Considering he’s a Washington Wizards newbie, before getting into Landry Shamet’s statistical doppelgängers, it’s probably worth looking at what kind of player he is. Truth is, it’s simple: he’s a good three-point shooter.
That’s about it.
In fairness, last season he kinda added some playmaking. After puttering along at around three assists per 100 team possessions for four seasons, he spiked to 5.6 last season. His turnovers also went up, though not anything remotely a problem area.
Defensively, he’ll fit right into the long tradition of Wizards guards who had little to no impact on that end.
On the offensive end, he’s...fine...overall. His reputation for long-ball excellence got established in his rookie year when he shot 42.2% from deep. Since then, he’s been a good shooter, though better characterized as a bit better than average than elite.
His overall efficiency has been average to below average because of his poor two-point shooting. That’s because of a significant athleticism deficit that limits his ability to get to the basket, as well his odds of finishing inside. He’s also a startlingly bad shooter on two-point jumpers from outside three feet.
Despite his many shortcomings, the NBA’s fetish for shooting got him a four-year, $42.5 million extension with the Phoenix Suns that started last season. The last two seasons are non-guaranteed, so the Wizards could move on after this year. If they don’t trade him first.
So, let’s talk doppelgängers. My Statistical Doppelgänger Machine factors age and an array of pace-neutral statistical categories like minutes played, usage, preferred shot types, offensive and defensive rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, fouls, scoring, and an overall measure of the player’s production relative to era.
The Machine does not include variables for size, position, or athleticism, but even so individuals tend to get “doppelgängers” who are relatively close in each of those categories.
- Langston Galloway, 2016-17, New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks — A 6-1 guard who was a good shooter without much playmaking. In eight seasons, Galloway was a useful at times backup who never got close to average, in my analysis.
- Luther Head, 2007-08, Houston Rockets — Head had the kind of start to his career that created expectations of more. But his best season was year two of his career, year three was his second best, and he fizzled fast. He was out of the league at age 28 after six seasons.
- Roger Mason, 2007-08, Washington Wizards — Did you like Mason? Of course you did — so did everyone. He had basically two not-bad seasons (with the Wizards in this comp season, and with the Spurs the following season) but played in 10 seasons because he was a good guy with a decent three-point shot.
- Ty Jerome, 2021-22, Oklahoma City Thunder — A former first round pick whose played for three teams in his four-year career. This was the down year sandwiched between his two best seasons so far, although (like Shamet) he’s come nowhere close to even average thus far.
- Rudy Fernandez, 2010-11, Portland Trail Blazers — The penultimate season of Fernandez’s NBA career. He was at his best as a rookie (about average, according to my numbers), and then flattened out to below average for the next three years. Then he went back to Spain and had a great career overseas.
- Dedric Willoughby, 1999-00, Chicago Bulls — You’ll be forgiven for forgetting about Willoughby — he played in 25 games for the moribund Bulls and then was out of the NBA for good.
- Patty Mills, 2014-15, San Antonio Spurs — This is the comp that’s probably Shamet’s wildest dream, though Mills is likely the better shooter. Mills has had three average or better seasons, and next season will be his 15th in the NBA.
- Jordan Farmar, 2009-10, Los Angeles Lakers — Decent backup guard who got up into the average range a couple times in his career. He bounced around — five teams in his 10 seasons.
- Jodie Meeks, 2012-13, Los Angeles Lakers — Like most of these guys, and Shamet too, Meeks was a good shooter without much else to his game. Like most of these guys, he played 10 seasons in the NBA.
- James Robinson, 1996-97, Minnesota Timberwolves — Another well-below average backup guard. He stuck around for seven seasons. This comp year was his peak, and it was only a bit above replacement level. This was basically the only time he shot well from three.
Who’s next through the Doppelgänger Machine?
This poll is closed
Patrick Baldwin Jr.