- School: Miami
- Height: 5’11″
- Weight: 171 lbs
- Wingspan: 5’10.75″
Larkin’s strenghts appear as though they should naturally translate to the NBA. After leaving DePaul to reunite with Jim Larranaga, who recruited him while he was coaching at George Mason, the sophomore point guard had his best season to date.
Pick-and-roll is the language that Larkin speaks. In such situations at Miami, he managed to post 1.004 points per possession. Pick-and-rolls made up 47% of the sophomore star’s offense. It wasn’t all about points for Larkin though. He showed that he was a more than willing and crafty passer, finding shooters, roll men, and simply making plays time and time again.
At the NBA Combine in Chicago, Larkin improved his draft stock with the most impressive workout of any prospect in Thursday’s draft. With a 44″ vertical leap and elite quickness, many scouts seem to not be as worried about his lack of size. Numbers don’t limit Larkin’s athleticism though. His first step is lightning quick, and is one of the shiftiest players in the draft class. He has a variety of isolation moves, that when coupled with the quickness that he possesses, make him nearly impossible to stay in front of.
Larkin doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses in his game, but if there is one, it’s his size. At just 5’11″, his lack of height will hurt him in numerous ways, at both ends of the court. With a wingspan of just 5’10.75″, Larkin will have the shortest wingspan in the NBA next season.
His lack of size hurts his ability to finish at the rim dramatically. Despite being able to get into the paint at will, Larkin does have to rely on his various floaters and pull up jumpers to make up for his inability to finish over or through opponents. At Miami this past season, he finished at just a 52% clip at the rim. Not due to lack of effort, Larkin happens to get blocked often in the paint. It is simply a matter of size. Regardless, it will hurt him to some degree.
Defensively, Larkin struggles to keep bigger, stronger point guards out of the paint. At the NBA level, he will have to match-up with the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook, all of which are capable of playing with their backs to the basket at an extremely high level.
Role on the Sixers
Larkin’s role on the Sixers would be quite simple. If drafted, he would become Jrue Holiday’s back-up. The Sixers struggled to find any sort of offense off the bench from the point guard position.
The revolving door at the position involving Royal Ivey, Maalik Wayns, Jeremy Pargo, and Charles Jenkins failed to produce on a consistent basis. Along with another big man, a point guard off the bench should be one of Sam Hinkie’s top priorities. These struggles forced Jrue to play more minutes than Doug Collins probably had hoped for, and ultimately probably contributed to his declining performance late in his All-Star season.
Larkin would be called on to come off the bench and add a scoring punch to the second unit. In the team’s two previous successful season under Collins, the bench was a strength. Featuring Thaddeus Young and Louis Williams, the “Night Crew” was one of the best reserve units in the NBA. It’s hard to say whether or not Larkin could replace Williams, but he would be a step in that direction.