Georgetown's Mac McClung announced he'd be dipping a toe into the NBA Draft waters over the weekend and declared, but is leaving open the possibility of returning to the Hoyas. If you saw that news and a faint bell of recognition rang in your head, it's because McClung made his name through a series of extremely impressive high school mixtapes.
McClung was having a solid year for Georgetown as a sophomore, averaging just a hair more than 15 points per game before a foot injury sidelined him for the year. So how does his resume stack up to his fellow prospects in a 2020 NBA Draft that has no clear-cut best prospect? Let's break it down.
Who is Mac McClung?
First off, an introduction for those readers who weren't fortunate enough to see one of McClung's dunk tapes. He hails from Virginia as a high school basketball legend who broke Allen Iverson's career points record during his senior year. Check out his skills in the mixtape below:
Yeah. Say what you might about this kid, he's a walking highlight reel.
Mac McClung Draft Profile
But that doesn't set him apart from most other prospects, all of whom are operating at a similar, if not greater, level of skill. But McClung has a chance to be a productive role player at the highest level. The athleticism is obviously there, even if it won't look the same next to the similarly-high caliber athletes that make up 99 percent of an NBA roster. His vertical and handle will allow him to hang with the big kids, especially in the open court. He has all the makings of a feisty sixth man who can get the crowd into the game with a thunderous transition dunk or three while doing enough on both ends of the court to keep the ship steady.
However, he's too small to guard most shooting guards, so his defensive versatility is limited. His three-point shooting is also below-average (32 percent on 4.6 attempts per game in 2019-20), and being able to hit from deep is a must in today's game. He's an 80 percent free-throw shooter, which is generally viewed as a positive sign in regards to his development as a three-point marksman, but he may be several years away from being able to consistently hit the three-ball.
Given his lack of size (6-foot-2, 186 pounds), he needs to improve upon his 1:1 turnover-to-assist ratio he posted with the Hoyas this year. He'll play point guard against all but the smallest of backcourts, and unless he finds himself on a team with several ball-handling wings, he'll be the primary creator of the second unit and responsible for running the offense. McClung has shown he has the capacity to find the open man, but must do so consistently to stick around.
Mac McClung NBA Draft Predictions
As previously mentioned, this draft is wide-open. More teams are going to take chances on high-upside prospects than usual, especially considering the coronavirus pandemic will be a significant hindrance to the draft process. McClung showed a good amount of potential in his second college season, but he isn't going to leap into the lottery due to his lack of size. Once we get past there, it's basically a toss-up. But for my money, McClung will go early in the second or perhaps late in the first depending on who ends up drafting at the bottom of the order. Teams will take chances on bigger wings first and foremost, but McClung will be at the top of draft boards once those are all gone.
The Raptors seem like a natural fit if Fred VanVleet commands a larger contract than they're comfortable with in the barren wasteland that is 2020 free agency. Generally speaking, plenty of teams would likely be willing to take a flier on a prospect like McClung due to his athleticism, which (as the old saying goes) you can't teach. However, McClung could play his way up to the mid-first round if he returned to Georgetown for his junior year and stayed healthy. The latter half of that potential scenario is always the risk when draftees return to school, but unless one team falls in love and takes him late in the first, it may be his best bet unless he's interested in a two-way contract.
Mac McClung Dunk Highlights
Regardless of where he ends up, whoever lands McClung has a future Slam Dunk Contest participant on their team at the very least. His first college dunk was a double-pump reverse jam. So enjoy these highlights and hope we have more to come: