What Is Taurean Prince’s Ceiling?

Atlanta Hawks Taurean Prince (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks Taurean Prince (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks selected Taurean Prince 12th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. What’s a realistic expectation for his ceiling?

After four years at Baylor, small forward Taurean Prince entered the 2016 NBA Draft.

Earning numerous honors throughout his collegiate career, expectations were high for Prince in the pros.

The Hawks made Prince the 12th overall pick in the draft, and he recently completed his second season with the team.

During his rookie year with the team, Prince saw limited minutes and only started a handful of games.

At the end of the season, he had appeared in 59 games, made 10 starts, and averaged almost 17 minutes a game.

During the playoffs, Prince started all six games and scored a little over 11 points a game.

This seemed to show that Prince was ready for the next step during his second year, which ended a few weeks ago.

Prince started every game for the Hawks this year and played 30 minutes per game.

He shot nearly 39% from three, improved his assist totals, and finished the season averaging 14 points a game.

His defensive game also improved and he took a step closer to being a solid 3-and-D player.

What is Prince’s ceiling in the NBA?

Ceilings are always hard to predict in the NBA, but we’ll take a shot at it with Prince.

Based on his improvements this season, he should always be a solid contributor on defense.

Although that would be enough to keep him in the NBA for a long time, we also need to look at his other skills.

Prince is also a skilled three-point shooter and makes his free throws at an above-average rate.

Does his ceiling equate to someone like former Hawk DeMarre Carroll?

He has always been seen as a solid defender, but he was never an overly high scoring threat.

His career high in points per game was last season when he averaged 13.5.

Prince has already exceeded this in his second year, so it seems like his projection should be a little higher.

Could he also surpass similar 3-and-D player Jae Crowder?

Crowder has been a solid option for several different teams but has only one season where he shot the 3 overly well.

He also doesn’t seem to have the same playmaking ability as Prince, considering he’s never averaged more than 2.2 assists per game in a single season.

The closest comparison feels like Robert Covington, who has been solid for the 76ers over the last four seasons.

Covington has averaged double-digit scoring all four years, and he’s an above-average shooter.

He has struggled some this season on defense, but typically he’s pretty sold in that aspect.

Could Prince exceed Covington’s level though and become more of a dynamic scorer?

It honestly wouldn’t surprise me to see him average twenty points a game next year, as long as he continues to develop his shooting.

I think once he develops into a scorer, the other stats such as assists and rebounds will also increase.

Prince will need to make sure he doesn’t let offensive improvements stop his ability on the defensive end though.

Is there a player you think Prince is similar to in the NBA? Someone who he could have a similar career as?

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Let me know in the comments what you think!