Countdown to the Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days by JNixon (40&39)
40: Isaiah Canaan, 6’0 188, PG, Murray State, Sr.
Canaan is a small school prospect with a high buzz going into the draft. He checks in after really breaking onto the scene as a Jr. for a Murray State squad that got a good amount of national recognition for its 28-1 season and making it to the round of 32. Played in 2 NCAA Tournaments in his career (as a Fr. and Jr.) and an NIT in his career. 4 year starter. Ohio Valley Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All OVC from his Soph – Sr. seasons, AP 2nd Team All-American as a Sr. Physically, Canaan is a fairly short for a PG at 6’0, but not a complete waterbug. Possesses a nice 6’4 wingspan and is a pretty strong and bulky 190 lb. Athletically, Canaan surprised most with his 40 inch 2-step vertical, but he is an NBA level athlete. Has good quickness and speed, and shows good body control and fluidity as well. Isnt ultra explosive though.
On offense, Canaan is a guy who likes to let shots fly and is at times a deadly guy from behind the arc….Really can get his own shot very well…Is a threat to make shots from as far as the NBA 3, and has a very consistent, textbook form and release…Shoots a pretty shot and doesn’t need a touch of time to get it off….Is just as comfortable shooting off the bounce as he is spotting up, and gets his legs into all of his shots…His efficient fell with his jumper as a Sr. due to tougher gameplanning, but he was an unbelievably efficient guy in his 1st 3 years…As a pure PG, Canaan isn’t going to be confused with Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo, but he has adequate ability to function as a facilitator…His court vision and basic PG instincts are mediocre though…A:TO wasn’t that good, and clearly is more of an undersized scoring guard than a true PG…Shows good quickness and ball-handling ability…Pretty strong and has the ability to take contact and get shots up….Looks to draw contact and get to the foul line, and got there at a good rate…Canaan was not an efficient scorer around the rim , and doesn’t have the explosive athleticism needed to finish around the trees often…Has a floater in his arsenal, and will have to utilize it a good bit as to not see his shots blocked a lot around the hoop in the NBA…Is a good pick and roll scorer, but is a questionable pick and roll passer…Can play at a fast pace, rather pull-up for jumpers in transition than go to the rim…Good free throw shooter…May be a scoring guard off the bench for a team more so than a typical PG
Defensively, Canaan tools are mediocre….He could be a pest he is competes hard every position, and he showed that he can be a tough guy on the ball at times…Not the worlds quickest player laterally and can be shot over by taller guards…Hand quickness is adequate and he did get steals at a decent rate…Contests shots and shows decent effort most times
Canaan has his limitations, but his ability to put up points in bunches with his jumper is a weapon that will earn him looks from NBA squads for sure….He isn’t more than average as a true PG, and he doesn’t play as explosive as his leaping numbers at the combine say, which makes him struggle to finish around the rim…Still, there is a lot to like about him as a potential scoring weapon off the bench for a team. Look for Canaan to be a late 1st round-mid 2nd round selection.
39: Jamaal Franklin, 6’5 191, SG/SF, San Diego State, Jr.
Franklin checks in at #39 of my rankings and is coming off 2 pretty productive seasons in the Mountain West, really developing after Kawhi Leonard left that great SDSU team in 2010-2011. Saw a HUGE jump in production from his Fr. to Soph. seasons (3 ppg to 17 ppg, 2 rpg to 8 rpg) and showed the promise many saw fro him as a prep star. Was a talented recruit who many overlooked due to low grades and wild play, despite a decorated resume’ in HS as a 3 sport athlete. 1st Team All MWC as a Soph and Jr. Honorable Mention All-American as a Soph. and Jr. Physically, Franklin is very good. He stands 6’5 with the ability to play both wing spots. Has a monster 6’11 wingspan as well as a strong frame that can add 5-10 lbs of muscle easily with no loss of athleticism. Good athletic ability. Pretty quick and is a strong leaper.
On offense, Franklin is a decent, but fairly unpolished player right now….Doesnt have a single skill by itself that stands out, but he is a competitive player who plays with high energy and has the strength and suddenness to make things happen…Pretty much the only player on his team that could create shots for himself and others during his last 2 years in college, and did so…Shouldn’t ever really be asked to do as much as he did at San Diego State, but he was definitely up to the task and did so effectively…Pretty relentless…Has a good 1st step and is a long strider, so he did a good job of getting to the paint off the bounce…Seems to be a naturally strong player uses his frame and 1st step to get to the rim…Overall ball-handling needs improvement, and he doesn’t really show much ability to go left…Settles for the jump shot more than he should, especially since he isn’t a great shooter to begin with…Has some raw ability to stick shots, especially off the bounce, and even made some shots as far as 24 feet off the bounce, but he isn’t an efficient shooter right now, especially from the further out he attempts shots…Really saw his jump shooting numbers fall as a Jr., and they weren’t great to begin with….Has a quick, high release on his jumper…Really should look to work on his spot-up J, would take another step as a player if he could hit jumpers with his feet set…Shows the ability to finish above the rim and is a terrific transition player…Led his team in points, assists and got to the foul line at a high rate…Was willing to do a little of everything for his team, and has the ability to do much of the same at the next level, but ideally on a lower scale…Turnover and efficient stats prove that he is better off playing a complimentary role on whatever team he does too….Versatile type player though….Played a lot of minutes at the PF spot this past season…Really competes hard and will do whatever is asked on him, which his coaches will definitely love…Got to the foul line at a high rate and was a decent free throw shooter when there…Plays with heart
Defensively, Franklin has the most potential as a prospect in my opinion….He really fights and plays tough, and his length and athleticism make him a threat to get his hands on passes…Has all the tools to be a lockdown defender, and will probably be drafted to develop into one…Defended everything except C in college, and that allowed him to really test himself….Was an outstanding rebounder and shows the instincts for that to carry to the NBA for the most part…Sometimes is a gambling defender and will reach to get steals and stop penetration instead of moving his feet….Reminds of Tony Allen on the defensive end, and could be a specialist in the long run
Franklin was an extremely productive and versatile prospect for SDSU and seems like he will be able to enjoy a successful career….His athleticism, competitive play and defensive potential really are his calling cards in the NBA, and he could continue to do so…His offensive game isn’t the best and his jumper needs improvement, but he has some of the natural tools to not be a liability on this end either…Still, him tightening his handle and getting a more consistent jumper would really help him standout out…Also will need to answer about some minor character concerns (?)…Franklin could easily hear his name called in the late 1st round, but I expect to hear his name from the either the late 1st or possibly down to the mid 2nd.