Is Rasheed Sulaimon ready for the NBA?

Rasheed Sulaimon was another player many people thought could come out after this season at Duke.  He had a great freshman season, and most people expected him to take another step forward as a sophomore.  He was supposed to be one of the main players on this season’s team along with Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood.  He was not expected to struggle this season, and certainly it is a surprise that he has had to come off the bench for most of the games.  This season has not started well for Sulaimon, but he is playing better the last few weeks, so could he be ready for the NBA?

He is a great player who has a number of aspects of his game, but he needs to improve.  He is an elite athlete who has a nice offensive game.  He can improve his defense, and he can also work on moving without the ball and not be the focus of the offense.Rasheed Sulaimon

His defense can be really good if he wants to put in the time and effort.  He can move his feet well, and is able to get pressure on anyone he is playing against.  The problem for him is that he lets his offense affect his defense.  He has to be able to move for help defense.  He needs to know the rotations of the defense, and be able to bring great pressure on defense every possession.  The main thing he will have to learn is that even if his offensive game is suffering, he still has to play on the defensive side of the ball.

The other thing he will need to learn to do if he wants to declare for the NBA draft is learn how to move without the ball.  If he is not the focus of the offense, he struggles to have an impact on the game.  When he doesn’t have the ball he tends to become a spectator on the court.  This can’t continue if he is going to be a great player, and if he expects to be able to play with some of the better players in the world he will have to learn to let someone else take the shots.  These things are the most important things for him to learn to do going forward.

He is a very good offensive player, but has number of things to improve on.  He has gotten better in this season with all aspects of his game.  He has not let his defense suffer in some games where his offense is not there.  He used to have that happen, but after not playing in the Michigan game he seems like he understands that he can impact the game on defense no matter what else is going on.  His offense still struggles if Hood and Parker are both having a great game, and this is something he still needs to improve on.

He is still a great player, and will contribute as long as he is at Duke.  He will get a chance to play in the NBA.  As of now Sulaimon needs to stay at Duke and improve his game.  This draft with it being so good he might even slide to the second round, so look for Sulaimon to stay at Duke for at least another season.