Frank Kaminsky had one heck of a season.
He has a legitimate NBA skill. He can shoot the ball.
What could he turn out to be in the NBA?
Here is my opinion.Like I said above, Kaminsky had one heck of a season.
There is no question about it.
He was named AP Player of the Year and helped the Wisconsin Badgers to a regular season Big 10 title, Big 10 tournament title, and a second straight Final Four appearance.
His team couldn’t close the deal in the national title game against Duke, though.
He had 21 points and 12 rebounds in the contest. He did his part.
I’m sure a lot of people know his story. When he got to Wisconsin, he was big, but not very good. He wrote a letter to the University of Wisconsin-Madison a few days ago, and you can find it here. The focus of the letter explained how much the basketball program and the university helped him overcome various obstacles that stood in his way. I have to say, it was a very good, well-thought-out letter.
Back to the court, though.
Kaminsky was a matchup nightmare for opponents this season. Not only could he step out and shoot the three, but he could also step out, fake the three, and drive by bigger opponents on his way to the cup. He also displayed a very nice inside game. Being 7-feet tall really helps, but his footwork was very impressive and he had an array of moves in his arsenal.
For a big guy, he is very versatile. I believe he can play the four in the NBA, as well as the five. He always seems to be one step quicker than his opponent, even if it was Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. Heck, he can even put it on the deck and get around defenders on the perimeter. However, I don’t know if he will be doing it much in the NBA.
He isn’t a horrible defender, but he isn’t a great one, either. I don’t see why he couldn’t become a decent defender at the next level, though. It will be difficult for him to matchup up against some power forwards, but he has good smarts and instincts when it comes to the game of basketball. He has another sense for the game on defense, and that alone will draw interest from a lot of teams. He does a pretty good job of defending without fouling, which is huge. He doesn’t try to be flashy on defense, either. He uses his size and brains to maximize his limited defensive ability. In the end, it might make him an even better player.
He is a solid rebounder. He averaged a little more than eight per game this season, and I think it will translate to the NBA. I don’t believe he will be a rebounding machine, but he could definitely average around five or six per game. It all depends how much time he spends on the perimeter and in the post.
As I mentioned earlier, Kaminsky is a good shooter. I’m not sure how much of it will translate to the NBA because of the distance difference in arcs, but I think he could become a pretty decent three-pointer shooter. Nonetheless, a threat, at least. I think he will be move effective in the post, though. He has a lot of moves and good touch. He scored at a very high rate in the post while in college. The one question I have, and will have to wait-and-see for an answer, is how will he deal with NBA length and athleticism in the post? I don’t see it affecting him too much, but I definitely see it as something he will need to adjust to.
My biggest question about Kaminsky is what will he be? Is he more of a center? Is he a power forward? Where will he play on the floor? Will he be used to space the floor? Will he be used inside? Those are sub-questions to my main question. How he is used by the team that drafts him will provide us with those answers.
In my mock draft, I have him headed to Indiana. I think he would be a good fit on that team because he can also play in the mid-post, like David West, and he is an underrated passer. He would give Roy Hibbert more room to operate inside and he would be able to stretch the defense for Paul George.
It’s all speculation of course, but I see Kaminsky as the next Rik Smits, and that’s not a bad comparison by any means. Smits averaged 14.8 points per game for his career and he played 10 seasons. He never showed the perimeter shooting ability that Kaminsky has shown, and I think that’ll be the biggest difference between the two players. Kaminsky has that ability. Smits never did.
Kaminsky should have a good NBA career, provided he gets a chance to do so. He has worked too hard not to, and it would be a disappointment if he was a bust.