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Saturday, June 19, 2010
Duke sharpshooter is gifted, but NBA caliber?

By Jeff Caplan

Jon Scheyer played four years at Duke so there's no questioning his intelligence and fundamentals when it comes to the game of basketball.

But, the NBA ain't college.

"The biggest red flag is he going to be able to defend big two guards or points?" said Ryan Blake, the NBA's director of scouting. "Is he a guy that can come off the bench at 6-5, 6-6 and run? He has the mental capability to do it and he knows how to play, better than most of the people out here, most of the top players out here. But it's the physical things that you have the concerns about."

The Dallas Mavericks brought the Dukie to town earlier in the week for a workout, so clearly the 6-foot-5, 180-pound Scheyer is on the Mavs' radar. Dallas doesn't select until the 50th pick in Thursday's draft.

And why wouldn't Scheyer be on the radar? After all, vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has a saying: You can't have too many shooters. Scheyer is projected as a late second-round pick or to go undrafted. If it's the latter, he's certain to find his way onto some team's summer-league squad for a shot to make a training camp roster.

Scheyer can shoot it. He averaged 18.2 points and shot 38.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line for the NCAA national champion Blue Devils. He is a tremendously efficient scorer and makes up for his lack of quickness with his obvious savvy.

Scheyer turned himself into quite a combo guard and had one of the best turnover-to-assist ratios in the nation. His biggest knock, as Blake pointed out, is who is he going to guard at the next level? But, tick of the names of backup point guards and shooting guards and ask yourself if Scheyer can handle them. Maybe, maybe not.

But, with the 50th pick, you don't expect to take a guy that's going to play a major role for your team anyway. Just try and find the Mavs' past second-round picks. Scheyer could be an intriguing pick for the Mavs, who could have used a few more dead-eye shooters in the first-round playoff loss against the Spurs.

A few years ago, when little-used Mavs guard Matt Carroll was regularly knocking down 3-pointers for Charlottle, you might have compared Scheyer to him. Some compare him to Orlando's J.J. Redick, a former Dukie himself.

And really, if Scheyer can be a guy that hits between 38.9 percent and 43.6 percent of his 3s as Carroll did during a three-year stretch, the Mavs would probably be pretty happy.