of time to improve his drive to shut down his opponent.  That being said, he will undoubtedly improve his game.  For example, I think he’ll definitely work on moving without the ball to free himself on offense, but I’m not sure he’ll master getting around a tough screen.  It’ll be up to him to become more than an offensive player, but even he doesn’t, he’ll be an incredibly talented sixth-man for us.  My worst case scenario is essentially Shabazz Muhammad.  A talented player we can hide on the bench to get buckets and avoid him guarding the top tier scorers in the league. In my opinion, the front office has nailed it three drafts in a row.  Vaughn will end up either being a good pick, or a great pick.  We might be one of those teams that drafts a player and other fans go shiiiit, of course the Spurs took Kyle Anderson.


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