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2015 NBA Draft: So Your Team Drafted Wisconsin's Sam Dekker

A five-star recruit out of Sheboygan Lutheran High School in Wisconsin, Sam Dekker stayed home and played for the Badgers for three years before turning pro after back to back final four appearances.

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So your team opted to bring in Wisconsin's Sam Dekker. At this point, you're probably wondering what value Dekker could add to an NBA roster. After spending 3 years in college, Dekker should be able to make an impact this season if he is able to adapt his game to the NBA.

Sam Dekker Draft Profile/NBA Breakdown
  • College: Wisconsin
  • Class: Junior
  • Position: Small Forward
  • Height: 6'9''
  • Weight: 220

Overview

The 17th overall prospect coming out of high school, Dekker committed early to play for Bo Ryan at Wisconsin, giving a verbal commitment the summer before his junior year. During his freshman season at Wisconsin, Dekker showed his potential, being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team while he averaged almost 10 points per game off the bench and shot over 39% from distance. In his sophomore and Junior seasons, Dekker was a key piece to the Badgers' back to back Final Four runs. He was named to the Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches both seasons and averaged over 19 points per game in Wisconsin's run to the championship game in 2015.

In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Dekker was able to answer some questions about his inconsistent three point shot, shooting 42%, although he did struggle in the championship game going 0-6 from deep. Here's a look at his stats in his three years at Wisconsin.

Sam Dekker's Season Averages:
Year MIN PTS REB AST BLK STL TO FG% 3P% FT%
2012-2013 22.3 9.6 3.4 1.3 0.4 0.7 1.1 .478 .391 .690
2013-2014 29.8 12.4 6.1 1.4 0.6 0.8 1.1 .469 .326 .686
2014-2015 31.0 13.9 5.5 1.2 0.5 0.5 0.9 .525 .331 .708

What To Expect At The Next Level

I expect Dekker to be at least a contributor at the NBA level for a long time. The determinant of whether the three year Wisconsin star can become a consistent starter in the NBA is his long range shooting. Dekker has great length at 6'9'' with an almost 7' wingspan. He is a smart player who does not turn the ball over and has the ability to play in the post or on the wing.

Offensively, Dekker's biggest strength is versatility. Look for Dekker to try to use his length against smaller defenders in the post. He likes to use his athleticism and length in the post to score. The wing is where Dekker has the most room for improvement. Look for him to struggle from deep at the beginning of his career and try to strengthen his range over time. Creating for others is another area that limits Dekker's offensive game. As you can see by his assist numbers, he does not drive and kick much as he primarily only puts the ball on the deck to score. Dekker has shown great ability to finish at the rim when he drives and a big step at the next level will be proving he can continue his finishing against taller and stronger defenders.

On defense, Dekker has the size to guard small forwards and possibly power forwards. He will have to improve his strength to guard in the post, but I think Dekker has the quickness and length to be a solid defender at the next level. He is smart in his defensive rotations and has the ability to switch and guard multiple positions on the floor.

Overall, Dekker has a great chance to be a starter in the NBA, especially if he can develop his three point shot. He will never be a shoot off the dribble perimeter scorer, but he can be a threat in the post and on the perimeter to catch in shoot.