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2019 NBA Draft Profile: Jarrett Culver

Jarrett Culver
Texas Tech
Sophomore
Position: SG

NBA Combine Measurements:

  • Weight: 194.2 lbs.
  • Height With Shoes: 6’6.75″
  • Height Without Shoes: 6’5.25″
  • Wingspan: 6’9.5″
  • Standing Reach: 8’4.5″
  • Hand Length: 8.25 in.
  • Hand Width: 8.50 in.
  • Body Fat: 5.00%
  • Lane Agility Time: N/A
  • Shuttle Run: N/A
  • Three Quarter Sprint: N/A
  • Standing Vertical: N/A
  • Max Vertical: N/A

College Stats:

Strengths:

Playmaker: Jarrett Culver was the engine of the Texas Tech offense this past season. His usage rate was 32.2%, so he had the ball in his hands a ton, and he just made knew how to make things happen for the Red Raiders. Culver, the Big 12 Player of the Year, averaged 18.5 points per game this past season. Most of those came from driving into the paint/getting towards the rim.

Culver was also able to get his jump shot going at times (it’s inconsistent, I’ll discuss that later), from mid-range and from three point range. When the defense would collapse on him, he made some fantastic passes leading to buckets for his teammates.

Size/Length: Jarrett Culver is 6’6″ with a wingspan of just over 6’9.” The ability of Culver to get to the rim is probably his greatest strength right now offensively, and it’s the use of his size which is the reason why. Add that size in on defense and you have a guy that can guard multiple positions.

Court Vision/Passing: I was so impressed with the maturity that Culver showed in terms of seeing the floor well. He never panics and doesn’t force up bad shots when the double team comes. He instead makes the right pass. Every single game, Culver sets his teammates up for buckets with passes that wow you. He did average 3.7 assists per game, but you would think it was even higher if you watched him closely. Take a look at this pass he made in the National Championship game, a showing of Culver’s passing abilities and high basketball IQ.

Jarrett Culver originally tries to drive past DeAndre Hunter, who defends nicely. Rather than panicking and throwing up a shot or turning the ball over, Culver picks his head up, resets and dribbles back up towards the top of the key. Tariq Owens acts like he’s going to set the screen, and Jack Salt switches onto Culver. As soon as Hunter doesn’t switch onto Owens and takes a step towards Culver, Culver throws the perfect bounce pass to Owens as he slips towards the basket.

Another similar play I saw with Jarrett Culver came in the Duke game.

Like the last video, Culver doesn’t beat his defender off the dribble, but doesn’t panic when the second defender comes towards him. He picks his head up and finds the cutting Tariq Owens for the easy basket.

Defensive Talent: Jarrett Culver’s size is what allows him to defend at a high level. He’s extremely big for a guard, and can defend multiple positions. Culver led all of college basketball in defensive win shares with 3.5 on the season. He also averaged 1.5 steals per game, and a steal rate of 2.7%.

Weaknesses:

Inconsistent Shooter: Every time I watched Jarret Culver this season I was pretty sure he had a good jump shot, and then I’d watch games (like almost every NCAA Tournament game) where he couldn’t get anything to fall. The verdict here is that the inconsistency of his jump shot is a weakness of his. He’s extremely streaky when it comes to shooting from mid-range and shooting from beyond the arc.

To put it in perspective, Culver had five games this season where he went 0/5 or worse from three-point range. He also had five games where he shot better than 50% on four or more shots from three-point range. That’s just the way Culver operates right now with his jump-shot and that’ll take some time to develop.

Lateral Quickness/Speed: Jarrett Culver’s athleticism is often described as a strength of his, and I think it is to some degree. I’m sure you saw the picture of Culver’s 45 inch vertical in his workout with the Lakers last week. If you haven’t, then here it is.

It legitimately looks like his armpit is almost at the rim. What a crazy picture. There was also this play from when Culver played against Kansas that showed off his insane vertical leaping ability.

Yes, it was wrongly called an offensive foul. No, it doesn’t matter.

While Culver’s vertical is clearly off-the-charts, I haven’t noticed the same thing with his quickness. At the college level, Culver was highly-reliant on his size when getting to the rim. I didn’t always see the speed.

In the NBA, Culver isn’t always going to have the size on the defender like he did often in college. It won’t be as easy for him to get to the rim relying that heavily on size. It’s also pretty interesting that Culver chose not to do the agility workouts at the combine as well. I think it could be him airing on the side caution in terms of not testing well.

NBA Player Comparison: Jimmy Butler

When it comes to NBA comparisons, I thought Jarrett Culver was tough to figure out. I still expect him to develop a lot further as a player, and maybe even grow a couple of inches more before it’s all said and done. That being said, I see Culver being a Jimmy Butler type player in the NBA. I definitely don’t think he’ll be nearly as good, but he’ll be a big guard who can play the three if needed, a guy who you can go to offensively when you need a bucket, and also someone who’s capable of guarding almost anyone due to his size.

Jimmy Butler’s been on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team four different times in his career. He didn’t even measure well defensively in college. Culver’s defensive numbers in college blow Butler’s away. Jimmy Butler never had more than 1.7 defensive win shares at Marquette. Jarrett Culver had 3.5 this past season. Jimmy Butler’s defensive BPM was 2.4 during his final season in college. Culver’s was 5.8.

While I think that these two can compare similarly in the NBA, the fact that Jarrett Culver is much ahead of Jimmy Butler defensively at 20 years old has to make whatever team drafts him excited.

Projected Draft Position: Lottery – Picks 4-7

I think that Jarrett Culver will end up being drafted in the four to seven range. If all the teams keep their picks, then that would mean he’ll either be a Laker, Cavalier, Sun or Bull.

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