Name: Wendell Carter Jr
Position: Power Forward
Birth Date: April 16, 1999
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
NBA Comparison: Al Horford
Wendell Carter Jr is a do-it-all big man out of Duke University. He uses a strong frame, and a great feel for the game to make a living on a basketball court. He was the perfect compliment for Marvin Bagley III’s athleticism in Duke’s front court this season.
Carter will enter the NBA at a mere 19 years old with the awareness and feel of a ten-year veteran. His basketball IQ and ability to do the little things on a basketball court will allow him to excel at the NBA level while his body and athleticism continue to develop.
Carter combines a strong 260-pound frame with skill and coordination that is rarely seen in a big his size. He possesses agile footwork that allows him to be quick and unpredictable in the post. Carter uses his strength, size and great hands to grab rebounds at a high rate.
He demonstrates incredible ball-handling skills for someone his size. Carter Jr. shows the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack closeouts when he catches the ball on the perimeter. As he develops his handle and jump shot, it’s not far-fetched to assume he can become a solid jump shooter off the dribble.
He shoots the ball well from beyond the arc. He shot the three at around a 40% clip at Duke.
Carter showcases an excellent feel for the game. His assist-to-turnover ratio sat at about 1:1 at Duke. He shows signs of being a great passing big man at the NBA level. He possesses the ability to pass out of the post and find cutters when he has the ball at the top of the key. His ability to set screens and instincts on the roll or pop make him ideal for today’s NBA. He’ll exceed in dribble hand off situation due to his handle and ability to read the defense. His ability to do all the little things compares to the Boston Celtics’ Al Horford.
Carter shows incredible awareness defensively. He does a very good job defending without a fouling especially at the rim. Uses his length while defending the rim, averaging two blocks per game during his one season at Duke. Uses precise positioning to make up for his slow feet defensively.
Despite great defensive awareness, Carter possesses slow feet and is a few inches short for an NBA center. Carter tends to get finished over at the rim by other big’s. He might end up being a four at the NBA, which isn’t ideal for him.
He needs to polish some things in his offensive game. Carter struggles when he is forced to speed up his release due to opponents closing out on him. Needs to learn to attack those closeouts with his strong ball-handling ability instead of settling for the contested jumper.
There is room for improvement when it comes to Carter finishing at the rim. He is not an explosive leaper by any means. Regardless, he needs to develop some craftiness at the rim. He will struggle on the inside against NBA length and needs to use his strength to make up for his shortcomings athletically.
Carter shows potential for elite passing ability but needs to improve passing out of double teams. He too often rushed passes early, when teams threw an extra defender at him.
Carter’s size, shooting ability and feel for the game make him an ideal NBA big in this day and age. He has parts of his game that he needs to work on, their is no doubting that. His IQ makes up for a lot of his shortcomings athletically. Carter plays with an obvious knowledge that he’s not the quickest player on the run or the best leaper.
He compares to Horford as a do-it-all type of big man. With the success the Celtics had in the playoffs with Horford as the head of the snake, it would not be surprising for teams to see that type of potential in Wendell Carter. Carter projects to go in the top-10. Don’t be surprised if he’s the surprise player to go in the top-5 this year.