2018 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Grayson Allen

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This is the seventh installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects. This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft.

Grayson Allen

School - Class

Duke (the team America loves to hate)



Age at time of draft





6’4" (with shoes)


210 lbs



Average Mock Draft rank


Pro-player comparison

JJ Redick (6'4" Height, 6'3¼" wingspan, 200 lbs)

Grayson Allen has been called a cheater; a punk; a dirty player. Like other Blue Devils before him (JJ Redick, Christian Laettner, Josh McRoberts, etc.) he is the latest iteration of a Duke villain that America loves to hate. Not that Allen doesn't deserve at least some of that hate. He has after all been involved in numerous intentional tripping incidents in his career. And just this month was assessed a flagrant foul for hip checking a North Carolina player.

Will teams shy away from him because of his on-court incidents, or because of his drop in productivity from his sophomore season? Perhaps.... or maybe it won't matter at all. After all, talent is talent; and NBA teams are always looking for talent.

After a terrific sophomore year where he was named an All-American, Allen made the decision to stay in school. At the time he said he wanted to "make another run for a national championship", but that may have actually hurt his draft stock.

He returned for his junior year but was injured three games into the season and reinjured later in the year. Lingering toe and ankle injuries led to a sub-par (for him) season. That drop in production had people questioning whether he made the right decision to stay in school. That drop in production also didn't leave him much choice but to come back for his senior season to try and improve his draft stock. It also gave NBA scouts more time and film to pick apart his game.

Regardless of his reputation, Allen does have talent. At 6'4" with a 6'6½" wingspan, he is slightly undersized for a shooting guard; but he may function more as an NBA combo guard. He has worked hard in the weight room and has improved his body all four years in college. His lateral quickness is not great and he doesn't possess an elite first step to get by quicker defenders. He has big hands; easily palms the basketball, and rarely fumbles passes. His speed in transition is above average.

Offensively, Allen's shooting will ultimately be the skill that will allow him to carve out an NBA career. He has excellent shot mechanics. He shoots on balance with a quick, high release. He has easy NBA range and is exceptional in catch-and-shoot situations, even with a hand in his face. He is shooting 38.3 percent from deep this year, even though Duke has awful spacing and really no one else except Gary Trent Jr. that can space the floor. Allen is still shooting a respectable percentage this year even though he is the main focus of perimeter defenders. Allen should show a marked increase in efficiency on an NBA team with better spacing.

Allen is also above average shooting off the dribble and in pick-and-roll situations. Allen is an aggressive driver and took a lot of hard falls his first two years at Duke. Since then he has added an array of pull-up jumpers, floaters, and fadeaways. He can, and still does get all the way to the rim occasionally, and is still an aggressive driver, but he takes a lot fewer hard falls now. He's an excellent free throw shooter (85.8% career) and loves being the player to step up in big games and take big shots.

Allen's shooting ability allows him to attack closeouts, leading to shots for himself or teammates. Besides closeouts, he is a fearless driver off pick-and-rolls and on dribble handoffs. He has some real potential as a secondary ball handler and his ball handling, passing and court vision is good enough to play the point for stretches. The ability to occasionally function as a primary ball handler will make him even more attractive to NBA teams.

Defense is where Allen may have the hardest transition to the NBA. He is a willing defender and understands team defense. He is generally in the right spots and shows nice awareness off the ball,. However his average length and lack of elite lateral quickness will probably lead to some struggles in one-on-one situations against quicker, more athletic opponents.

Allen will put pressure ball handlers; is active in trying to fight through screens; dives for loose balls; will get a hand up on shooters, and takes a lot of charges. In short, he tries to make up for his lack of physical gifts with energy, intelligence and effort. After some of the Duke games I watched, he looked like he just came out of an MMA cage match; cuts, black eyes, floor burns and all.

Allen is a fiery player on the court. He can sometimes play a bit out of control. If things are not going his way he can become frustrated and project poor body language. In the games I watched, he complained to the referees a lot. To be fair, in a lot of cases he had a legitimate beef. Instant replay showed that he had been fouled, or was called for a phantom foul. Perhaps a chance to get away from his reputation in college will fix that; but perhaps not. As Senior, I saw him frequently directing traffic on defense; getting everyone lined up out of the huddle. He was talking on defense, and in the huddles during timeouts. That kind of leadership is something I didn't see him do as a junior.


  • Experienced, hardworking, competitive, intense player
  • High Basketball IQ
  • The kind of high motor, high energy player coaches love
  • Can score off the dribble
  • Good shooter from all over the floor
  • Can make difficult shots
  • Makes hustle plays
  • Very Good 3-point shooter (38.5% career) with comfortable NBA range
  • Absolutely deadly when open - but rarely is in Duke's offense
  • Excellent free throw shooter (83.3% career)
  • An adequate playmaker in a pinch
  • Draws charges


  • Only average athleticism and length
  • Lack of elite lateral quickness
  • Prone to putting up questionable shots
  • Needs to improve his rebounding
  • Struggles to guard quicker players
  • Can be too inconsistent in games
  • Reputation as a dirty player

Whatever you think of Grayson Allen, at the end of the day, the kid can ball. NBA coaches will fall in love with Allen's competitiveness, effort, and intensity. Every NBA coach will tell you that he'll take a player that cares too much and makes mistakes, rather than one that is too cool for school.

Allen could be that microwave bench scorer that so many teams need. He could be the guy that scores 20 points off the bench leading to a playoff win. With Duke's awesome starting lineup that includes five potential first round picks, Allen's offensive role has been reduced this season. His role this year is most likely what his NBA role will be; as a floor-spacer who adds secondary ball-handling and play-making. In that role, Allen has excelled this year.

Fit for the Wizards

With the Wizards picking in the range of 20-24, it is a bit high for Allen. He is projected to go in the very late first round or early second. As such, he won't available when the Wizards pick in the second round either. The Wizards could certainly use a ferocious competitor that plays with both confidence tremendous energy off their bench, but 20-24 is too high, and where they draft in the second round Allen will be long gone.

But if by some miracle he is still available when the Wizards pick in the second round (or if they can move up in the second round), Allen could bring some grit and passion to their bench. His defensive limitations could be mitigated by some of the Wizards better defensive bench players (Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre, IanMahinmi, etc.) - and he would bring some dynamic offensive punch to that second unit.

NCAA Tournament Play

Overall in tournament play (both the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament), Allen has continued his production at right around the same rate as during the regular season. He averaged 16 points on 42.4% shooting (43.1% from three), 5.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds.

He had a poor shooting game in Duke's latest NCAA Tournament win against Syracuse. He shot only 4-15 (26.7%) with all of those shots being 3-pointers except one - but he was the main facilitator for the Blue Devils, dishing out 8 assists with only one turnover.

Previous Draft Profiles

If you watch this video, you'll see that Grayson Allen will have NO PROBLEM "adjusting" to the NBA 3-point line.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.