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Grayson Allen 2018 NBA Draft Profile

Duke’s guard has seen good times and bad but in the end, he rose above it all.

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Wisconsin v Duke
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 06: Grayson Allen #3 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after a play in the second half with Quinn Cook #2 against the Wisconsin Badgers during the NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 6, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In the run up to the draft, it seemed like every headline writer managed to work some allusion to kicking in to every story about Grayson Allen.

In the words of Eddie Murphy: “very funny,” - well, better not go there.

It did underscore Allen’s biggest challenge though, which is convincing people that a) he’s past that stuff and b) he’s a good guy.

He probably made some progress on that front this week as he embraced the whole Ted Cruz/Grayson Allen meme thing and had fun with it.

It was a smart move on Allen’s part. Duke fans know he’s a kid who erupted in the 2015 title game, who struggled some his junior year before re-emerging in his senior season as a solid leader and significant talent.

As he’s made the pre-draft rounds, he seems to have made a good impression. His athleticism came as a surprise to some (but not many Duke fans) and a number of people think he’s moved into the first round and possibly just outside the lottery.

Who knows? It’s always a crap shoot with trades and gamesmanship and people moving up and down. He’s been mentioned as a possible Sixers, Celtic or Warrior if he goes late and if that’s the case, then he’ll have fallen in the butter.

Allen’s calling card is his shooting. He’s an outstanding three point shooter and he’s fun on the break where he can really attack the basket.

His biggest weakness may be ball handling although he has consistently improved that. In his junior year though, he got turned around a lot and had his back to the basket because he wasn’t confident enough.

Last year he was much better (and healthier) but it’s not his strong suit. Still, he can pitch in at point in a pinch (possibly with a peck of pickled peppers).

The most important things about Allen though are that first he plays his heart out. We knew a guy who played at Cal State Bakersfield and told us that if people knew how many players only played because they were good at it they’d be amazed. Not that many people, he said, really love the game.

Allen is one of those guys.

And second, his athleticism should allow him to find a spot on nearly any team. And third, there’s always room on a team for a three point shooter even if he’s a specialist like Kyle Korver.

Allen is much more than that.

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