After an extended NBA offseason, the NBA Draft is finally among us as many young and talented players wait to hear their name called. One of those hopefuls is the ASVEL France standout Théo Maledon. The 6-foot-5 point guard enjoyed a successful international career and is hoping that his play will translate to the next level. While he’s not one of the premier players in this draft class, there will still be plenty of teams interested in his services.
2020 NBA Draft Profile for Théo Maledon
In June of 2017, Maledon joined the junior team of LNB Pro A club ASVEL that played in the LNB Espoirs. After a slow start, Maledon began to prove that he was the real deal. He played for the ASVEL Under-18 team in a tournament and astounded the crowd, finishing with 35 points and 11 assists in the final game of the tournament.
In August of 2018, Maledon chose to remain with ASVEL for three more years as he signed a contract to play with the senior team. He was quickly able to crack the starting lineup and showed that he was a force to be reckoned with. Midway through the season, Maledeon was named to the LNB All-Star Game at just 17-years-old. He is the youngest player selected since the event began 33 years ago. In 62 total games, Maledon averaged seven points, 2.1 rebounds, and two assists in just over 17 minutes per game. He was also named the LNB Pro A Best Young Player for his efforts on the season.
In the 2019-20 season, Maledon played for Pro A, the Euroleague, and the Leaders Cup as he sought to improve his stock for the upcoming NBA Draft. In October, Maledon suffered a knee injury against Cholet that sidelined him for just over a month. He was able to return in November and had a series of impressive games. Right as Maledon was rolling, the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He played in a total of 46 combined games and averaged 7.3 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.9 rebounds. On April 5th, Maledon officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft.
- At 6-foot-5 he possesses incredible length for a point guard
- Has been playing in the pros since he was only 16-years-old
- Very fluid as a passer who specializes at threading the needle
- Incredible passing vision who excels at finding open teammates
- Has a wide array of moves in order to finish along the interior
- Very capable free-throw shooter averaging over 80 percent throughout his career
- Flashed potential as a three-point shooter as he shot at a 36.7 percent clip
- Has a very active motor both on and off the ball
- Excels at running the pick-and-roll whether it’s as a shooter or a passer
- Uses his length to make up for his below-average lateral quickness
- Has a higher floor than most prospects in his draft class
- Lacks the prototypical weight of a point guard at just 176 pounds
- Possesses below-average athleticism, especially moving laterally
- While he’s not a liability, he is very inconsistent on defense
- Doesn’t possess the necessary skill set to score in isolation situations
- Not a bad shooter, but almost always has to perform a 1-2 move to score
- Very inconsistent shooting off the dribble as well as in catch-and-shoot situations
- His numbers don’t jump off the charts, despite the limited playtime
- For a player with his length, he doesn’t accumulate many steals or blocks
- Has a lower ceiling than most players in his class
NBA Player Comparison
The NBA player that most closely resembles the size and skillset of Maledon is Dallas Mavericks‘ guard Delon Wright. Much like Maledon, Wright is also a lengthy point guard who has always been a bit undersized in terms of weight. Both are skilled passers who can pour in a solid scoring output off the bench each night. While neither will wow you with their shooting or defensive play, they are still respectable in both aspects.
Théo Maledon Draft Projection
Maledon is not a player who will become a star for an NBA team anytime soon. However, he has a valuable set of skills that could be very useful off the bench for a plethora of teams out there. His active motor and elite skill as a passer will likely garner interest from just about every team picking outside the top ten. At this point, it appears that Maledon will likely be selected somewhere in the No. 18-24 range.
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