Sixers analysis

Sixers draft profile: Jared McCain has 3-level scoring potential

McCain shot 41.4 percent beyond the arc in his one college season.

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A scouting report on NBA draft prospect Jared McCain:  

  • Position: Guard  
  • Height: 6-2 (without shoes) 
  • Weight: 203 pounds 
  • College: Duke 

McCain is the latest in a long line of five-star recruits to enter the NBA draft after playing one season at Duke. His role in Duke’s offense increased as the season progressed and he became the Blue Devils’ first freshman since Zion Williamson to have multiple 30-point games in the NCAA tournament. He was more efficient than your typical freshman, shooting 46.2 percent from the field, 41.4 percent from three-point range and 88.5 percent from the free throw line on his way to 14.3 points per game.  


McCain is a natural scorer and does it in a variety of ways. He attempted nearly six three-pointers per game and is comfortable shooting off the catch, pulling up off the dribble and dribbling into step-backs. 

Duke had a senior point guard in Jeremy Roach so McCain was used primarily in an off-ball role early in the season. But later in the season, especially in the NCAA tournament, McCain had more opportunities with the ball in pick-and-roll situations and scored efficiently both driving and taking jump shots when defenders went under screens. He showed off a nice hesitation dribble that can freeze defenders sprinting out to the arc to contest shots.

McCain’s mid-range game is impressive and gives him the potential to become a three-level scorer in the NBA. When he beats an initial closeout, he’s excellent at finding space to make elbow jumpers. Without getting too crazy with an All-Star comparison, he’s a little bit reminiscent of Devin Booker in that facet of his game.

McCain is a surprisingly good rebounder for a 6-foot-2 guard; he averaged 5.0 rebounds on the season and grabbed double-digit rebounds six times in 36 games. He also has quick hands as a help defender and posted 1.1 steals per game.


McCain was used primarily as a shooting guard at Duke, but at 6-foot-2 he profiles more as a point guard in the NBA. He showed flashes of playmaking talent in his lone college season but averaged just 1.9 assists. Teams are going to have to do some projecting to determine if McCain can flourish as a playmaker at the NBA level. 

He’s not a great vertical athlete, which could affect his ability to score over length at the basket and in his mid-range game. It all worked in college, but will it work against bigger, faster, stronger NBA athletes?

Defensively, McCain has a strong build at over 200 pounds, but he’ll have to prove he can stay in front of the lightning-quick guards he’ll see in the NBA because he doesn’t have the height to defend bigger wings.


I can’t shake the notion that McCain could be a 20-PPG NBA scorer hiding in plain sight, both because his college usage was low for a player with his talent and the questions about whether he’s a point guard or a shooting guard. I think he’s a scorer, period.

He knows how to get himself open and could become a lethal kick-out option for Joel Embiid when the big fella draws double teams. 

McCain could also play on ball or off ball the way Tyrese Maxey does. Maxey and McCain would be a small backcourt, but McCain is basically the same size as De’Anthony Melton and we’ve seen Maxey and Melton have plenty of success sharing the floor. While McCain is unlikely to generate deflections at the same rate as Melton, McCain has the potential to be a significantly more impactful offensive weapon.

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