We know Landry Shamet can shoot, this is not a surprise. What is likely a surprise is that the Sixers’ rookie is able to score at a level of efficiency that not only leads all rookie guards, but is actually 26th in the league overall and 16th among all NBA guards.
Baby JJ ?
When bringing his name up, Shamet is almost invariably compared to JJ Redick. Often referred to as “baby JJ,” Shamet actually does compare fairly closely with a 25 year old JJ Redick.
When comparing the two players you have to Redick’s 4th season in the NBA before he eclipses Shamet’s rookie numbers so far this year. Let’s compare 21yo Landry Shamet to 25yo Redick
What you’ll notice here is that Shamet shoots nearly the same percentage from 3 on one more attempt per game. The overall FG% and other counting stats are quite similar.
When looking at some more advanced stats, the small advantage that Redick has flips into Shamet’s favor. As stated above, Shamet leads all rookie guards in 2018-19 in both TS% and Turnover %. He is taking care of the ball better than a 25 year old Redick by a significant margin.
The knock on Shamet has never been his shooting ability. When looking at him defensively, it’s easier to make a case that he looks like a rookie. Shamet ranks 10th among all rookies in Defensive Efficiency.
But there are signs that he could project as a better defender than Redick. When comparing defensively and trying to project Shamet’s potential, I’d like to add another player with a similar physical profile, Jrue Holiday.
Shamet is 6’5″ tall with a 6’7″ wingspan, which is nearly identical to Holiday. Holiday has developed into one of the best defenders in the NBA from the guard position. There is a lot of work to do for Shamet to get to that level, but his intellect and instincts show cause for promise.
Shamet needs to develop strength and lower body burst to get to anything approaching a defensive stopper, but unlike Redick, who has a negative wingspan (6’3″ wingspan to 6’4″ height), Shamet has the frame upon which to build.
Redick has been an average to good team defender in his career, and there is no reason that Shamet cannot fall somewhere on the spectrum between Redick and Holiday over the long term on the defensive end.