|Team: UT Martin|
H: 6' 4"|
W: 205 lbs
(34 Years Old)
Current: PG |
High School: Male
Hometown: Louisville, KY
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In this, our third viewing of Kelly in a workout setting, he continued to impress and intrigue about his potential as a tall and extremely strong point guard. His natural point guard abilities were not on display in this setting, which consisted of 2-on-2 scrimmages and some full court drills, but he impressed with the rest of his game.
The first thing you notice about him is his impressive physical attributes. He's 6'4 with long arms and a very strong build, possessing a chiseled, large upper body. He uses his body well on the defensive end, where he plays intense, in-your-face defense, using his strength, quick feet and long arms to contain his opponent. He has good hands, which he showed by poking at the ball here a few times, including a clean pick on the perimeter of the 5'10 Pooh Jeter. He played some good prevent defense at times, too, using his length and lateral quickness to get in between his own man and the man with the ball, preventing the pass to him. He showed some defensive versatility when matched with Jamaal Williams, a 6'6 PF from the University of Washington, bodying up to him in the post and mid-range. His toughness and terrific motor were always on display throughout the workout, which had to make a strong impression on the many decision makers in attendance.
Offensively, he showed a potent inside-out game, using his explosiveness to get past his man and to the rim as well as scoring from the outside on his shot, which has improved considerably in the few months since he's graduated. The mechanics on his shot are solid, as he has a high release, good follow through, and is consistent with his motion. His release could be a little quicker, but he's made excellent progress on his outside shot in the short time he's been working here with his trainer David Thorpe. In the 2-on-2 scrimmages, he hit a few fadeaway jumpers from the mid range as well as one shot from behind the NBA three-point arc, coming around a screen to get space for his shot. He also shot the ball fairly well in the warm-ups prior to the scrimmage. On one occasion in the scrimmage, Kelly missed an outside shot, but quickly reacted to it, blew past his man on the perimeter, and explosively grabbed his own rebound and made the putback attempt.
Kelly did not show any point guard abilities in the 2-on-2 scrimmages, except for feeding the post to teammate Alexander Johnson on a few occasions. He has improved on his outside shot in a very short period of time, which was previously his biggest weakness coming out of college. This, along with his physical characteristics and impressive athleticism make him a very intriguing prospect, though it's still yet to be seen how well he can play the point guard position against higher-level competition in a 5-on-5 setting. He's had some private workouts with NBA teams already, and with his impressive performance here, along with the fact that 15 NBA teams were on hand for the workout, he should have many more lined up leading up to the draft. He might not get drafted, but should still get plenty of chances to catch on somewhere in summer league.
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Kelly has been getting a good amount of workouts since we last saw him, as teams apparently see upside in him being a tall and extremely strong 6-4 point guard and are asking for another look in private settings to make sure they know what they have on their hands.
Kelly’s perimeter shooting wasn’t quite as polished as it was last time we were here when he almost could not miss. When he’s able to set his feet and execute his jumper with the polished mechanics he’s been taught here over the past few months, his shot looks good and falls for him at a good clip. When he’s on the move, though, and not able to gather himself before his shot, he resorts back to his old sloppy form and misses badly more than he makes.
Kelly’s athleticism is quite unique. In the open floor he has good speed and excellent leaping ability off a few long strides. Underneath the basket off two feet, though, he struggles to finish strong unless he has a moment or two to gather himself. Two very important considerations in his evaluation process, his defense and passing, were not on display in this workout due to the nature of the drills, which still leaves us a bit up in the air in regards to his definitive NBA potential. Kelly will clearly get his chance to make a team through summer league and might even have a chance to slip into the late 2nd round if he continues to work out well. His conditioning is terrific, as is his build, and he uses both well in the tenacious type of fashion you’d like to see from a player who is clearly on the bubble as far as his NBA future is concerned. For the second time here, we were impressed with his focus and drive both on and off the court.