Earlier this month, Miles McBride officially decided to relinquish the remainder of his NCAA eligibility when he chose to stay in the NBA Draft instead of returning to West Virginia for his junior season.
“The main reason was the feedback I received from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Board. Getting drafted at the end of the first and the start of the second round is what I’ve heard the most, ”McBride told ESPN of his draft decision. “I had a great week at the NBA combine and my pro day, meeting NBA teams and hearing firsthand how much they care about me.”
Scheduled to be selected in the second half of the second round, McBride was one of many draft prospects to train with the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend. The Lakers own the No.22 pick in the draft, so the second-year guard falls straight into their lineup.
The latest Lakers news straight to your inbox! Sign up for the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Lakers!
Second-year guard, McBride was West Virginia’s star last season, averaging 15.9 points and 4.8 assists in 34.2 minutes in 29 games. In terms of scoring, he had a basket percentage of 43.1% and shot almost the same on 3 points at 41.4%. Those numbers were good enough for him to win a 12-second All-Big selection in 2021.
Compared to most guards in the NBA, McBride is a bit undersized. During the NBA Draft Combine, his height was measured at 6 feet, 1 inch without shoes and 6 feet, 2-5 inches with shoes.
After his training, McBride spoke to the media. He emphasized his competitive nature, acknowledging that there will be times when the punches fall and not fall.
“The main thing I would say I’m trying to show is that I’m the ultimate competitor,” McBride said of what he’s trying to show teams in pre-draft practice. “I feel like I’m definitely one of the best competitors in the draft, if not the best.”
Often listed as a playmaker, McBride noted that he can play both guard posts, according to a New York Post article. Considering his averages in West Virginia, it’s clear he can play the first role and lead the attack or play more as a goalie.
As a scorer, McBride has shown his ability to score runs in a variety of ways, as NBA Canada’s Kyle Irving pointed out:
After a solid second season in West Virginia, McBride showed his ability to score on all three levels of the floor with a confident 3-point jumper, a reliable midrange pull-up or float and a solid finish under the rim. around the basket as an undersized guard.
On the combine, McBride’s wingspan was measured at almost 6-foot-9, which should help him as a defenseman – especially as an undersized guard. So he shows promise as a two-way street player in the league.
McBride, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “was considered one of the most disruptive advocates in college football.” In his sophomore at West Virginia, McBride averaged 1.9 steals per game. It is this defensive potential that has in part helped McBride become an intriguing prospect for teams.
If the Lakers part ways with Dennis Schröder, McBride could help fill that guard gap.
McBride may have expressed his comfort in being a combined guard, but his ability to take on the role of a traditional playmaker is questionable. NBA Scouting Live’s Alan Lu pointed out that the 20-year-old goaltender tends to focus on scoring rather than playing in addition to inconsistent scoring.
McBride is also a bit undersized. His impressive wingspan could help make up for the height difference he will encounter against most of the other players in the NBA perimeter. But he will have to prove that he can defend himself against them, and this is also where his competitive spirit can help him.
READ NEXT: Lakers star LeBron James blamed for Suns final loss