The Mavericks wasted very little time securing their second rookie from the 2019 class in Penn State Defensive Specialist Josh Reaves. What can MFFL’s expect?
Overall, the Mavs have been much more quiet the past few days than MFFL’s would have liked but they did hustle to sign Penn State guard Josh Reaves to a 2-way deal. While it’s not a sexy signing, I’m not mad at it from a purely basketball perspective. Luka is going to need good perimeter defenders around him and Reaves could be that.
Let’s dive in.
Josh Reaves. SR. SG Penn State
Key Measurements: 6’4″ 210 6’7″ Wingspan
Key stats: 10.6 pts, 5 reb, 2.5 stls per game.
Shooting: 35.6% from 3. 65.6% from the line.
What he does well
Offense: Offensively, Reaves does a good job of seeing the floor when he has the ball, especially in the open floor. His 3 point percentage as a Freshman (though it was on less than two shots a game) was only 7.7% and improved over his next two years to 37.7%. It did drop back down to 35.6% but he at least has achieved some level of consistency. On a team that will take more attention away from him there’s reason to believe he’ll be at least an average shooter.
Defense: Defense is what got him to the league. Though he doesn’t have an amazing wingspan, Reaves is a disruptive defender. He was named to the Big 10 All defense team each of the past two years and was the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year this year. He led the Big 10 in steals per game each of the past 3 seasons and was 13th in the NCAA this season. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a man-to-man clamp defender, but he is a defensive playmaker. He has quick hands and uses them to poke the ball away from guys or get blocks from behind which often leads to a fast break for his team.
Other: Reaves is a hustle player so you can look at him in the mold of a Dorian Finney-Smith. His box score numbers may not be sexy but he impacts the game.
Flaws/Areas for Improvement
Offense: This will be the deciding factor in whether or not he sticks in the league. While his 3 point percentage in college would be considered about average in the NBA, with the 3 point line being further away in the NBA and the defenders being quicker and bigger, you’d imagine his numbers will go down. He will need to spend a lot of hours in the gym working on that shot in order to reach his potential as a 3 and D guy and remain valuable. He does not currently posses the ability to create his own shot so he’d need to be a catch and shoot specialist at the very least. He also needs to be ready to shoot because often he doesn’t look for his offense.
Defense: Honestly he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He can definitely already guard 1’s and 2’s so perhaps getting stronger so he can check some 3’s would be a good thing for him to look to accomplish this season.
Reaves is obviously here because of his 3 and D potential. Signing him to a 2-Way Deal means that the Mavs believe in his defense but know that he has some work to do before he’s ready to be an NBA player. As we’ve seen over the past few years, guys show signs of hitting their potential but consistency is the difficult part. We’ll now get to see if Reaves is up to the task.
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