Analyzing Prospects the Warriors Should Draft Part 2: Kennedy Chandler


Welcome to the 2nd part of a 3-part series that analyzes NBA prospects that the Golden State Warriors should draft with their 28th overall pick. In the first part, the prospect under analysis was Duke wing Wendell Moore Jr. Though Wendell Moore Jr. would be a great fit with the Golden State Warriors, the freshman PG Kennedy Chandler out of Tennessee would also fit well with the Warriors. 

Kennedy Chandler is a 19 year old point guard who averaged 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game for Tennessee, helping them become the 3rd seed in the NCAA Tournament. His hometown is Memphis, Tennessee, which is why he committed to play for the Tennessee Volunteers when he was in high school. As a high school player, Chandler was a consensus 5-star recruit, a McDonalds All-American, and won the Tennessee Mr. Basketball award two times. For his senior year, he played for Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, a prestigious basketball prep school. That year, he played with Kendall Brown, a projected 2022 NBA draft pick, and Gradey Dick, who was this year's High School Gatorade National Player of the Year. He has also won a gold medal for the Team USA U-19 Basketball Team. In college, he was named the SEC Tournament MVP, and he was on the Second-Team All SEC and the SEC All-Freshman Team. He declared for the NBA Draft after his lone season at Tennessee, and he is now a projected first round pick. He will most likely be drafted in the 20s, which is where the Warriors have their draft pick. 


It feels odd to say this, but throughout the Warriors' dynastic runs, they have never had a "true" point guard whose sole purpose is to dish out dimes, control the pace of the offense, and score when necessary. Kennedy Chandler is exactly that. As a freshman, he was undoubtedly the driver of the Tennessee offense, as he ran pick-and-rolls smoothly, controlled the pace of the offense, and limited his turnovers. In his freshman season, he had an assist-to-turnover ratio of a little over 2:1, which honestly is pretty good considering that he had a usage rate of over 24%, which does not happen often for freshmen players. For reference, Paolo Banchero, a projected top-3 pick out of Duke, had a usage rate of 27.5%, while Chandler, a projected late first-round pick, had a usage rate of 24.8%. Also, Chandler is fantastic at the "hockey passes", which is basically the pass that leads to an assist. The Warriors coaching staff constantly preach the idea of "great over good", and hockey passes certainly transform a good shot into a great shot. However, though his game is like that of a "traditional" point guard, Chandler is much more than a high-IQ player who controls the pace of the offense. He is actually one of the most athletic players in the entire draft, despite him being a point guard. According to the NBA Combine, he had the highest running vertical jump at 41.5 inches and the 2nd fastest shuttle run at 2.89 seconds. All this means that he is an athletic freak with crazy bunnies and lightning quick speed that demands respect around the paint, and combine his athleticism with his passing, and he is a perfect "dribble, penetrate, and kick" player for the Warriors. He has also shown flashes of self shot-creation and off the dribble shooting in his freshman season, though he is not an elite shooter like his fellow SEC freshman Jabari Smith. However, shooting is something that certainly can be developed over time, but his poise and athleticism most likely cannot be. 


The most glaring weakness for Kennedy Chandler is his size. He stands at 6'0 tall and 171 pounds, which certainly makes him a defensive liability. Honestly, his physical stature is the main reason why he is only projected to go in the 20s. If he were 6'4 like Jaden Ivey, he would undoubtedly be a lottery pick. Another one of his weaknesses is his overall shooting. Though he shot 38.3% from three as a freshman, he only shot 60.6% from the free throw line. Free throw shooting is usually an indication of how good and consistent a player's shot is, and 60.6% is, quite frankly, horrible for a lead guard in the NBA. A huge part of Chandler's game is to drive into the paint and creating contact, but it is a huge waste when he is not capitalizing on the foul calls he gets when he penetrates into the paint. Also, from his film, his shot mechanics are a little slow, which is not desirable especially since he is only 6'0 tall.  Another weakness, though this weakness is not just pertaining to Chandler, is that traditional point guards simply have a hard time getting adjusted to the NBA game, which is why there have not been much traditional point guards getting drafted early in the draft in the past few years. The NBA game is simply much more physical and tiring than the college game, and players are much more athletic and smarter. However, if he were to do drafted by the Warriors, he would not have to be the lead guard, but rather have a lesser role while getting more accustomed to the NBA game. He may even be the point guard of the future for the Warriors, as Jordan Poole is more of a combo guard rather than a true point guard. However, Memphis, at pick 22, may want to pick Chandler since he is close friends with Ja Morant and is literally from Memphis. But, if Chandler is there at pick 28, the Warriors will surely consider drafting him. 

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