Former UConn guard Ryan Boatright has been on the NBA radar for years, at least going back to when he committed to USC as an eighth grader.
Boatright managed to stay four years at UConn and this week in Chicago is participating in the pre-draft camp.
Boatright scored 12 points on Tuesday for his team in a pair of simulated games at the Quest Sports Complex.
Boatright told the Hartford Courant on Tuesday that he thought he played well and put to rest questions about his size (Hartford Courant, May 14).
Size, of course, remains an issue for Boatright. Listed at 6-0 and 175 pounds at UConn, Boatright measured in at 5-10 and 170 pounds at the combine. He's the smallest player at the NBA combine with a 5-10 wingspan of 6-0 1/2 reach. Last year's small guy at the combine, Arizona'a Jahii Carson (5-9.75, 6-2 wingspan), went undrafted and played in Australia.
So, how does that affect his draft status in the June draft?
Boatright is an explosive scoring point guard and averaged 17.4 ppg. for the Huskies shooting 42.3 percent from the floor. But the NBA isn't a place that is easily made by players under 6-0.
Small players do have their place however. Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (5-9) is the smallest player in the league averaged nearly 20 points a game after he was traded to Boston from Phoenix at the trade deadline. He was also second in Sixth Man of the Year Award voting and was one of the most efficient guards in the NBA scoring this season.
That has to be the style for Boatright. His scoring is what will get him a look and his defense is critical in today's NBA. Only 24 players in NBA history have played in the NBA at 5-9 or less and only two of those players -- Thomas and Nate Robinson -- are active in the NBA.
Boatright can score and is quick, but can he finish in the NBA and can he run a team? Because of his size, he is going to have to play point guard and his playmaking ability will come into question. Boatright is a ball dominant guard who is more comfortable shooting and attacking then setting the pace and creating for others. He often stopped the ball at UConn this season and the offense stalled when he couldn't create and make difficult shots.
Boatright is considered a potential second round pick, similar to Thomas, who was taken with the 60th pick, the last of the draft, in 2011 (Same year Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond were drafted). Thomas had similar question marks coming out of Washington. Boatright might not be able to answer them this week, he'll have to do it in Summer League and camp.
DraftExpress currently has Boatright going undrafted. Boatright is ranked the No. 100 prospect by DraftExpress.