Aubrey Dawkins and BJ Taylor carry the load for UCF offensively. Do the Knights guards have any chance of playing in the NBA? Dawkins and Taylor are absent from the majority of major big boards and mock drafts.
Taylor is a redshirt-senior and will get a feel for his NBA outlook after the season. Dawkins is a redshirt-junior and will have an opportunity to improve his draft stock by returning to UCF for his senior season if he chooses to do so. Dawkins is the son of UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins.
He could decide to declare for the draft without signing with an agent. This would allow Dawkins to get feedback from NBA teams and go through a few workouts prior to returning to UCF for his final season.
Taylor averaged 16 points and 3.3 assists while shooting 36.8 percent from the three-point line this season. Dawkins averaged 15.2 points, five rebounds while shooting 39.2 percent from behind the arc.
Here is a look at NBA draft profiles for Dawkins and Taylor.
Aubrey Dawkins NBA Draft Profile
STRENGTHS: Dawkins is a good three-point shooter making 39% of his attempts. The UCF wing player’s length and shooting ability have some elements of a potential three-and-D player at the next level. Dawkins’ father was a legendary player at Duke and spent nine seasons in the NBA. Players who are coaches sons tend to have a little bit of a knowledge edge given they have been around basketball since they were young. Earlier this season, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein suggested Dawkins is a legit NBA prospect.
“Aubrey Dawkins is a legitimate NBA prospect. Tremendous size for a wing at 6-6. Can defend and make shots with regularity. Was sensational tonight against Cincinnati,” Rothstein tweeted.
WEAKNESSES: Dawkins leaves you wanting more with the glimpses of offensive ability he shows. You want Dawkins to take over games more than he does and establish himself as UCF’s go-to player. Dawkins has only scored 20 or more points six times this season. Would love to see Dawkins exhibit more of a “Mamba mentality” on the court rather than drifting, at times, during games.
The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie disagreed with Rothstein’s assessment on Dawkins’ NBA chances.
“Aubrey Dawkins is a junior who turns 24 in May. He’s fine, and he shoots it well on the move. But not at an NBA level, which is basically what he needs to be right now…UCF junior Aubrey Dawkins is four months older than Aaron Gordon, who has gone through an entire rookie scale contract and is in the first year of his second NBA deal,” Vecenie tweeted.
SUMMARY: Dawkins has the measurables and shooting ability to get an NBA look. Barring an amazing run in the NCAA tournament, Dawkins is a likely candidate to return to UCF for one more season and improve his draft stock. As of now, Dawkins is not projected to be drafted in the first two rounds.
BJ Taylor NBA Draft Profile
STRENGTHS: A coach can feel at ease with Taylor running the offense. The UCF point guard makes good decisions, but his best skill is scoring the basketball. Taylor excels at attacking the basket and playing through contact. Taylor has a beautiful form on his jump shot.
WEAKNESSES: At 6’2″, Taylor does not have the prototypical size of an NBA point guard. While Taylor is a good decision maker, he only averages 3.3 assists per game. Like Dawkins, you wish Taylor took over games more. Taylor enjoys playing through contact, which can lead to him fishing for fouls on out-of-control shots.
SUMMARY: Taylor likely needs a stellar March Madness to play himself into the second round of the NBA draft. Taylor’s most likely route is taking advantage of his opportunity on an NBA summer league roster. Plenty to like about his game but his measurements and athleticism will make it tough for him to get drafted.