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Kevin McCullar Jr. 2024 NBA Draft Profile

Kevin McCullar NBA
Kevin McCullar was a five-year college player who could vie for a late first-round bid. What does his NBA draft profile look like? (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin McCullar Jr. 2024 NBA Draft Profile

We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2024 NBA Draft. Today, we are continuing our draft profile series with Kansas’ Kevin McCullar, one of the most important players in their rotation this last season. What does his NBA draft profile look like? Without further ado, let’s dive into it!

Height: 6’7″ (wingspan, standing reach unavailable because he did not test at combine)

Weight: 212 lbs

Draft age: 23.3

Position: Wing

McCullar, who was a four-star recruit out of Karen Wagner High School in San Antonio, Texas, was a top-140 recruit and a top-15 recruit in the state of Texas during the 2019 recruiting cycle, per 247Sports. A few of the Texas recruits ranked above him were RJ Hampton, Tyrese Maxey, De’Vion Harmon, Will Baker (Vendetta legend!), Jahmi’us Ramsey and Drew Timme, among others.

He originally chose Texas Tech, where he spent three seasons, over Baylor, Houston, Lousiville, Oklahoma TCU and Minnesota, among others. McCullar was a two-time All-Big-12 Honorable Mention honoree in his final two seasons at Texas Tech, where he averaged 10.2 combined points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7a assists and 1.5 steals on 40.8 percent shooting.

He then transferred to the Jayhawks to play under Bill Self, where his game reached new heights in 2023-24. McCullar was an integral part of their very talented six-man rotation, averaging 18.3 points on 45.4 percent shooting and 56.7 true shooting. Though the 6-foot-7 wing was limited to 26 and missed six of the team’s final 12 games (including the NCAA Tournament) with a bone bruise in his knee.

Let’s dive into some of his strengths and weaknesses, shall we?

Strengths:

McCullar excelled as a slasher off the bounce throughout his career. Even though he wasn’t the most proficient shooter from beyond the arc, he was streaky and leveraged his floor spacing into attacking closeouts.

He was a strong finisher at the rim, converting on 63.5 percent of his attempts at the rim, where he took roughly 42 percent of his shot attempts. McCullar didn’t measure his vertical at the combine, but it appeared he had decent bounce with good touch and strong balance off two feet around the rim.

He was smart at avoiding charges and was able to get to the free throw line nearly six times per game, where he converted 80.5 percent of his attempts; on a per 75-possession basis, he shot 7.1 free throws. That’s a good mark for a slasher without great shooting ability.

McCullar was a good cutter off-ball and was a good connective playmaker, tallying a career assist percentage of 16.1 (22.9 percent as a senior) despite not being tasked as a primary creator. He made good reads out of the pick-and-roll and was good at finding open shooters and cutters with much higher usage in his final season.

He was a good on- and off-ball defender who made high-level reads and loved to play the passing lanes. He was always in a defensive stance with good instincts waiting to pounce on opponents’ mistakes. He played under multiple very good (defensive) head coaches in Chris Beard, Mark Adams and Self. That matters.

McCullar was a smart, cerebral player. Now let’s touch on his weaknesses.

Weaknesses:

McCullar’s in-between touch wasn’t great, nor was his 3-point shooting. Over his final two seasons, he shot just 31.5 percent on non-rim 2s and 31.6 percent from 3-point range.

He was slightly more effective as a pull-up shooter in his final season, but a large portion of his 51.5 2-point percentage should be attributed to his finishing ability at the rim. McCullar has an unorthodox release, where he brings the ball from his left side over his right eye.

His release point is high with a high arc, but it’s a longer release that didn’t always generate great results for him at the collegiate level. McCullar can still impact the off-ball, but one of his weaknesses over this five-year career was his shooting which needs improvement.

McCullar’s not a great self-creator outside of his slashing ability. He was physical, which could help him. There were times when he over-attacked and got himself into trouble as a slasher; he also played at one speed (fast!) at times and didn’t have great deceleration

Projection: Late First Round Pick

You could talk me into Kevin McCullar being a late first-round pick. Either way, I think he can crack a rotation as a rookie with his skillset. He’s a very smart player defensively and off-ball offensively. He won’t be tasked to be a primary creator and, should he develop a better 3-point stroke, could be a key cog to any roster. He has the experience and played under multiple great coaches, which matters more than we perceive.

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