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Bucks Draft Prospect Profile: Khyri Thomas

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Bucks Lead Draft Profile #1: Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton, Junior

Height: 6’3’’ | Wingspan 6’10” | Weight: 200 | Age: 22

2017-18 stats: 15.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 53.8 FG%, 41.1 3FG%

NBA Comparison: Offensive Patrick Beverley

As a junior, Khyri Thomas had his best season in 2017-18 for the Creighton Bluejays as he recorded career-highs across the board, won his second consecutive Big East Defensive Player of the Year award and landed a spot on the All-Big East Second Team. Thomas contributed to one of the nation’s best backcourts as he worked alongside his electrifying teammate, Marcus Foster. Thomas declared for the draft late, but as a 22-year-old he is projected to be drafted first round.

Strengths:

  • Defensive Ability: Khyri’s main bright spot is his defense. In the last two years, Thomas has ranked in the top ten in the Big East for multiple categories like steals per game, total steals, and defensive win shares. Thomas has great defensive awareness and also uses his body effectively as he plays very physically on that side of the ball. The thing that shines most about Khyri’s defensive ability is his length. The 6’3″ guard’s wingspan of 6’10” gives him the ability to disrupt passing lanes and defend multiple positions if needed. He would add some much needed defensive help off the bench for the Bucks if he were to fall to them as the 17th pick.
  • Jump Shot: In his junior season, Khyri shot 54% from the field and 41% from deep. Khyri has clean mechanics and if he can maintain that, he will not need to make any changes to his shot. He showed confidence in that shot throughout this last year, shooting almost 40 more threes than his previous year. He also posted a good free throw percentage, 79% at the line.
  • Physical Build: Throughout his college career, Khyri has transformed his body as he has put on more weight from muscle and also used his tremendous length. On defense, Khyri uses his length on defense to trap defenders and get into passing lanes, and he uses it on offense to get his shot up over bigger defenders. On offense, he uses his length to get a shot up over bigger defenders. Khryi would fit right on with mantra of “Team All Length”.
  • Intangibles: Khyri can do more in a game than stats show. He often uses his body to take charges on defense or cut off players on defense to disrupt the offense. Thomas also put up decent rebounding numbers, averaging about five rebounds per game. He ranked 8th in the Big East in RPG in 2016-17, which shows the effort he gives, given his size.

Weaknesses:

  • Age: On draft night, Khyri Thomas will be 22 years old, and one of the oldest draftees of the night. This can be a red flag for many teams as it limits his potential to grow in the NBA. If the teams wanted a player that would require time to develop, Thomas’ age would hurt his chances of landing with that team.
  • NBA Offense: Thomas has shown strength in college with his offensive ability but there are questions about how his game with translate to the NBA. Thomas needs to improve his speed and jump shot in order to excel at the NBA level. Khyri’s shot takes longer to release so in a league with much faster players, that could plague his offensive production. Thomas also lacks explosiveness compared to most of the guards he plays with. His inability to get around a defender on drives to make a play could also hinder his offensive ability.
  • Size: Khyri Thomas is only 6’3″ but he is not labeled a point guard. Khyri’s length can make up for this but if he is a SG, he will often be undersized. He is limited at point guard because he does not possess the handling skills to be the primary ball handler. His size also limits his defensive versatility because he is often smaller than some guards and many forwards.

So what makes Khyri a good fit for the Bucks?

First of all, almost all mock drafts have him going in the mid-late first round. In the time he would play, he would provide some needed defensive help as well as some three-point shooting. The Bucks would use him to defend big scorers and chip in threes and other scoring here and there. Thomas would also provide an electrifying energy when he plays as he plays tough and gets after it on defense.

Khyri Thomas would fit the narrative of “Team All Length” is he was a part of the team. He would add another long wingspan to disrupt defenses and it would be interesting to see how new head coach, Mike Budenholzer, would use him in defensive schemes with other players with massive wingspans. Although potential is limited, his defense is Thomas’ most optimistic skill and there is belief that he can grow to be a stud defender. With the length and the talent the Bucks have and a new coach running the team, he would be a piece to a Bucks team that could be impenetrable on defense.

Khryi has not worked out with the Bucks yet which could play against him to land in Milwaukee. Khyri has worked out with the Trail Blazers and Jazz so far, both teams with a mid-late pick.

If drafted by the Bucks, Thomas would be our most NBA-ready player drafted since Malcolm Brogdon in 2016. Recently, the Bucks have elected to draft for potential rather than a player for the present. Things could be different now though, as Milwaukee looks to be a more serious contender. This title-contending mentality could mean that the Bucks draft someone who is ready to make an impact for them immediately. It will be interesting to see how GM Jon Horst and the Bucks’ front office will approach this draft. If the Bucks decide they want an NBA-Ready prospect, Khyri Thomas could fall to them on draft night.

*All stats sourced from basketball-reference.com 

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