After being selected 19th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Rashad Vaughn did not have the greatest rookie year. Largely regarded out of college as a sharpshooting guard, Vaughn struggled with the NBA range last season. Still, the 20-year-old Vaughn is one of the youngest starters in the NBA. The Minnesota native has plenty of upside going forward, even after a disappointing rookie season.
Although not what Bucks’ fans may have wanted, the injury to Khris Middleton has definitely opened up minutes for the other young players in the Milwaukee backcourt that should have a huge impact on the future of the Bucks.
It’s hard to say what Vaughn’s strengths really are at the next level right now, but with such a small sample size of professional play, much of his strengths are still based on his play in college. In his one year at UNLV, Vaughn made 54 of his attempted 141 three-pointers (a 38.3 percent success rate).
Although this number translated to just 29.3 percent in the NBA, the reality is that Vaughn does have a quality jump shot, he just needs to find it and get into a rhythm from behind the arc. In a season that he is almost guaranteed to see an increase in his minutes (Vaughn played 14.3 minutes per game last year), he will get plenty of in-game shots to show the fans how he has improved in the offseason.
Another strong point for Vaughn is his size. At 6’6″, he has very good size for an NBA shooting guard. Due to the “Team All-Length” qualities of the Milwaukee Bucks, Vaughn’s size allows him to easily fit with the rest of the team, especially on defense, where the team mostly plays in a position-less system.
On the other hand, Vaughn has plenty of flaws in his game, some of which overlap with his strengths. For starters, it is true that he hasn’t found his stroke from three. This is a problem because he came into the league with hopes of being a knockdown shooter, and that has not happened in the slightest. In order to become a legitimate NBA starter, Vaughn will need to get his percentage up from deep.
Defensively, Vaughn needs to work on showing constant effort. He has all the raw tools and ability to play solid defense, but he isn’t always dedicated to doing it. Some of his defensively struggles can be attributed to hitting the rookie wall, but he needs to improve upon his effort in year two.
Vaughn’s other major problem comes in his small sample size of play. This is just his second year in the NBA, and after playing just 23 games in college, there has not been much time for Rashad to prove himself. This is a year where he should get plenty of opportunities so for the sake of his future with Milwaukee, he will need to step up in a big way.