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So Your Team Drafted Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky

The Naismith Award winner may not have the flashiest game, but Kaminsky's going to be a good--or maybe even great--NBA player.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

In a lot of ways, Frank Kaminsky seems to fit into the "great college player that doesn't pan out in the pros" prototype: he's not quick, he doesn't rebound as well as his size would suggest, and he's not physical enough to withstand an NBA season as a big man. All of that is true. What separates him from the likes of fellow Naismith award winner Tyler Hansbrough, though, is the fact that his style fits perfectly into the modern NBA.

Kaminsky is 7'1, the size of a post-playing, rim-protecting, lane-clogging big man in the NBA, but given the fact that the league is becoming increasingly positionless, he could prove valuable to any team that drafts him. He may be relatively old after staying in school all four years, but his upside stems from the fact that he has shown the ability to shoot the three (41% last year) and pass from the high post. A skill that sort of inexplicably gets passed over when considering college prospects is screen-setting, and Kaminsky showed he can effectively disrupt smaller defenders. Unless you're playing a prehistoric system (looking at you, Lakers and Knicks), NBA offenses hinge on the effectiveness of the pick and roll. Kaminsky has the potential to be deadly on the pick and pop, and he showed a surprising ability to get to the rim and finish on rolls. He's never gonna be Dirk Nowitzki, but he could be a more athletic Channing Frye.

There's a lot being made of his lack of athleticism and his age--and justifiably so--but he showed flashes of being able to keep up with NBA level talent in college. In Wisconsin's stunning upset over Kentucky in the Final Four last year, he put up 20 and 11 with 2 blocks against a combination of Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, and Karl-Anthony Towns, all of whom are projected to be drafted in the first half of the first round (Towns will almost certainly go first or second overall):

If you can see through the pixels, you'll be able to see Kaminsky forcing switches that match him up against a guard in the post, beating the uber-athletic Cauley-Stein to basket, stretching out Kentucky bigs all the way out to 25 feet, and generally wreaking havoc on the offensive end against one of the best defenses college basketball has ever seen. I remember thinking that Wisconsin could hang with Kentucky in this game but would have to do so without much help from Kaminsky because there would be no way he could keep up with a group of terrifying basketball sasquatches. Instead, he went out and lit 'em up and managed to hold his own on defense, which honestly was probably more surprising than his 20 points.

All of this is to say that Kaminsky, contrary to what his immediately identifiable characteristics seem to point out, has the ability to play NBA level defense in the post AND be an offensive force on the perimeter. If he realizes that potential, he'd be a perfect big man in the modern NBA. He probably has a ways to go to get there, though. He improved steadily over the course of his college career, but he'll have to make some major adjustments to withstand the grind of an 82 game season. He has a good grasp on defensive rotations (four years with Bo Ryan will do that), but he needs to bulk up and improve his one-on-one post defense. He's never going to be an elite rim protector, but he has shown that he can keep opposing centers away from the rim on offense and defense pretty effectively.

The amazing thing about Kaminsky, though, is that he could fit on virtually any team that drafts him in the top 15: he'll stretch the floor on and probably play considerable minutes on the high post on offense, he'll bang on the boards, and guard the relatively talent-deficient center spot on defense. Kaminsky has a high ceiling for someone who stayed in school for four years and his floor is higher than most prospects'. He's going to make an NBA fanbase happy-to-quite happy.