The point guard situation in Atlanta is far from being a known quality. Sure, the Hawks could play it safe and just re-sign Jeff Teague, but it would be hard to believe Danny Ferry will just look off an option like Chris Paul without at least considering using the cap room for a more impact player. If the Hawks grab use their cap on guys like Iguodala or Pekovic, they could be looking for a point guard in the draft. That being said, the team needs a point guard, and Teague is likely the best one available after CP3. It seems like a long shot that they’d go through the draft to get a point, but if they do, Shane Larkin may be the best one available at the Hawks’ picks.
Measurements: Larkin is a 20 year old prospect, whose birthday comes in early October. Being 21 on what will potentially be open night means Shane is likely stuck right next to the mean age for players in the upcoming draft. Larkin is only 5′ 11.5″ in shoes, and his short 5′ 10.75″ wingspan doesn’t make up any ground. Size is definitely the big issue in Shane’s scouting report, as being forced to guard 6′ 4″ opponents may become a daunting task in the NBA. The thing that is especially alarming in excess to this is Larkin’s weight being only 171 pounds. In comparison, fellow barely 6′ point guard Ty Lawson had 26 pounds on him, being 197 pounds during his predraft measurements. On the other side of the coin, Larkin is a tremendous athlete. Only 3.8% of his weight is body fat was the second lowest in the entire combine, and he was only beat out by the probably undrafted free agent Carrick Felix. On top of him being a sculpted frame, he had the highest vertical at 44 inches and the best 3/4 court sprint time coming in at 3.08 seconds. His lane agility was more modestly came in at the top of the pack, with a time of 10.64 seconds. Compared to Ty Lawson again, Larkin is easily the better athlete.
Numbers: Larkin shot 47.9% from the field last year, and 40.6% from three. He averaged 14.5 points per game, and statistically one would assume he was looking to shoot first. His 3.1 free throw attempts in 36 minutes is a slightly surprising considering the amount he shot, so there is a little worry that Larkin may shy away from contact rather than being forceful in the paint. Shane was also pretty solid in the pick and roll. Miami ran the play for him 514 times over the course of a season, which is the second most an individual ran that certain play. And even fighting through there was redundancy in the amount the Miami ran the play, Larkin stayed extremely effective at 1.004 PPP on this particular play type. As for the other numbers to his game, it seems as though he is a middling passer with 4.6 assists. He turned the ball over 2.3 times a game, which is an expected amount for the someone with the ball in his hands that much.
Offensive Style: Larkin’s game starts with dribbling the ball, his tight low to the ground dribble makes him a tough player to strip the ball from, and makes him very fast with the ball in his hands. This is what results in Larkin being such a controlling force within an offense, as Miami was based around him dribbling. He has the ability to pull up from anywhere conceivable from the floor, and sinks shots off the dribble with robust balance. However, Larkin isn’t the best finisher at the rim, nor at drawing contact. He has the smallest wingspan and shortest standing reach in DraftExpress’s entire database, which only augments the issue. Drawing contact could potentially shore up the issue, which is a common fix that young players need. As a passer, he finds men swiftly in pick and roll situations. He is slightly more creative than his assist numbers seem, however his size can be an issue in can torment the width of his passing lanes.
Defensive Style: Larkin can sometimes lose sight of his man trying to steal the ball, but was a pretty average defender overall at Miami. His largest contribution on that side of the floor was creating turnovers still, so there is reward to some of the risks he takes. As for manning up his guy, he was never constantly getting beat even when his effort waned. At the next level though, his concern is a as always found in his size. If he keeps his effort at a high level though, he would likely be an average defender.
Fit with the Hawks: This is largely determined by if Teague or another point guard is taking up space in Atlanta. There are definitely bigger needs on the roster, but it wouldn’t be overly surprising if they took Larkin to be a back up with Shelvin Mack being the only PG on the roster. Yet if the organization feels swaying CP3 is a dangerous risk and overpaying Teague seems like an inadequate choice, Shane is definitely a potential option in a seemingly weak point guard free agent class. As for how Larkin could potentially gel with Budenholzer, pick and roll is definitely going to be a large portion of next season’s offense. Shane is accomplished at the college level in the pick and roll, so he would be able to gel in the new Hawk’s offense more quickly than other prospects. However, point guard is the deepest position out of the batch of second round prospects. If getting just a back up is what the team desires, one could easily think that grabbing Pierre Jackson or Ray McCallum with one of the two second round picks that the Hawks have would be a better option.