One website compares him to Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina, which doesn't
exactly sound like a ringing endorsement. But there is a lot to like about
Maledon's prospects, despite the fact he battled injuries and a surprising
lack of playing time in France last year.
At 6-feet-5 and 175 pounds, Maledon boasts the kind of length any coach would
like to plug into his lineup. He plays well in pick-and-roll situations on
both ends of the court, able to pass for profit on offense and willing to help
a teammate on the defensive end.
There are scouts who beg you not to be fooled by his 28.6 percent 3-point
shooting for Lyon-Villeurbanne. They say he has the foundation to be a much
more accurate shooter with time and repetitions. Maledon has the quickness to
beat anyone off the dribble and the unselfishness to be someone's lead guard
if given proper time to develop.
Some of that proper time to develop begins with becoming a stronger, more
physical player. He doesn't exactly need to become Ricky Sobers of the 1970s
Phoenix Suns, but Maledon could stand to add another 15-20 pounds because it's
unlikely to hamper his quickness.
Scouts say Maledon is somewhat predictable on offense because when he drives,
he dishes far more often to a jump-shooter at the arc than he does to a post
player. Nuanced professional defenses are more likely to exploit that
Maledon also needs to better develop his left hand; he's said to be too
right-hand dominant and therefore can be pressured hard by teams which know to
turn him left. All that aside, he was considered a top 10 prospect before last
year. Someone will bet on potential midway through the first round.
Projection: First round pick
--Field Level Media