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Kel’el Ware 2024 NBA Draft Profile

Kel'el Ware is an intriguing big-man prospect in the NBA Draft.

After a strong sophomore campaign, Indiana big man Kel’el Ware has decided to enter the NBA Draft. He had a relatively quiet freshman year at Oregon before establishing himself as one of the best centers in the country in Bloomington.

Kel’el Ware 2024 NBA Draft Profile

College Career

Ware’s college career did not start strong. Ware was a five-star high school recruit and was supposed to be an immediate impact at Oregon. He only started four games his freshman season and averaged 6.6 ppg and 4.1 rebounds. After his freshman season, Ware needed a change of scenery and transferred to Indiana. He had big shoes to fill as he replaced Indiana legend Trayce Jackson-Davis. While he didn’t quite live up to those standards, he had a very successful season with the Hoosiers. Ware nearly averaged a double-double with 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He ended up making an all-conference team and the Big Ten All-Defense team.

Strengths

Ware’s biggest strength is his inside scoring ability. He is able to get to the rim and has a great skill set that allows him to score at the basket. He is also a good three-point shooter. During this most recent season, he shot 42.5% percent from the three-point line on 1.3 attempts per game. This is a great number for a player that stayed around the paint.

Ware is also a great athlete and defender. He is quick for his size and has good footwork. He is 6’11” but has a 7’4” wingspan. This helped him out on defense as it led to him averaging nearly 2 blocks per game in his sophomore season.

Weaknesses

One thing that is holding Ware back is his motor. He has been described as lazy by some Indiana. He can “disappear” for portions of games and often takes possessions off, especially on the defensive side of the ball. This has led to him sometimes being a defensive liability, particularly when it comes to rotating. It was not as prominent in the Big Ten because the play was typically slower-paced. But, this could be concerning as he has to face more athletic defenders. Luckily, a good coach should be able to fix this issue.

Another issue with Ware’s game is his free throw percentage. Despite his great shot from beyond the arc, he has not been able to effectively convert at the charity stripe. He is a career 66% free throw shooter in college, which is not an awful percentage for a big man, but you want better.

His strength has raised concerns. NBA centers are much stronger than college centers. Ware’s size allowed him to be a great defender, but some scouts are concerned that he may be pushed around by the bigger competition in the NBA.

NBA Comparison

A good comparison for Ware is Jarrett Allen. This is mainly a defensive comparison as both are lengthy rim protectors.

2024 NBA Draft Projection

Ware is projected to go in the middle of the first round. He could sneak into the lottery or fall to around 20. However, he will likely go in the first round.

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