After spending four years under Mike Krzyzewski, Ryan Kelly is ready for the NBA. Named team captain for the second straight year in 2012-13, Kelly’s offensive game translates well into the NBA. His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting draws comparison to a Ryan Anderson type player. His defensive ability is lacking which was part of the reason he was drafted so low in the 2013 NBA draft. Maximizing his strength will be necessary as Kelly is a below average athlete with an average wingspan. He also lacks an ideal first step and the length or explosiveness to finish over his man around the basket.
For Kelly, staying healthy is his main obstacle. In 2013 he missed 13 games due to a nagging foot issue. Upon his return he dropped 36 points against a very good Miami team. His issues continued causing him to require surgery which forced him to sit out all individual workouts before the draft. Kelly isn’t allowed to participate with the Los Angeles Lakers‘ summer league squad, but he is still traveling with the team. Kelly will sit six to seven more weeks before he can begin to run and jump again.
For the Lakers, Kelly is a good fit. Not only does he have a big body but he can spread the floor effectively. In 2012, Kelly shot 42 percent from behind the arc while averaging 12.9 points per game. Within Mike D’Antoni‘s system, Kelly should be comfortable due to the amount of three point shots taken. Being a captain at Duke his last two years, Kelly will bring leadership experience to the Lakers. The 6-foot-11 forward also ranks 17th in the Duke record books with 96 career blocks.
Kelly has helped Duke to a 90-13 (.874) record in his 103 games played, including a 39-7 mark in 46 career starts. His energy, hustle, and determination are traits that come naturally. Kelly knows his game and he is confident he can win a spot on the Lakers roster this year. Under Krzyzewski’s guidance the past four years at Duke, Kelly has what it takes to be a solid player for the Lakers.