Relentless to the rim, lights-out shooter, scores off the pick and roll, catch and shoot, pull-up, whatever…sounds like a top ten talent, right? Not always, but one look at Isaiah Canaan makes you wonder what the lottery scouts are missing.
Canaan lists Chris Paul and Damian Lillard as role models for his own game—and he hits them up regularly for advice on his leap to the League—but with his compact frame, he looks more like Ray Felton or Ty Lawson. He certainly shares their physicality, using his bulk to create space and finish at the rim. Plus, opposing guards can’t post him up because he’ll just muscle them away from the bucket.
He’s gotta have weaknesses, right? Well, Canaan played 6 more minutes per game than any of his teammates last season, and coach Steve Prohm relied on him for everything—every big shot, every pick and roll, every dribble drive. Now, critics say his 3.2 turnovers per game make him “turnover-prone,” even though he was actually second on the team in turnovers per minute. As an NBA rookie, Canaan won’t be asked to make every play, and take every impossible shot; so if that’s the best the haters can come up with—that his coach asked him to do everything—sounds like a legit sleeper to us.