Trevelin Queen – NBA 2020 Draft Scouting Report by Alex Brown

Trevelin Queen Scouting Report

By: Alex Brown @AhbAnalytics


Player Profile

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2020 Draft Age: 23.32 Years

Measurements: 6’6, 190 lbs., 6’8 Wingspan

Background: Trevelin Queen has one of the more inspiring stories in the 2020 NBA Draft, and it is impossible to not want to root for him. For a deeper read, please visit HoopsHype, as Bryan Kalbrosky did a great job catching up with Queen and discussing his story. I will be very briefly summarizing it here:

Queen was a multi-sport athlete who came from little money growing up, and stated that he used to get into trouble and get put in bad situations. He was very fond of baseball and football until he realized basketball was his best chance. He will graduate with two degrees from New Mexico State, an admirable accomplishment (and the first in his family to do so). He also attended military school for ten months around his tumultuous time moving from JUCO to JUCO (averaged 26 ppg at one time). He stated that he was “homeless, kicked out, hungry…[and] didn’t know what was next” (Kalbrosky). Once he got to New Mexico State and begun to flourish, it was a “dream come true”. It legitimately will give you chills reading about how he has made it in life so far, and it is simply impossible to not root for the guy. He has a great relationship with his family and motivation to succeed that is impossible to bet against.

Public Injury Report: Lateral Meniscus Tear, successful surgery (Jan 2020).

Personality: While I have yet to speak with Trev personally, my intuition and research tell me that he has a strong work ethic, is a great teammate, and has a legitimate, buyable drive to succeed. He plays with energy and an infectious edge, and really enjoys the spotlight. He is not afraid to talk some trash too, and clearly has high self-confidence on the court. Queen also seems to heavily value his family, and is not someone I would expect to go overseas lightly. I get the sense he would want to stay here.

“My goal was to never quit. If I can do it, anybody can do it. I went to three different junior colleges. All three were different in every single way possible. I kept going, kept going. It gets better if you really love what you do”

“I would say I’m an all-around player. I’m a two-way. I want to be the best on the offensive end and the defensive end. I like to get my teammates involved in any way possible. If I’m on the bench, then I’m giving motivation and words of encouragement or helping them with the scouting report and to just keep their heads in the game. I know whatever role they have me playing, I’m going to play 100 percent. Whether it’s coming in and getting the steal or getting the charge or getting a bucket, my role is going to be on both ends of the court. I’m going to be on both ends of the court. I want to be able to score and then defend the best player if I have to. I want to be a great two-way player. I’m also an emotional player. You can always see it on the court. I’m willing to put any amount effort into everything. I’d fully be willing to run a thousand miles for a team to play at the highest level. This is my dream” – Trevelin Queen via HoopsHype.

Athleticism: Queen is a plus athlete for a 2. He is a great vertical athlete off of one or two feet, and can really play above the rim with or without space when getting into downhill situations, and can throw down some vicious dunks. He accelerates quite quickly due to his great burst and quick first step, and he relies on this (along with his handle) to get downhill. While his speed sometimes outpaces his decision making, it is a notable asset to play with.

Projected Fit: Complementary Off-Ball Wing | 2 Level Scorer

Projected Draft Landing: Late Second – High Demand Undrafted Free Agent

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Career Projections:

  • High: Bottom – Middle of Rotation: High Impact (Low Usage) 2-Way Complementary Wing
    • This is my personal bet on where Queen will end up in the NBA as of today, as he has the right skillset for an off ball role player that will impact winning on both ends. As he continues to refine his style of play and BBIQ, he could really stick in the NBA as a guy who can impact winning on both ends in a lower usage role. He would be an off-ball 2-level scorer that can make 3’s on mediocre volume and get downhill as a cutter or C&D threat. Queen could check 1-2.5’s reliably, but is better suited to making plays off the ball.
  • Medium: Two Way Contract – Bottom of Rotation: Off-Ball Complementary Wing
    • Queen could find himself in a two-way contract situation fighting for a permanent roster spot. In this scenario, Queen outworks his competition and makes an impact as a low usage bench option that can provide winning value off the ball offensively and slightly positive defensive value. He would be an off-ball 2 level scorer that can make 3’s on a low-mediocre volume and get downhill as a cutter or C&D threat. Queen could check 1.5s-2.5’s reliably, but is better suited to making plays off the ball.
  • Low: G-League – Two-Way Contract: Off-Ball Complementary Wing
    • This outcome would occur if Queen makes no notable strides, which I find quite doubtable. He is a guy that will begin in the G-League likely, but I do not doubt that he will work his way up, as he has done that for his whole life. Even if no notable strides are made in his game, I would still want him in my G-League system at the VERY least for his complementary scoring, defense, morale boost, work ethic, and high motor play. Perhaps due to team fit, Queen goes up and down from the G-league to low usage NBA roles. He would be an off-ball 2 level scorer that can make 3’s on a mediocre-high volume in a G-League role and get downhill as a cutter or C&D threat. Queen could check 1.5s-2.5’s reliably, but is better suited to making plays off the ball.

Offense

 

Strengths

  • Off-Ball Threat: Queen does some of his best work off the ball, and thrives as a catch and shoot, catch and drive, or cutting player. His superior athleticism makes him a tiring player to try and contain when Queen is really engaged while moving off the ball. His notable off-ball strengths are as follows:
    • Spot-Up Shooting: One aspect of Queen’s off-ball game I found very compelling was his spot-up shooting fundamentals and footwork. While it was not textbook, his feet always seem to be set well in advance and require little to (typically) no adjustment at all when he catches the ball. He can go right into his shooting motion, which obviously allows him to get off his shot quite quickly. This is a major plus regarding his off-ball value moving forward. Furthermore, Queen is comfortable using his shooting gravity to create space and open 3’s on the perimeter. Despite finishing in just the 65th percentile as a spot up threat (.98 PPP), Queen finished in the 100th percentile(!) off screens (1.83 PPP). Before you buy stock in that, it was only on 12 possessions, but hints at how Queen can get in rhythm off the ball. Per Barttorvik, 77% of Queen’s 3pt shots were assisted.
    • Catch and Drive: When in catch and drive situations, Queen uses his superior athleticism to effectively attack (often) at full speed downhill off the catch. While this can be erratic at times, there is no denying that Queen has some value as a C&D player that leverages his shooting gravity and athleticism to blow by closeouts. Considering how quickly he can get his spot-up 3’s off, defenders are incentivized to play him tightly, which Queen leverages.
      • Cutting: Naturally due to the aforementioned strengths, Queen has value as a cutter. His burst, creativity, and timing as a cutter round out his quality off-ball game. Considering he is also a lob threat at the guard or wing spot, expect Queen to be a solid cutter that can finish some high levels plays. Finished in the 89th percentile as a cutter (1.44PPP).
  • Finishing: Queen was a solid finisher at the rim, converting 66.3% of his shots there while only having 31.6% of those as assisted, per Barttorvik. He can finish strong above the rim, and has some finesse and craft below it. Essentially, Trevelin Queen projects as a good finisher overall, especially if he strengthens up. While the rest of his in-between game is a work in progress, his efficiency at the rim and from range are promising for a complementary piece that will not be asked to create as much as he did at New Mexico State. He could stand to diversify his finishing package and improve through contact, but shouldn’t be a negative finisher.
    • Transition Play: Due to Queen’s ability to leverage his athleticism and finishing package in space along with his shooting gravity, Trev is a lethal transition player that is sure to provide value and bring energy. For a player that generates defensive events like Queen, this is a fun tool to have.

Improvement Areas

  • Ball Security & Decision Making: Queen has the tendency to lose sight of incoming off-ball defenders or beaten defenders when handling the ball, leading to easy strips and defensive bailouts. His occasionally erratic style can cause more problems then necessary. He does not have the best feel as a passer either, and often tries home run passes that are just not in his arsenal. This makes him a bit worrying as a potential creator and initiator, and part of the reason I prefer Queen as an off-ball player at the pro level. Queen does not excel with the ball in his hands, and I would prefer to develop his already strong off-ball play as opposed to making him initiate offense. He has potential to be very strong off the ball, not so much as an initiator.
    • Pick and Roll Creation: Queen was not exactly an asset as a P&R ball handler, finishing in the 8th percentile (.415 PPP) on 53 charted possessions. Again, I heavily prefer Queen off the ball, but this is just another example of his struggles as an initiator or creator. Hard to see Queen becoming a plus here or a secondary or tertiary initiator, so I would avoid this play-type and focus on his off-ball development.
  • Free Throw Generation: Especially for Queen’s archetype, he really does not get to the free throw line often. Strange as it may seem considering his style is rather erratic at times, his low (.160) career free throw rate is quite worrisome regarding his potential as a creator. While this is something that can be taught, it is one less reliable scoring method that Queen has to hang his hat on offensively.

Defense

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Strengths

  • Event Generation: Queen has a knack for making plays on the defensive end, whether that manifests as steals, deflections, or blocks. While he is not the quickest to react (or play proactively), Queen can still make a positive impact as an event generator.
    • Steals: Queen generated steals at a very solid rate, and finished with a career 3.9% steal rate. His active hands and ability to play passing lanes are the catalysts.
      • Jumping Passing Lanes: Queen’s burst and anticipation make him a major threat to jump passing lanes. He did this at a rather high level this year, and while some of this comes from ball watching, he certainly was able to generate events.
      • Active Hands: Always looking to make a play defensively, Queen’s hands are always moving to attempt to impact the ball handler. This leads to deflections, strips, and blocks. While he can get a bit too handsy at times, active hands are always a plus.
    • Rotating Rim Protection: During Queen’s previous year, he had an excellent 6.2% block rate. While he statistically regressed this year, he still demonstrated the ability to get up in space and make a play on the ball. It is not extremely valuable or game changing, but a nice little bonus to have in a 2-3-wing defender.
  • Shot Contesting: Queen makes a consistent effort to get out on open shooters and not allow easy looks. He does not make “lost cause” judgments, and will make the effort needed to impact shooters.

Improvement Areas

  • Team Defense Lapses: This is mostly the result of him getting in position to make a gamble rather than containing, which can mess up his footwork as a result. Queen can also be a step slow in team defense as a result of standing too upright and occasionally falling asleep. Since he is always looking to make a play, he can get caught out of position when ball watching, leading to easy exploits offensively.
  • Getting Through Screens: Queen does not have the best sense for navigating screens. He often struggles to get skinny to go over P&R when possible and can use lots of extra, unnecessary steps. While analytics suggest he is quite an excellent P&R defender, his lacking ability to get around screens will hurt him moving forward.
  • Footwork: Queen could really stand to improve his footwork, especially on the ball. He can be a bit slow to react and his feet can be stagnant when they shouldn’t be. I expect Queen to improve defensively, and it starts with footwork (a running theme for many prospects). Sorry, I am a stickler on footwork. 

Overall Outlook

Trevelin Queen is a 6’6 wing that has excellent off-ball value for the second round (or UDFA) along with the ability to create his own shot using his gravity, finish downhill, and make plays defensively. His intangible factors make him an easy bet to maximize his potential. I buy Trevelin Queen as a guy that will successfully fight for a roster spot. At the very least, Queen will be a solid complementary piece that can space the floor and make plays defensively whilst being an excellent locker room presence in whatever situation he lands in. His intangibles, work ethic, mentality, and motor are valuable traits that teams will love.

Swing Factors: Strength, Decision Making, Handle, and Footwork.

References

Kalbrosky, B. (2020, April 12). Trevelin Queen on journey from JuCo to the verge of NBA: ‘I was homeless, kicked out, hungry’. Retrieved July 6, 2020, from https://hoopshype.com/2020/04/12/2020-nba-draft-trevelin-queen-new-mexico-state-interview/

Martinez, J. (2020, January 24). NMSU’s Trevelin Queen out 4-6 weeks with lateral meniscus tear. Retrieved July 6, 2020, from https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/sports/college/nmsu/2020/01/22/nmsus-trevelin-queen-out-4-6-weeks-lateral-meniscus-tear/4546501002/

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