The 2021 NBA Draft will be an important event for teams to build for their future. Here is the Sharife Cooper 2021 NBA Draft Profile.
Sharife Cooper Background
Position: Point Guard
Size: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds
2020-21 stats: 20.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 steals, 39.1% FG, 22.8% 3PT, 82.5% FT
Cooper only played 12 games in college, but really provided a jolt for Auburn. He has now decided to go to the NBA where he will hope to do the same for an NBA team.
As a five-star recruit, Cooper decided to play for Bruce Pearl and the Tigers, as the highest-rated recruit in Auburn history. He initially wasn’t cleared to play by the NCAA, but was able to finally play in 12 games by the end of the season. Cooper averaged 20.2 points and 8.1 assists per game in those 12 games. Auburn went 13-14 on the season and self-imposed a postseason ban.
His time at the college level was short, but Cooper displayed his skill well. He is now projected to be a late first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Cooper is one of the best passers in the draft. He can push the ball in transition and make pinpoint passes for assists. In the half-court offense, Cooper can run the pick and roll well, which is so important in today’s NBA. He can also get into the lane and create pressure on a defense before kicking it out to open teammates on the perimeter. His vision should allow him to run an offense well, but he will need to try to cut down on his 4.2 turnovers per game.
In addition to his passing, Cooper is a great ball-handler. He can beat his man off the dribble, as he has great speed with the ball. His quickness makes it hard for most defenders to stay in front of him. He also takes care of the basketball well when dribbling, as he rarely gets his pocket-picked.
His ability to get into the lane and score is great, especially considering his size. He is creative and not afraid of contact. Cooper finishes well and can shoot floaters over taller defenders. Although he is small, his speed helps him create separation to just get the ball by would-be shot-blockers. Cooper will score most of his points at the basket, whether in transition or in the half-court, or the free throw line.
Cooper doesn’t have great size. He is 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, which is well undersized. Cooper needs to add muscle to his frame to be able to handle the grind of an NBA season. His measurables may come up worse than that though, as Cooper did not go through the measurements at the NBA Combine. Either way, he’ll need to hit the weight room to bulk up.
His shooting holds back his offensive game. He shot just 39.1 percent from the floor and 22.8 percent from 3-point range. Cooper’s free throw percentage of 82.5 does give some hope that he can improve, but he isn’t there yet. Defenders will lag off of Cooper to help stop his driving ability. He will need to use the space he is given to find open teammates, much like Rajon Rondo did early in his career.
He didn’t play great defense at Auburn. Cooper has the speed and quickness to stay in front of his man, but needs to improve his defensive awareness to improve. He doesn’t have the length to really be disruptive and create turnovers, but he can turn himself into someone who really causes problems with the amount of ball-pressure his footspeed could create.
Projected Draft Range: Late First Round Pick
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