A lot of focus has been placed on the next player being based on Austin Reaves last season. It wasn’t that long ago where the Lakers bought a 2nd round pick and drafted Talen Horton-Tucker.
Does David Roddy resemble Talen Horton-Tucker’s game?
Let’s take a look and see the reasons why.
According to NBA.com, David Roddy is 6’4.5” without shoes, with an 8’9” standing reach, and a 6’11.5” wingspan at over 260lbs.
While the wingspan may not be as long as THT’s (off memory, it was 7’1”+), there are two things that stand out to me. He has a standing reach comparable to some power forwards. Talen Horton-Tucker was around 8’6”, comparable to shooting guards and some wings. His weight looks high, but he doesn’t appear to be a player that plays heavy. There are some similarities in terms of height and wingspan here.
A Baseline of Statistics
I looked more into his overall profile in terms of shooting numbers, overall, and advanced statistics to get a better idea of who he is as a player.
The profile was a lot better than I anticipated.
Let’s start with his shooting profile from Hoop Math.
I remember liking Talen Horton-Tucker and believing in his touch around the rim because he shot 71.1% at the rim. Here’s David Roddy at 72%. Not only that, but his 2-point field goal percentage is excellent at 47.1%, even with 22.4% of those makes being assisted. While he isn’t the largest volume 3-point shooter, 27.3% of total shots behind the arc is still solid, and he shot 43.1% from that range, with only 68.2% of those shots assisted? Usually, for role players, those shots are roughly 90% assisted. While half of his shot attempts at the rim are assisted, he does quite a bit of perimeter creation.
Great shooting profile.
Let’s take a look at his regular season averages:
An overall look at these metrics present a great profile. The free throw rate is excellent through three years. The rebounding rate around 15% indicates a level of motor and physicality, but especially for a player that is 6’4.5” w/o shoes and an 8’9” standing reach? It’s excellent. The assist rate indicates some higher level playmaking as a tertiary playmaker, especially when the assist rate has gone up while the turnover rate went down over three years. Usually, I just look for a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio, and that’ll also reflect in assist to turnover rate. He’s a quick thinking man out there.
Lastly, there’s the steal and block rates. While, per game it doesn’t look great at basically 1 steal and 1 block a game, the 2.1% steal rate and 4.1% block rate are strong at any position.
This is a great profile overall.
What’s the difference between David Roddy and Talen Horton-Tucker?
Before I get into the video, I loved THT as a mid-2nd round pick. I felt like team’s couldn’t place him defensively and couldn’t figure him out offensively. While the Lakers may struggle with both of these issues in terms of his role, especially compared to what he does best, he’s still an NBA-caliber player. Getting an NBA-caliber player in the mid-2nd round, is a steal pick.
David Roddy’s statistical profile leads to a comfort with physicality, especially when linking the rebounding rate to the block rate, both high for any perimeter position. Now, he takes nearly half his shots at the rim, but, he’s not a center. It can hint at a player that pressures guys at the rim, just willing to attack and not settle, and that he was just a mismatch on offense. Talen Horton-Tucker’s overall profile leaned towards him being a shot-creating guard, despite him having some wing-like physical tools. Roddy, leans to him being a big, but with soft touch and the feet to exploit the mismatch offensively.
It’s a lot to infer from those statistics, but it helped me create a picture in my mind of what he does best on the basketball floor.
It’s like watching Bonzi Wells 2.0
Does anyone else remember him? He was happy creating shots in the post, was a solid 3-point shooter, and sometimes a nightmare matchup for teams that didn’t have the size and strength to compensate for his offensive repertoire.
David Roddy is a lot like that. While his first possession was in the post and shot over the top on a step-back towards the baseline, it’s the series of guard-shots and guard footwork that surprised me most.
Here’s a look at some of that perimeter footwork at 0:36. The shot rimmed in-and-out, but he is clearly comfortable with that shot.
Secondary creation at 1:59. He runs pick-and-roll and opts into a midrange shot that goes in-and-out.
Here (1:05), he baits the opponent into think it’s an open passing lane, then cuts into the lane.
Verticality matters. The way he fights post position and stays extended and alters the shot effectively is exactly what you want out of anyone defending a post player. He held his ground well after taking repeated bumps on the chest.
More verticality here. The opponent tried to out-quick him to the baseline and get the shot up, but it was still a well contested shot.
I also wanted to show verticality outside of just stationary post defense. Here’s a weak-side verticality play.
Now, he’s not a traditional box-out type of rebounder, but what I do appreciate is the kind of motor he has attacking the glass, both prior to the shot and while the ball is in there air. He grabs a lot of “energy play” rebounds and always seems to be within the radius of where the ball is going to land. That explains the high defensive rebounding percentage and overall rebounding rate. This is also the kind of rebounding skill exemplified by guards that aren’t necessarily boxing guys out, but rather, the teammates are boxing guys out and they extend for the rebound and push the ball.
What’s His Role?
I made a brief comparison to Talen Horton-Tucker and even Bonzi Wells to show who they are as early NBA prospects and what the similarities or differences were between them. THT is more of a perimeter shot creator. Roddy can do some shot creation, but he’s not likely to get a ton of post-up opportunities next level. Even Barkley as a post player used those areas of the floor to receive the ball, and face up. Roddy does the same thing. He’s comfortable with short range attacks and finishing within 5’ of the rim.
What about a P.J. Tucker type of role? P.J. Tucker out of Texas was an outrageous rebounding guard too, more of the box-out type. After his stint in Phoenix and Internationally, his 3pt. shot became more refined and teams finally leaned into him playing as a “big” in small lineups.
Well, by age, Roddy is ahead of that curve. He’s comfortable with 3-level shot creation out of pick-and-roll. He gets a moderate amount of 3-point attempts already and hit over 43% last season. As a reminder, his shooting profile is 73 | 47 | 43 | 69. Sure, the 69% free throw percentage isn’t great, but he did shoot 74% and 79% the prior two seasons.
It’s tough to spot guys that defend big, and then put on guard skills on the offensive end. It’s fair to project the mismatches, where he may be switched on defensively onto a wing, and may not have the footspeed to shield off dribble penetration. He looks more comfortable holding guys in place near the paint, and offering some weakside rim-protection. It won’t be as easy for him to have the same footspeed mismatch against NBA level power forwards and centers offensively but, if he can offer something defensively, be a pick-and-pop threat, and then make good decisions getting ran off the 3-point line, that makes him an NBA player.
Ideally of course, Laker fans want wing defense with spacing, but for 2nd round picks to undrafted players, there isn’t always the luxury of drafting the archetype of most need. There is however, a situation where he may be the best player available.
I like this guy. He's very efficient. THT shot .404 in college and about .300 from 3 and only played a season while this guy has 3.
The Lakers also have a good track record with 3/4 year starters coming in and playing well.
I also feel a guy like this in today's NBA might be gone before we can get him but I'd love to see him on this team. if he actually does play a big guard/big forward/PJ Tucker role, he'd be a really nice fit in Ham's 4-1/Blue Ox offense that they used in and he helped implement in Milwaukee