Potential Sixers Draft Target – Desmond Bane

Today’s Sixers draft target looks at Desmond Bane. The 6’6″ combo guard that led TCU to three 20+ win seasons. Bane is a name not on the radar just a few seasons ago. But who is now fully entrenched in the draft discussion for the Philadelphia 76ers.

OVERVIEW

For Desmond Bane, the college journey has been anything but conventional. Bane received one Power Five scholarship offer and settled at TCU off a 12 win campaign by the Horned Frogs. A young team and new coach meant early playing time. With consistent minutes, Desmond Bane has turned into a true revelation, growing from an inconsistent freshman season to All-Big 12 honors this year. In four seasons at Fort Worth, Bane has developed into a multi-faceted contributor. One that TCU relied on significantly to initiate the offense, provide outside shooting and timely defense.

But the art of scouting relies on projection. With Desmond Bane, those projections can vary wildly. Major question marks center on what Bane can become at the next level. A 6’6″ guard with limited athleticism and a 6’4 wingspan can have a very small shelf life in the NBA. With Bane however, those calculations are complex. And that is what we will attempt to decipher. 

STRENGTHS

  • Excellent spot up shooter with deep NBA range. Comfortable off the catch without any hesitation. 
  • Rises up off screens and movement. Expanded game beyond basic isolation scoring.  
  • Strong core and hands. Provides a strong anchor defensively against bigger forwards.
  • Finishes thru contact at the rim. Soft touch around the basket and the skill set for a three level scorer. 
  • Good passing vision both in the open court and off the drive. Finds cutters and open perimeter shooters.

WEAKNESSES 

  • Slow shooting release. Unorthodox pull up mechanics that may not translate with reduced space.
  • Lacks straight line speed off the dribble.
  • Below average wingspan. Hinders ability to disrupt on the defensive end.
  • Lateral quickness does not stand out. Likely to struggle defending quicker two-guards. 
  • Falls too much in love with the jump shot. Does not get to the line at a high frequency.

FILM HIGHLIGHT

What immediately stands out with Desmond Bane is his high degree of versatility. At TCU, Bane was a three level scorer that thrived near the rim and at the three point line. From the perimeter Bane can stress the defense in a myriad of ways. His range extends far beyond the college level and projects extremely well in the pros. Just pay attention here to how comfortable Bane looks pulling up from NBA range.

Bane is a high volume shooter. And has done his damage both off the catch and on the ball. Off the dribble, Desmond Bane scored at an impressive 1.068 PPP (92nd percentile). And while his slow release raises question marks, it is clear how he uses his first step to create significant space. Against Baylor, Bane once again put that on full display from deep.

But Desmond Bane makes a living in other areas of the court as well. As his point guard duties grew, so did the play-making. Bane developed into an elite combo guard, running some basic pick-and-roll concepts to great success. His passing vision really stands out here at West Virginia where he times a perfectly placed cross court pass for an open look.

It’s within the scope of the offense where Desmond Bane stood out over four seasons. But defensively, he continues to show the type of versatility that the modern NBA loves. While not built to defend speedy guards, Bane possesses enough strength to defend forwards. It will be interesting to see how that projects at the next level. If it does, we could see Bane slot into a possible stretch 4 role. As the NBA continues to trend smaller, we see here how his strength features against bigger guys. 

POSSIBLE FIT

Desmond Bane’s primary contribution should be as a guy that can come off the bench and provide shooting relief. Approximately 20% of Bane’s possessions came off motion and screens. Where he scored on 0.938 points per possession (62nd percentile). This type of action can go a long way of unlocking offense for others as the Sixers often times were stuck running post offense through Embiid. With the threat of motion, Desmond Bane can provide double team relief from Joel as well as creating passing lanes and space for his teammates to operate.

While some will argue that he can grow into a reliable pick-and-roll distributor, his future may be as a cutter and slasher. Desmond Bane has supreme upper body strength and feel near the rim. At TCU, those opportunities came few and little (only 4.5% of his possessions). In Philadelphia, the chances to run the offense will be significantly less thus creating room for Bane to grow other parts of his game. The interesting option lies on Bane’s ability to translate his strength as a possible small forward (or power forward). No one should mistake him for PJ Tucker. But the ability to defend bigger guys and providing shooting is certainly intriguing. This allows the Sixers to go small, run and keep necessary shooting on the court. As of today, these options are limited with the current roster. With Mike Scott turning into a turnstile defensively and Matisse Thybulle’s body not built to handle the physical pounding at the position. 

STAT NUGGETS 

  • 43% on 575 career three point attempts (4th highest among all college players with 500+ attempts over the last 4 seasons).
  • 1.131 points per catch and shoot possession (77th percentile).
  • 4,279 career minutes (6th all time in the Big-12).
  • Only ‘Power Five’ player to post 500+ points 200+ rebounds and 100+ assists last year.
  • 17.5% uptick in assist rate from freshman to senior year. 

SUMMARY

Desmond Bane’s positional versatility and shooting are two traits that will likely carry him top the top of the 2nd round. Some believe his lack of athleticism and length will limit his impact in the NBA but the tape shows a different story. Bane is a high IQ basketball player that understands how to contribute. Ask him to come off the bench in a complementary role and Bane could carve a nice career. But ask him to run a modern NBA offense and things may go south fast. Teams looking at Bane should consider thinking outside the box. Drawing on his many traits to develop a strong rotational player.  

Check out our latest video breakdown of Saddiq Bey and his fit with the Philadelphia 76ers