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2024 NBA Draft: Rob Dillingham is a must-draft if he falls to Sixers at No. 16 nba,draft,rob,dillingham,is,a,must,draft,if,he,falls,to,sixers,at,no,liberty,ballers,front-page,76ers-draft-rumors-news


Before the 2024 NBA Draft, we’ll take an in-depth look at different prospects here at Liberty Ballers and try to figure out which players would be the best fit for the Sixers at Nos. 16 and 41. Next up in this series is Kentucky’s Robert Dillingham.

Coming off his freshman season, most draft analysts had Rob Dillingham as a surefire lottery pick. However, with the top of this draft’s murkiness, combined with other prospects rising, many around the league are thinking he could fall out of the lottery entirely. If he’s available at 16, should the Sixers take him despite not being the best fit? Let’s break it down.

Profile

2023-24 Stats: 32 games, 23.3 minutes, 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1 steals, 0.1 blocks, 47.5% FG, 44.4% 3P, 79.6% FT

Team: Kentucky

Year: Freshman

Position: PG

Height (without shoes) & Weight: 6’1” | 164.2 lbs

Born: January 4th, 2005 (19 years old)

Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina

High School: Donda Academy (Simi Valley, California)

Strengths

Rob Dillingham shines offensively as a shot creator. He’s shifty and is more than capable changing directions on a whim. He gets to where he wants more times than not, finishing with runners or crafty layups. Dillingham also is a proven shooter, who hit nearly half of his catch-and-shoot threes during his freshman season. Whether it’s off movement or standard spot-ups, he’s solidified himself as one of the best shooters in this draft. Off ball, he’s more than willing to cut or even set screens, which could pair great with a playmaking big (cough, Joel Embiid, cough). Dillingham’s four assists per game don’t scream playmaker, but he’s very skilled; he’s capable of cross-court kickouts or wraparound passes. At Kentucky, Dillingham drastically improved as a passer, passing out of pick-and-rolls in 57 percent of possessions (per Synergy). Defensively, Dillingham plays with effort and chases shooters through screens and handoffs.

Weaknesses

Dillingham’s commendable defensive effort has come back to bite him at times. He’s been erratic at times, getting too handsy, lost, or out of position too often. Dillingham’s frame is small, both in size and weight. Unlike other guards (such as Tyrese Maxey who is 6-foot-2 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan), he doesn’t have a big wingspan which may limit his defensive potential even if he does add some weight or size. While Dillingham has improved as a passer, there’s still some room for more improvement — his passes often require his teammates to catch and adjust accordingly. At the college level, Dillingham proved to be a capable finisher but the NBA’s increased size and length may challenge his ability.

Positional Fit

Barring a huge growth spurt, Dillingham will almost certainly be a full-time point guard at the next level. He simply lacks the size or length to defend twos or other positions. Comparing his play style to other players, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Kemba Walker — a smaller guard who used his quickness, shiftiness and handle to break down defenders.

Draft Projection

SB Nation mock draft: No. 12th, OKC Thunder

Most have Rob Dillingham as a sure-fire lottery pick, however recent rumors and reports suggest that he might slip out of the top-14. If he’s available at 16, I think it would be a borderline no-brainer move to draft him. Dillingham’s talent alone is legit, and while there would be size concerns alongside Tyrese Maxey, they could ease him into the league in a backup/fringe rotation role. Or they could draft Dillingham and use him in a future deal. Several rebuilding teams need up-and-coming point guards and there would be a real market for him if he’s made available.

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