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2022 NBA Draft Profile: Wendell Moore Jr.

Let’s look at the game of the former Duke wing.

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North Carolina v Duke Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Wendell Moore Jr.

Wing | 6’6” | 215 lbs. | Jr. | Age: 20

2021-22 stats (39 games): 13.4 PPG | 5.3 RPG | 4.4 APG | 1.4 SPG | 50.0 FG% | 41.3 3P% | 60.5 TS% | 21.4 PER

Texas Tech v Duke
Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots the ball against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half in the Sweet Sixteen.
Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images


Strengths:

Improved shooter:

If you strictly looked at Moore’s freshman shooting numbers: Woof; he shot 41.6 percent from the floor, including 44.4 percent on 2s and 21.1 percent from the free-throw line — good enough for a 50.0 true-shooting percentage. As a junior, Moore sunk half his attempts, including 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 80.5 percent from the free-throw line (TS%). He was a very good spot-up shooter and showed potential off the dribble too, despite lacking an elite burst.

Feisty defender:

Moore generated north of 2.0 steals per 100 possessions in each season at Duke with excellent hands on the perimeter and in the post. His length allowed him to be excellent at dislodging balls on the perimeter as well as perfecting the patented Andre Iguodala swipe-down in the low post or on drives. Moore moved his feet well and kept ballhandlers in front while using his muscular frame to wall off driving lanes and force tough pull-up shots. He was a good screen navigator, too. Moore’s very polished on the defensive end of the floor and should be an intriguing prospect given his 7-foot wingspan.

Playmaking capability/Feel for game:

Like Dalen Terry, while not as explosive, Moore showed a ton of playmaking capability in transition. He was one of Duke’s best hit-ahead and lob passers in such situations. And despite operating as a secondary creator at Duke, he was proficient in pick-and-roll situations and finding the open man in the half-court — boasting a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. His playmaking is one of his biggest strengths.

Weaknesses/Questions:

Vertical athleticism:

Even though he occassionally looked rushed, Moore was a good finisher at Duke — netting north of 71 percent of his rim attempts — but lacked the requisitie vertical athleticism that hindered his ability to finish above defenders. It’s going to be an bigger uphill climb against more athletic NBA rim protectors. He has a good-enough frame to finish through defenders, but perhaps he’ll figure out different angles about finishing around them with added experience at the next level.

Shooting consistency:

While Moore’s shot did improve, it’s always a question when a three- to four-year college player has one spectacular shooting season with meh efficiency otherwise. It may not be that big of a concern due to his free-throw percentage. But he raised his 3-point and true-shooting efficiency by more than nine percentage points each (on similar volume) from his sophomore to his junior season. This shouldn’t be labeled as much of a concern, but rather a development I’m going to track at the next level. The mechanics and release both look good, so there’s definitely good shooting potential there.

Overall:

I’m not the first, nor will be the last to say that Duke team was loaded. And Moore might’ve been their most polished two-way player — and the fact that’s even a discussion says something. If Miami’s looking for additional wing depth, Moore should be near the top of their leaderboard given their draft spot. He’s a Miami Heat-type player.


Games/Highlights to watch:


What others are saying about him:

Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo:

Moore shook off two difficult seasons and turned himself into a consistent, reliable player as a junior, emerging as Duke’s leader and as a player who can do a little bit of everything: He’s taken a leap forward in confidence and assertiveness; he’s a capable passer who can handle the ball and start plays; he’s an improving jump shooter (41% from three was an impressive leap); and he offers plus length and smarts on the defensive end. While he’s not especially tall for a wing, Moore’s traits in concert offer nice versatility to blend different types of lineups and augment teammates. He excels in transition and plays an appealing brand of team basketball, and his consistency was a key part of Duke’s success. Moore’s not going to be a big-time scorer, but I think he has more upside than he gets credit for.

The Athletic’s John Hollinger:

Moore kind of got lost as scouts focused on Banchero and Williams at Duke, and he played a more limited role on a talented offensive squad. However, he had a good junior year and won’t turn 21 until September, and his ability to pass, defend, make open shots and score in the open court all make him a strong candidate to become a plus role player as a pro.

Moore could likely stand to improve his finishing and overall scoring package inside the 3-point line, but his rates of rebounds, assists and steals all are among the best of any shooting guard prospect this year, and those indicators usually point toward pro success more than scoring averages. Additionally, he shot 41.3 percent from 3 and 81.5 percent from the line and usually guarded the opponent’s best player. The 3-and-D archetype is pretty clearly there, and in a fairly athletic package that might be able to go up another notch with some conditioning gains.

He has enough length and leaping ability to alter shots when he goes up to contest them, and when he did get beat off the dribble, he had a good chase-down gear to block opponents from behind. He can get a little upright, and it looked like he was trying a bit too hard to avoid fouling; changes of direction also sometimes sent him veering into a ditch. It seems he’s more likely to get picked in the second round, but he has starter upside to go with a pretty high floor.

NBA Draft Room:

Wendell Moore Jr is a versatile all around player who gives great effort on both ends of the floor and impacts all aspects of the game. He doesn’t blow you away with one skill but he brings value as a defender, a passer and a transition scorer.

He has the makings of a lock-down defender with great versatility on that end of the court. He’s got a lot of size and length when pressuring the ball and he moves his feet really well when guarding in space.

Wendell isn’t yet a finished product on the offensive end but he excels in transition and at making cuts to the basket. His ball handling is improved and he projects as as a player who can run some point at the next level to go along with his 3&D skill set.