DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Dallas Mavericks
About Ray Spalding
Ray Spalding is a long, fluid forward with interesting potential who covers ground impressively on the defensive end and has a budding finesse game offensively. A consensus top-50 prospect in the high school class of 2015, Spalding carved out a minor role as a true freshman under Rick Pitino at Louisville. Filling a similar role in his sophomore season, Spalding turned the corner as a junior. Averaging 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game in his first season as a regular starter, Spalding showed improvement as an interior scoring option, rebounder, and defender to earn Honorable Mention All-ACC honors for a Cardinals team that won two games in the NIT under interim coach David Padgett.
- Measured 6’10.25 in shoes with a terrific 7’4.75 wingspan and skinny 215-pound frame at the 2018 NBA Draft Combine. Has a nice combination of size and length for a power forward, but has a lot of room to get stronger. Maximizing his frame could add an important dimension to his game as he has good mobility and coordination for his size.
- Played a key role for a Louisville team that didn’t rely heavily on any one player. Created quite a bit of his own offense operating with his back to the basket, but did his best work utilizing his length and touch as a catch and finish threat in close. Flashed the ability to run the floor impressively for his size and even step out and make a jump shot. Remains early in his development as an offensive player.
- Productive defender who makes some plays contesting shots and deflecting passes in the passing lanes by virtue of his length. Has some impressive moments switching defensively getting in a stance and moving his feet on the perimeter guarding multiple positions. Lacks a degree of strength and discipline, but allowed just 0.758 points per Post Up possession[64th percentile] using leverage to his advantage. Commits some avoidable fouls. Still learning when to be aggressive and when to go straight up inside. Awareness is still a work in progress off the ball, but there is a lot to like about his tools and approach defensively. Has some interesting upside defensively to mature into as a pro.