Mike Check

Michael Cunningham’s ramblings from the world of sports

Hawks player preview: Tyler Dorsey


 

The Hawks are set to begin training camp on Sept. 26. I'm previewing one player each day leading up to camp (in alphabetical order).

Tyler Dorsey

Position: SG

Height/Weight: 6-4, 183

Age: 21 (2/14/96)

2017-18 salary: $0.82 million

CARMELO projected value: minus $2 million

How acquired: 2017 draft (No. 41 overall)

Dorsey was a fantastic shooter and efficient scorer during his two seasons at Oregon. He shot 3-pointers on nearly half of his total 753 field-goal attempts and made 42 percent of them. Dorsey also got to the line frequently (.392 free-throw attempt rate) and made 73.2 percent of those 295 attempts.

Dorsey’s 42 percent 3-point shooting ranked fourth among the top shooting guard prospects in this year’s draft, according to DraftExpress. Dorsey’s confidence and fearlessness with his shot is reflected by his 1.20 points per possession on catch-and-shoot jumpers when “closely guarded,” according to Synergy Sports Technology.

Dorsey validated his college shooting at the NBA Draft Combine (though he didn’t look good at summer league before suffering an injury). During combine drills Dorsey was among the top shooters from all parts of the floor on spot-ups and off the dribble. And DraftExpress reported that Dorsey also performed well during team scrimmages and at several team workouts.

Dorsey didn’t create much offense for his Oregon teammates. He averaged 2.5 assists per 40 minutes, 3.3 per 100 possessions and had an 11.4 assist percentage. On the plus side, Dorsey turned the ball over just 2.3 times per 40 minutes and 2.9 times per 100 possessions in spite of ranking third on the team in usage as a freshman and sophomore.

DEFENSE

Dorsey’s defensive potential may be limited by his relatively short wingspan and smallish frame. His production on rebounds, steals and blocks at Oregon were all below average for his position. At his

OUTLOOK

When a scorer of Dorsey’s caliber drops into the second round there’s usually some explanation. In Dorsey’s case it may be sample size (he didn’t shine for Oregon until late in his second season, including a Final Four run) and concerns about his relatively slight build for a two-guard (though Dorsey’s wingspan reportedly grew from 6-3 in 2016 to 6-5 ¼ at the combine this year).

Dorsey appears to have one NBA-ready skill and the Hawks certainly can use some scoring punch. Dorsey has shown the ability to score as a spot-up shooter and off the dribble but likely won’t make it in the NBA without also developing some play-making ability. GM Travis Schlenk says Dorsey has the potential to become a "secondary ball-handler" for the Hawks.

Dorsey projects behind Kent Bazemore and Marco Belinell on the depth chart. The latter is an inconsistent shooter and poor defender on the last year of his contract so Dorsey, who signed a two-year deal, likely has the chance to earn some playing time this season to speed along his development. Doing so might depend on Dorsey's ability to buy in to Mike Budenholzer's defensive principles.

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010. He is the author of the AJC’s Mike Check blog.