NBA Comparison: Courtney Lee
Strengths: Has something very valuable in today’s NBA landscape, and that is high level shooting. As a senior, Bane nailed 42% of his three point attempts, and posted a 3 point percentage over 40% in 3 full NCAA seasons. Bane has excellent range on his jumper, and great in spot up situations as well as shooting off the dribble. He’d be an immediate asset to an NBA team spacing the floor at the two spot. At 6’6” Bane possesses a chiseled frame, and high level strength that will be able to handle the rigors of an NBA season, and larger opponents. His 16.6 points as a senior were primarily earned from the perimeter, but Desmond does have the ability to get into the lane and is very good at using his powerful body to take impact and create distance from opposing shot blockers. Nice touch around the rim, and solid ability to adjust in mid air while getting to the hoop. A smart player who had to become more of a distributor during his senior season. He averaged 3.9 assists per game, and was very good at making the “right” pass, and even showed a little bit of ability to run a pick and roll. At 6’6” he was a very good rebounding guard at the college level hauling in 6.3 boards per contest and even notching 4 double doubles with points and rebounds. Defensively he puts in the work, and while not projected as an elite NBA defender, he could do well in a team scheme. He has active hands and stole the ball 1.5 times per game, and is a good vertical athlete who can contest shots.
Weaknesses: While Desmond Bane is tall, strong, and a good vertical athlete he’s not really the total package in terms of physicality. Despite being 6’6” tall, he only has a 6’4.25” wingspan, which makes him one of the few players at this level of basketball to have a wingspan shorter than their height. This limits his defensive potential a bit in the NBA. Again, Bane can get off the ground, but lateral quickness isn’t something that is a strong suit for him. He puts forth tons of effort on the court, which will help him, but when trying to get in the lane off the dribble, or trying to guard a quick player, it’s just going to be harder at the NBA level for someone who’s not naturally quick, or particularly fast at changing directions. Does not really project as an NBA player with a lot of positional versatility. Is likely to play the shooting guard on offense, and guard the shooting guard on defense, with maybe a small portion of small forwards. NBA point guards could likely be too quick for him, and a large portion of small forwards could prove to be too long. I don’t view him as a high upside player, but a guy who can definitely play a role in the NBA for a long time.
Overall: Desmond Bane is a high IQ player who plays hard on both sides of the floor, and can knock down the NBA three point shot at a high level. Due to his physical maturity, and high level specialty, he looks like a player who could step in on day one and add spacing and outside scoring to an NBA team. While not the longest or most versatile player, Bane does enough as a ball handler, and passer to add additional value outside of shooting as well. A player in the mix in the middle of the first to the middle of the second, Desmond’s ability to shoot is a hot commodity, and he has the ability to stick in the league as a sharp shooter.
Notes: Measured 6’4 without shoes, 6’5 with shoes, 219 lbs, with a 6’4 wingspan and 8’4 standing reach at the June 2017 USA U19 tryouts … All Big 12 Second Team 2018-2019. All Big 12 First Team (2019-20).
David Ray 11/13/20