Utah Jazz NBA Draft Prospects: Desmond Bane
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA draft is rapidly approaching and teams are in full preparation mode ahead of the November 18 event. The Utah Jazz own the 23rd pick in the first round of the draft and will have a healthy slate of prospects to choose from. One of those options is Desmond Bane, the sharpshooting guard from TCU who spent four years with the Horned Frogs and is rising up draft boards.
The Jazz own only one pick in the draft after sending their second-rounder out in a trade for Kyle Korver in 2018.
Desmond Bane: 6’6, 215 lbs G/F – Sr – TCU
16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 49% FG/43% 3p/80% FT
Desmond Bane’s intrigue as a pro prospect is mostly focused around his impressive shooting numbers, where he connected on more than 43 percent of his three-point shots during his four-year career at TCU. The guard has somewhat bizarre mechanics on his shot, which looks more like a push shot than a traditional jumper, but the results are hard to argue with. He gets his shot off quickly, and it looks the same every time it leaves his hands so he won’t need to fix it to succeed at the NBA level.
His terrific efficiency follows him inside of the arc where he’s a career 49 percent shooter from the floor and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Bane shows good touch when attacking towards the rim and gets open cutting to the hoop off of the ball.
He’s a straight-line driver and doesn’t always to the rim, but due to his excellent touch, he can score from a lot of different angles. Shows some signs of a pull-up game as well. He should be just fine attacking closeouts with a simple dribble or two towards the rim then finding a secondary shot.
In addition to his terrific shooting, Bane is a smart ball mover who doesn’t over hunt his own shot and makes quick decisions when moving the ball. Proved at TCU that he sees the floor well, often finding shooters in the weakside corner with either hand off the dribble.
Really enjoyed chatting with TCU's Desmond Bane this afternoon for another ESPN Film Session. Impressive story from a high school graduating class of 20 people to having only one high major offer to now looking like a potential draft-day steal given his size, shooting + IQ. pic.twitter.com/nOEvnqtW4b
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) April 23, 2020
His smart passing also makes him a threat in the pick and roll where he understands angles on how to find a big man rolling to the rim. He’s a high IQ player and person and should be able to understand his role at the NBA without trying to do too much.
Having played four years at TCU, Bane is one of the more NBA-ready players in the draft and could find his way into a rotation sooner than other rookies projected to be drafted late in the first round.
He’s a mistake-free defender. The senior guard makes good plays off the ball while rotating in a timely manner. As a result, Bane finds himself getting a lot of deflections despite lacking elite size.
Physically he’s ready to play in the NBA.
There are a few questions about Bane that may reveal more bust potential than some would like to think. The first knock are his questionable measurables. While Bane’s 6’6 height is more than adequate for an NBA guard, his negative wingspan (6’5) to height ratio may limit his defensive potential. It also may prevent him from getting off as many threes at the NBA level, though his quick release will help.
His strength, footwork, and understanding of the game served him well against lesser competition in the Big 12, but he likely won’t ever be a lockdown defender at the next level. He’s a two-way player, but not a traditional lockdown 3-and-D wing like his reputation may imply.
NBA Prospect Play of the Day: TCU's Desmond Bane does a great job scoring/facilitating out of 'off ball screens'. Can sprint/fade into 3s, curl into jumpers/floaters or drop off to the big. High IQ, shoots it easy. Also comfortable playing PnR @ 6-6. Young senior at 21 years old. pic.twitter.com/lmscXghF7S
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) March 27, 2020
Bane can probably guard both backcourt positions, but he may struggle to guard bigger threes due to his short arms.
Despite a few flashy finishes, Bane mostly plays below the rim. He’s an average leaper, and his short arms don’t allow him to finish over defenders near the hoop. However, his and ability to make space with his body helped his finishing numbers.
The most concerning element about Bane’s game is his mediocre ballhandling skills. His dribble is high and loose which may prevent him from even serving as a reliable second option ball handler at the next level.
In the halfcourt, a bad handle can prevent a player from being an offensive initiator, limiting them to a role as a spot-up shooter who attacks closeouts. Truthfully, that is likely Bane’s role at the next level, but it lowers his versatility as a pick and roll player where he showed some promise in college.
How Bane Fits With The Jazz In The Draft?
Bane isn’t so much a great fit with the Jazz as he is a player that just fits in the modern NBA. Every team in the NBA can use an elite three-point shooter who defends his position and makes smart reads off the ball on both ends.
Bane isn’t a point guard, and likely can’t defend threes full time, so his future potential as a starter in Utah is based on Donovan Mitchell to the point guard spot. The same could be said for his role off the bench depending on what the Jazz do with Jordan Clarkson this offseason.
TCU's Desmond Bane went off for 30 on 12-16 vs. George Mason. Hit a few 3s from beyond NBA range. Moves without the ball, good shooter off screens but also flashed the pullup and runner. Averaging 3.5 assists on season as well. Versatile shotmaker, good passer. pic.twitter.com/o7StMG6lDS
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) December 31, 2019
Due to his lack of ball-handling, he may struggle in lineups that also feature Royce O’Neale, especially if the Jazz don’t have a big that can put the ball on the floor (current they don’t). It’s a skill deficiency the Jazz addressed by adding Clarkson to the mix in place of Dante Exum, but the team still struggled with the second unit with only one player on the floor who could create a shot for himself.
As a result, the Jazz may prefer someone who is more of a “basketball player” and less of a specialist. Quin Snyder has praised the former before when talking about players he likes due to their offensive versatility.
Bane would be able to step in and help the Jazz in certain lineups that need a floor-spacing ball mover, but fans who have seen comparisons to Malcolm Brogdon circulating online might be disappointed with his overall game.
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