Paul Reed NBA Draft Scouting Report – Atlanta Hawks Prospect

Full NBA Draft scouting report for Paul Reed: finding his strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit on the Atlanta Hawks.

The 2020 NBA draft class is projected to be one of the weakest in recent memory, but it’s also set to be one of the youngest. Freshman and teenage international talent will likely dominate the first round, even more than usual. Just one upperclassman went in the first round of my last mock draft: Paul Reed.

The 21-year-old declared for the draft after spending three years with DePaul and was named to the All-Big-East Team this year. Reed continued to shoot up draft boards in his final season by becoming of the nations’ premier paint defenders.

Paul Reed Scouting Report:

Paul Reed’s Strengths:

Universal defense

Reed has the potential to be a true defense anchor both inside and out, which is incredibly valuable in today’s NBA. He has the size and strength to guard big men in the paint, and the lateral quickness to step out to the perimeter.

He offers unique switchability and elite defensive tools. If given enough playtime down the road, he’s someone who could compete for a Defensive Player of the Year award or two.


Paul Reed not only passes the eye test on defense, but he also stuffs the stat sheet as well. He averaged 4.5 STOCKS (blocks + steals) in just over 31 minutes per game last year, using his long arms and quick reflexes to poke, swat, and reject balls all game (which can also get him into a bit of foul trouble).


For a defensive-minded player, Reed is a solid finisher around the rim. He’s a smart rim-runner and a dangerous roll guy out of the P&R. He doesn’t have a deep bag of tricks when it comes to post scoring, but can get to the rim out of a face-up and finish with either hand.


Reed was a solid rebounder in college for a team that asked a lot out of him, averaging over ten boards per night. He might be even better crashing the glass with less attention being paid to him, and his speed makes him a threat to fly in for an unexpected rebound at any time.

Paul Reed’s Weaknesses:


Reed has a lot to do if he’s ever going to be considered a stretch four, as of now, his shot just isn’t there. It’s an awkward looking jumper that’s devoid of the natural mechanics you’d like to see. He was actually a decent shooter numbers-wise (30 percent on 1.8 attempts per game) but teams likely wouldn’t give him the green light unto he proves himself more.


Reed is usually looking to either score or quickly pass away when he gets the ball; not someone you’d feel confident with holding the ball while a play develops. He can be wild with the ball when he does run the offense, making unpredictable decisions that often lead to turnovers or bad shots.


It has to be said, and it’s why Reed is not a sure-fire first-rounder: he’s old. He’ll be 22 years old before the halfway point of his rookie season, which looks even worse compared to the aforementioned youth of this draft class.

It doesn’t mean he’s done developing, but he’s much more of a finished product than you’d want.

Film Session:

Full game versus Villanova (1/14/20):

What to watch for:

  • Springy interior defense, contesting shots without actually recording a block (example – 22:34)
  • Over-aggressive closeouts and steal attempts.
  • Jumper mechanics.
  • Crashing the glass on both ends.
  • Varying effectiveness of picks on offense (30:54).
  • Help defense.

Full Game Highlights versus Xavier:

Fit With Atlanta Hawks:

Reed fits perfectly in one of the two things the Atlanta Hawks need this off-season. If the team selects him he could be a nice defensive backup to John Collins and would help bolster the team’s interior defense, which will already be improved by Clint Capela.

His lack of spacing doesn’t fit the Atlanta Hawks’ scheme (neither does Capela) on offense and Reed might be best utilized as a small-ball five.

The Bottom Line:

Reed has a real chance to be one of the best defenders in this class, and his value as a positionless defender should make him a first-round pick. There are warranted question marks surronding his offensive game and his ceiling in the NBA depends will depend on how much he improves on that end.

Should the Atlanta Hawks draft Paul Reed?