Luke Kennard Rumors

All NBA Players

#23
Luke Kennard
Luke Kennard
Position: G
Born: 06/24/96
Height: 6-6 / 1.98
Weight:202 lbs. / 91.6 kg.
Salary: $2,759,280
Van Gundy typically utilizes a smaller rotation of eight or nine players but with Kennard’s progress on the defensive end and the flashes he showed in summer league, that number could either include Kennard outright or be expanded to include him. “What I anticipate is it’ll fluctuate some during the year but at any given time, we’ll have eight or nine guys playing in a rotation but then we’ve got a lot of guys who will be situational too,” Van Gundy said. “Whether it’s we’re on a back-to-back and we need a little more energy or we need more shooting on the floor. Right now, everybody is (available to be in the rotation). “If anybody on my staff made a case for this guy can be or should be in the top eight, (Kennard) would be a legitimate case.”
It speaks loudly to Kennard’s alpha scoring tendencies that in two end-game situations where the Pistons needed three points to tie with less than five seconds to play, in both cases Kennard delivered. The first time, he drew a foul and made all three free throws – a situation that tests the mettle of even the best foul shooters – and the second he drained the tying triple as the opposing bench loudly alerted its defenders to prevent him from getting off a shot. “We’ve seen that a lot. He’s got great mental toughness,” Van Gundy said. “The thing I have great confidence in is that as he runs into challenges in the league – and everybody does and he’ll be no exception – I just think he’s a smart guy who’s adaptable. I think he’ll figure out a way to combat it. I’ve got great confidence in his ability to do that.”
So Van Gundy was heartened to see Kennard’s ability to rise to the moment translate from Duke to a higher level against longer, quicker athletes. And he was encouraged to see Kennard’s offensive flair went beyond scoring. But maybe the biggest takeaway for him was the way Kennard held his own at the defensive end. “The thing I didn’t know that he showed me is he has the ability to move his feet defensively. Now, he’s still got a long way to go in terms of handling some of the other things, rotations and things like that. But he certainly showed that he can get down in a stance and move his feet. I did not have a good feel for that going into the draft, so that was a positive.”