2016 NBA draft profile: Syracuse G Malachi Richardson


Malachi Richardson

Position: SG

Height: 6-6

Weight: 200

Team: Syracuse

Richardson's draft stock began a meteoric rise during Syracuse's improbable run to the Final Four. After enjoying a decent season (13.4 points per game) that saw him make the ACC All-Rookie Team, Richardson averaged 15 points in the NCAA Tournament. The 20-year-old freshman stood out in the Orange's upset of 1-seed Virginia.

Scoring wing players are scarce in the NBA, which makes Richardson a widely-scrutinized but highly-intriguing prospect.

Richardson is a scorer, plain and simple. He's capable of creating his own shot and can shoot off the dribble. His biggest asset may be his instincts. He excels in the pick and roll and reads screens very well. He's flashed his ability to shoot during workouts despite not being the most consistent three-point threat in college (35 percent).

Richardson possesses the ideal body for an NBA wing player at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds with room to add more mass. His 7-foot wingspan will certainly help him on the defensive end of the floor.

The fact that he's a 20-year-old freshman could hurt. The biggest issue is his defense. Not because it's bad, but because nobody knows how good or bad it actually is thanks to Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone. His wingspan is an advantage, but he's not an explosive athlete. 

Be wary of guys who rise up draft boards because of excellent tournaments. Richardson can score in bunches, but he's also streaky. He scored 21 points in the second half alone in Syracuse's comeback win against Virginia. That after scoring only two points in the first half. While he's apparently been hitting from the outside in workouts, 35 percent isn't exactly lights out. 

His shot selection is also something to watch. Too often he drove to the lane and got caught in the air with nowhere to go. Was it a product of being relied on so heavily or a sign of something more?

How he'd fit with the Sixers
He'd be an interesting fit. The Sixers certainly need guards so he fits from that standpoint. He's also a fundamentally sound basketball player on the offensive end, which they definitely need more of. I'm not sure if he fits the mold of what Brett Brown is looking for. He's not great in the open floor and Brown wants to push the basketball.

NBA comparison
This was a little tough, but I'll go with veteran and perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford. Crawford came into the league with a better handle, but both players are instant offense with the ability to score in bunches.

Draft projection
Richardson is rising and could go anywhere from the late lottery to the early 20s.

Contact Us